God makes statements of encouragement in Isaiah 43 to His people which demonstrate His care and commitment to the children of Israel. In verse one we read, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” With these words we see that God, who created this community, is still committed to it. Even when the people went through some of the most difficult times (slavery, and exile), God would rescue them and let them know that they belong to Him and would find comfort in His care. We certainly find similar statements in the New Testament that pertain to the Christian believer. One example is the redeeming work of our Lord Jesus on the cross that has provided the means for the rescue of the sinner, namely, the forgiveness of sins, and the promise of eternal life in Christ. Just as Israel found hope in the work of God, we find hope in the work of His son, Jesus Christ. As believers, we are His and are called by name.
The past two years have certainly been challenging for our world, our nation, our churches, and our families. Yet, when I read God’s word, I find encouragement. After all, despite the difficulties, God has richly blessed us. We see His mighty hand at work daily. It will be interesting to see what blessings God has for us in this new year. When we focus on Christ and his Church, we have much to be thankful for.
The Bible tells us of the unwavering faithfulness of God. It teaches us that God is with us, even through difficult times. Again, in Isaiah 43:2 it says, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” We know that we can depend on Him to do what He says He will do. As His children, we have a bright future ahead. It must have been very frightening for God’s people to have left Egypt just to come to the shore of the Red Sea, but God parted the water. Again, as they came to the river Jordan, God made a way. Remember, our faith in God is not based on wishful thinking, but on the faithfulness of God. God is faithful. We have no idea what this new year may hold for us, but we know God, so we have nothing to fear.
Our Lord Jesus has established His Church. He is just as committed to His Church now, as He was at its foundation. We, the Church, the bride of Christ, the body of Christ must also be committed to Him.
May God continue to bless,
Scott Kinnick – CBC Board member