- Pastor John Conover
See God in the Bad Times
In Isaiah 6, the prophet reviewed how & when he received his message and vision from the Lord. While he was going through difficult times, God's control, character, and call became crystal clear to Isaiah. Let us not wait to see God until prayers are answered, problems are solved, or revival flows through the land.
1. See God's Control While you are Going through Sad Circumstances (vs. 1-3).
A good leader, King Uzziah died, but God was alive, good, and eternal. Isaiah was young, so the only king he knew was Uzziah, who led Israel for 52 years. Uzziah "did that which was right in the sight of the LORD." When a good leader is removed from their position, God is still in control. When a good leader is removed, God's people are reminded that their trust should be in Him, not the earthly leader. All those years that Uzziah led Judah, Israel displeased the LORD. God sent Isaiah to warn Israel to repent. A good leader does not guarantee revival in the land. Isaiah saw God sitting with peace & calm, on His throne with power holding court, high with perspective that was clear, & lifted up as praise-worthy chants rang out.
Tunnel vision on the problems keeps us from seeing that "the whole earth is full of His glory." Worry about human government or the spread of sin can keep us from seeing God's splendor "filling His temple." Wisdom sees life circumstances from God's perspective; with His wide-angle lens of an earth full of His glory. Let us not wait until the mess is over to see that God is in control. Surrender, and see His display now. Don't wait. Don't demand a sign.
2. See God's Character While you are Going through Sad Circumstances (vs. 3-5).
His glory filled His temple. Our response in contrast needs to be like Isaiah's; I am undone. His holiness is seen in stark contrast to our "unclean lips" in a land full of many with the same problem. His worshipers chanted, "holy, holy, holy," and that is contrasted with man's sinful speech. "Woe is me" is quite different from our God who wows us. His power as the "King, the LORD of hosts" leads us to bow in confession, repentance, and worship.
Bad and sad times can cause us to doubt God's good character. Let us not wait until our mess is over to trust God's character. The God of the mountain is still God in the valley.
3. Hear God's Call While you are Going through Sad Circumstances (vs. 6-13).
It is during trials that we can be most useful. So respond to His call for personal confession. Hear His call to serve as representatives of heaven. He asked in Isaiah's hearing, "Who will go for US?" The Triune God and the hosts of heaven remind us of the honor of being here for them; for God's glory and purpose on earth. Notice the quick response of Isaiah. He did not wait until the hard stuff was over before he said, "Hear am I, LORD, send me." Notice finally, that God calls His messengers to share the truth no matter what the response of our listeners will be. We must endure even if we never see any spiritual decisions, progress, and results. Ouch. By the way, Isaiah did not see Israel repent in mass during his life-time. Are we willing to confess sin, serve where He leads us, and spread His good news DURING hard times?
Results often keep me going for God. I am no "Isaiah." Results can be sad and few. Reaping can wait until we are in heaven. Reaching out for God's pleasure must replace out reach for people's praise.
Let us pray for each other right now. Pray a blessing down on as many as you can think of. Let us pray for a clear vision of God while we are in difficult days. Don't miss the show of the ONE who is always in Control. Let us trust His character WHILE life is tossing us about. Let us pray for endurance in His call for us.