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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Who would believe that God would choose to save the world through a humble, suffering servant rather than a glorious king? The idea is contrary to human pride and worldly thinking. But God often works in ways we don’t expect. The Messiah’s strength is shown by humility, suffering, and mercy.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic in the physical appearance of this servant. Israel would miscalculate the servant’s importance—they would consider him an ordinary man. But even though Jesus would not attract a large following based on his physical appearance, he would bring salvation and healing. Many people miscalculate the importance of Jesus’ life and work, and they need faithful Christians to point out his extraordinary nature.
This man of sorrows was despised and rejected by those around him, and he is still despised and rejected by many today. Some reject Christ by standing against him. Others despise Christ and his great gift of forgiveness. Do you despise him, reject him, or accept him? (NLT)
Isaiah 53:1-6 – Who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all.
He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. –Isaiah 53:4 (NIV)
Jacqui Rose-Tucker (Georgia) titled her story “NEVER ALONE;” here is a portion of Jacqui’s story:
“. . . It was not until I was dealing with my own pain that I was able to understand my daughter’s pain and apologize to her for not understanding her suffering.
“Just as I was able to better understand my daughter’s pain because of my own, I am strengthened knowing that God understands my pain because God was wrapped in human flesh. Jesus therefore understands our suffering, grief, and loss. In all our trials, our Savior is with us. When others are suffering, we can share the good news that we do not go through it alone. Our God suffers with us.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How do I recognize the presence of God in my pain?
Prayer: Gracious God, help us to identify with others and to seek to be Christ to those who are suffering. Remind us that you are with us through every trial. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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