Dec. 8: By my side
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Have you ever had that feeling when you just don’t know if you are going to survive what is ahead of you? The stress of homework, work, exams and just plain busyness gets to be too much and all you want to do is fall asleep and wish for it to all be over. I’m in the middle of this right now as I look to the stresses of semester finals in the coming days. There may not be time for it, but God is calling me to rejoice.
In today’s Scripture, God gives us a promise that is completely reassuring. I mean, think about it: God will take away judgments. The Lord will rejoice over us with gladness, renew us in love and exult over us with singing. There will be no more disaster, no more pain. God will bring us home!
I find this promise to be incredibly hopeful. I look at my stresses and know that God will be by my side through the whole journey. There is no reason to be afraid, but every reason to rejoice!
SCRIPTURE: Zephaniah 3:14-20 (NRSV)
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgements against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the Lord.