The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD ... has sent Me ... to proclaim the year of the LORD'S favor. Isaiah 61:1-2
Because of the divorce of a daughter and the marriage separations of two sons, the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, pronounced 1992 "a horrible year." Heartaches, for many other reasons as well, invade the homes of the rich and the poor, the mighty and the weak.
God provides hope and comfort so that we can endure the distressful years. The Israelites, who experienced horrible years in Egypt and during their 40-year journey to their homeland, also had years of divine favor. Every 50th year was a year of jubilee. It was the acceptable year, or the year of the Lord's favor, for then the land would revert to its original owners, and everyone obligated in any way to another was set free. The sound of the trumpet would announce the jubilee year. It was such a joyful occasion that Isaiah speaks of it as a pledge and foretaste of the spiritual freedom the Messiah would bring.
In the synagogue of Nazareth Jesus announced His Messiahship, using Isaiah's words to proclaim the year, yes, the entire New Testament era, as the time of the Lord's favor. Jesus, the son of the Highest, came to earth to make common cause with us, render obedience for us, bear our burdens, heal our souls, make full restitution for our sins, and grant us a charter to our heavenly home.
With Jesus at our side, we can make it through the year no matter how "horrible" it may be, for He supports us all the way. Through Him the heavenly Father, in the psalmist's words, "crown[s] the year with ... bounty" (Psalm 65:11). Whatever our station in life, whether the queen of England, a working wife, a patient in a hospital, or an aged person, God causes goodness to follow all the days of our life. He is there for us, especially in times of trouble.
PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for being there for me when I need to call on You with the troubles and "horrible" times in my life. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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