Our Old Testament reading is Isaiah 50:4-9.

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who will condemn me?

Isaiah reminds us that we are the recipients of God’s love and His promise, but only if we choose to obey His laws. The prophet speaks of God awakening us to hear His instruction, which make us strong in the face of adversity. Learning His ways may not keep us from earthly trouble but the blessing of salvation is not dependent on earthly things.

God has led and taught His people through difficult situations in the past. Even when we were disobedient, God still loved us and wanted to redeem us. Paul tells us “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God calls us all back to the relationship for which we were created, to love Him and each other. His guidance shows us the way. We can stand against the troubles we encounter when we stand with God.

Loving Lord, we need Your help in all things. Our strength is not enough to resist the evil of this world, only through Your power and love can we be saved. Amen.

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