How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, and who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Isaiah 52: 7

 

As I sit here with my bare early morning feet before me, I don’t see anything that is particularly lovely. So, it is hard to envision the feet of the messenger in this verse as lovely, for they would be covered in the dust and the mud of a long journey, and their owner certainly would have had no opportunity or time to stop and clean up along the way. His imperative was to get to his people and to end the long suspense by informing them of the great victory that had been won over the enemy. Also, these would be the feet of a warrior fresh from a long campaign who had been living in the field with little or no creature comforts. Yet, these feet are lovely as they bring the news that the people of God have been waiting to hear throughout time.

 

In our times, these might be the feet of someone who has followed Christ’s calling into a far away country, they might be the feet of a pastor who stands before a crowd and speaks about the life-giving truth that the Spirit has revealed to him in God’s Word, or they could belong to any of us who takes the time to reach out with compassion, love, and grace to another person who is struggling to make it through the day. You see, the appearance of the feet is of no importance, and God doesn’t require any sort of skill, training, or experience to be the messenger, either. All that the Lord asks is that we be willing to go the distance.

 

Just as the messenger who was returning from this ancient field of battle knew the outcome, we also know the identity of the victor in this world’s struggles. We need to set out every day with the understanding that we are carrying that message of peace, joy, and salvation that is the good news of our relationship with Jesus Christ to the world that we will encounter. We can stand on the mountain tops that the Lord leads us to and shout out with enthusiasm and total conviction, “My God reigns!”

 

We have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

1 Timothy 4: 10

 

Most of us need something to hold onto. We want to believe that there is a future that will be better than the past and that will exceed the present in quality, too. This thing that we call hope becomes an anchor point for us that helps hold us upright when things get crazy in our world, and it gives us the will to face the new day when, otherwise, dawn promises little beyond frustration and futility. Yet, many of the things that we can attach our hope to prove to be weak, temporary, or futile, themselves. Christ is the only point of attachment that is anchored at the center of all Creation. Thus, when we seek to find our hope in Him and hold onto the things of God as its source, we are looking to hope’s true author and its only real Creator.

 

God has made this same potential for living in a hope filled reality available and possible for all people. He brings the brightness of His glory into the lives of everyone who will turn to Him. The Lord does all of this with a willingness that indicates His great desire to have everyone live in the fullest expression of peace and love. However, in order to truly know the hope that God brings into this harsh world, we need to accept His gift of grace that leads to salvation through a relationship with Jesus. For some people this means turning their lives around and submitting it to the great, sovereign King of Glory. For those of us who know Christ, it means accepting and submitting to the fact that we still must surrender control and allow that our hope is in His hands.

 

When we have come to know and to be blessed by this eternal hope that is found in a relationship with Christ, it becomes our responsibility to spread the word about the peace, joy, and freedom that we have found in and through Christ with people who are still seeking their hope in the things that they can do, the work that they perform, and in the status that they can achieve. We live in a darkly hopeless world. People who may seem to have all of life under control surround us, but they are desperate for real peace and joy on the inside. Hope in Christ is to be accepted, pursued, embraced, enjoyed, and shared with others.

Trust in the Lord forever,

For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.

Isaiah 26: 4

 

There is so much in life that can rock our worlds, and I don’t mean in a good way, either. Just go to your favorite news source and read the top ten leading stories and see how much pain and suffering is afoot in our world on a regular basis. Escape isn’t found in the Sports or Entertainment pages either. Scandal, death, and wasted lives are commonplace themes in those “soft news” venues, too. What is even harder is the fact that so much of the sort of distress that is facing people across the globe is also staring each of us in the face at home.

 

While the stories about lives turned upside down and shaken from their foundations by acts of nature and actions of man swirl around us in a seemingly never ending river of chaos that leads to fear and discouragement, there is another news story that needs to be read. It needs to receive continual, constant, and total focus. God has written His story of relationship, love, and redemption across the history of the world. He sets it before our eyes and He scribes it onto our hearts if we are willing to simply open ourselves to His voice.

 

As we shift our thought from the evil and the darkness around us and onto the light of Christ’s grace, the Spirit of God replaces confusion with clarity. He provides us with a sense of security that is based upon the actual fact of its existence. The Lord takes our swirling thoughts and emotions and calms the storm so that we can make reasoned and rational decisions while standing in the middle of the downpour. As we trust in God as the only valid source of truth and as the one who shows us the way to live with integrity, peace, joy, and love, we are standing on the unshakable foundation of all of Creation.