READ: Isaiah 25-26
THINK: Many people talk about peace. Some envision a world free from war, destruction, grief and poverty. That day will come, but only for those who have been faithful to God. People cannot create the peace they long for. Only God can ultimately free people from the pain, misery, oppression and hopelessness that have enshrouded the earth through the ages. In God's future kingdom all sin, sorrow, suffering and death that now exist on the earth will be eliminated for good. Never again will there be a reason for sadness and grief. Yet, even through the difficult and stressful days from now to the end of history, God will give perfect peace to those who remain faithful to Him.
RESPOND: For what reasons does Isaiah praise God in chapter 25? (See 25:1-12 note.) When will the events described beginning in 25:6 take place, and what conditions does this describe? (See 25:6 note.) What earthly experiences will no longer exist after Christ returns to earth, triumphs over evil and reigns over all creation (25:8)? (See 25:8 note.) How should your trust in God affect your daily life and outlook (25:9)? (See 25:9 note.) What confidence can those who trust God have about the future? (See 26:1-21 note.) During the difficult days at the end of history, what ongoing experience can people have if they keep their minds on the Lord and depend on Him? (See 26:3 note.) What does it mean that the Lord is "the Rock eternal" (26:4)? While waiting for the Lord's return, what should His people do (26:8)? (See 26:8-9 note.) What do godly people recognize about the things they accomplish (26:12)? What did God's discipline cause His people to do? (See 26:16-19 note.) Though they were God's chosen people, what did the ancient Israelites fail to do (26:18)? What assurance does 26:19 give God's faithful followers? (See 26:19 note.) What end-time events are described in 26:20-21? (See 26:20-21 note.)
PRAY: Praise God for being your Rock and Refuge. Praise Him for ultimately defeating everyone and everything that opposes His purposes and for being the faithful Savior and Comforter of His people. Give God credit for all He's helped you accomplish.
ACT: Through words and acts of kindness, encourage anyone you encounter who seems down or depressed. Trust God and be prepared to talk with anyone who is ready to listen about the hope you've found in Christ.
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