READ: Isaiah 50-51
THINK: Do you ever try to find your way in the dark? It's easy to get disoriented and not uncommon to run into things you know are out there somewhere. But what happens when you have to walk through the dark and difficult times of life? If you rely on your own efforts and ideas you'll flounder and fall. But if you trust God and remain faithful to Him, He will lead you through the tough times. God and His Word are like sunlight on a dreary day, like a lamp in a dark room, like headlights illuminating a winding road ahead. Trusting God doesn't mean that you'll never have to walk through the dark, but it does mean that you'll never walk alone.
RESPOND: Besides his own experiences and challenges, who else does Isaiah describe in 50:4-11? In what way would the coming Messiah (Christ) comfort people, and how would He find comfort, strength and guidance? (See 50:4 note.) How does 50:5-6 describe Jesus? (See 50:6 note.) What confidence did Isaiah express in 50:7-9? What would give Christ-and Isaiah-the determination to fulfill His mission, despite the hardships? (See 50:7 note.) In 50:10-11, what does Isaiah challenge faithful people to do during dark and difficult times? (See 50:10-11 note.) During such times, what will happen to those who reject God and rely on their own ideas and plans (50:11)? To whom does God offer encouragement at the beginning of chapter 51? (See 51:1-3 note.) What will happen to the present heavens and earth before God establishes His eternal kingdom, and why will God do this? (See 51:6 note.) If you do what's right and live by God's Word, what do you not have to fear and why (51:7-8)?
PRAY: Give Jesus thanks for His suffering and persistence in paying the price for your sin. Give thanks for His love, comfort, strength and guidance in your daily life, and for the hope of eternity with Him.
ACT: Live in a way that shows you're not afraid of what people think of you or can do to you-particularly because of your faith in Christ and devotion to God's Word. This means not giving in to peer pressure in conversations and actions. It means doing the right thing even when it's not popular. It also means reaching out to help, encourage, and befriend those who are shunned or neglected by others.
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