Instead of your shame, there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.
Isaiah 61:7 (ESV)
These were promises made to the Jews when returning from their captivity. Instead of their past hurts and shame, they would receive more than they could have ever imagined. Instead of the dishonor of being held against their will, they would possess their land and have everlasting joy.
We share in these promises as believers.
And its in Christ that we find this double portion – which is a way of saying the fullness of the joy of the Lord. And this joy will be everlasting for us.
What’s happening here in Isaiah 61 is that these prophecies of Isaiah to the Jewish people were to bring encouragement, hope & comfort. As long as they kept the laws of the Lord, they could rest assured they would receive the benefits and blessings promised by Him.
This reminds me of another verse in Isaiah.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 35:10 (ESV)
This is a reminder to all of us that even if today is “one of those days”, its not the end of our story. Yes there IS a time of captivity and bondage – this can be represented by the strongholds in our own lives and the challenges that we face. But there is something that comes after the captivity. There is something after the bondage: everlasting joy.
Are you experiencing discouragement today? At home? With children? With a job? With a spouse? With your blog? For me, today started off discouraging this morning. When things don’t go as planned or relationships feel in jeopardy, it really gets me down.
But then I came across the verses above. Today I’m telling myself that the sorrow and sighing will flee away and that if I stay focused on the Lord, I will receive everlasting joy.
And it made me realize, I don’t need to wait until then to begin to rejoice. I can begin right now. Yes, I have some things I can sigh about; but I also have many things for which I can rejoice. What do you think?