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Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 19

The Song of Judah

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Today's Text: Isaiah 26:1-21, Isaiah 27:1-13, Psalm 74:12-17, Philippians 4:4-7

Text: Isaiah 26:1-21, Isaiah 27:1-13, Psalm 74:12-17, Philippians 4:4-7

I am writing this on Inauguration Day, the culmination of one of the most polarizing election years our country has ever seen. Even before my feet touched the floor this morning, I remembered the tension of our divided country and felt the fragility of my own heart. My mind was caught up in contemplating our limited human condition. I felt my earthiness and all the limitations of being human. Another way of saying this is that I felt temporal, the opposite of everlasting.

I write today of Isaiah chapter 26, which begins, “We have a strong city, he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks” (v.1). Yet our country feels weak today, utterly broken. Weak not because of who our president is or was or will someday be, but because the transfer of power from one mere human being to another betrays our weakness in its very act of impermanence.

We cannot do any work eternally; we can only do eternal work. That is, our abilities are temporary and limited, but our work can be done for the “strong city” Isaiah speaks of—the city that is eternal. Today is constantly passing away, and our contributions here are, too. But Isaiah’s words cause me to remember what is true of our eternal God:

You will keep the mind that is dependent on you
in perfect peace,
for it is trusting in you.
- Isaiah 26:3

It is easy to look at the terra, the earth, and think our trust is born of blood, sweat, tears, dirt—the rise and fall of ideas and businesses and churches and politics. Each of us inhabits a kingdom, whether it be our home, our job, our family, or our community, and we are tempted to believe in its permanence. But we must be careful to remember that the King of our hearts is not our pastor, our president, our husband, our friend, or even ourselves.

The King of our hearts is made not from dust; He is not coming to ashes at the end. The King of our hearts is forever and ever and ever, without end.

Isaiah continues, “Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:4). God, who made everything and will make it over again, will lose not a bit of Himself in the process.

The day is Yours, also the night;
You established the moon and the sun.
You set all the boundaries of the earth;
You made summer and winter.
- Psalm 74:16-17

There are moments of pure elation and joy when we forget what earthlings we are, made from dust to dust, ashes to ashes—we feel invincible. And then, in another moment, this world is just too much with us and we with it. The Lenten season reminds us of our fragility, our humanity, our humility, our humus, the Latin word for “earth.” From dust we have come and to dust we will return.

But Jesus is an everlasting rock. The King of our hearts, of this world and of the world to come, is our never-ending, all-knowing, all-seeing, and eternal God. The Kingdom belongs to Him alone, as does the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

SRT-LENT2017-Instagram19s

Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, tweets @lorewilbert, and posts photos @loreferguson. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

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  • Amen gurl!!!!!!

  • Cassandra Stone

    I truly needed this. I’m struggling with trusting my husband after much pain that he has brought to our marriage in the past and the Lord has been laying on my heart over this weekend that my struggle lies mostly with trusting my God. He is in control. He is a rock when I have no control over the actions of those I love. They may hurt me, they may make mistakes but I can always trust my God. He will NEVER let me go!

  • God is amazing. Reading this that is all I keep coming back to. He just rocks!!! And He doesn’t even ask that much of us, thankful hearts, rejoicing and praising Him, trust, love and obedience. Yet we all fall short, I fall short especially the last few weeks. God, please forgive me!

  • johanna tropiano

    I actually believe that we are immortal beings. And that God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth, redeeming all things to Him.

    CS Lewis writes: “You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” Jesus, also when teaching how to pray says “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

    All that being said, I believe there are actions that we take daily that have eternal implications. Actions either working to restore God’s kingdom or destroy it. If we are humble, God will use us to do His work on earth, and that to me, gives me great hope, but also it is a tremendous responsibility.

  • Freddie Bennett

    I love Isaiah. It’s hard at times and I understand why so many struggle. But there are so many beautiful moments that point to Jesus and give us a deeper understanding to why God sent his son to us. When I struggle with scripture for whatever reason, I am reminded that even the Angels long to look into the Bible!!! There are people all over the world that would die to hold a bible in their hand because they know the weight of worth it carries. It’s carries the word of God!! I also love that SRT never shy’s away from deep. I have read so many bible studies or devotionals that are a mile wide and an ankle deep… but not SRT. It points you to the word and challenges you to go deeper. So deep it hurts because we could never fully understand.
    Hold fast ladies and remember when you open your bible, God is speaking straight to your heart.

  • peanut cheese

    I love the use of language in this devotion. The different words for earth etc. Almost like literature!

  • Oh Emma, I pray you know your immeasurable worth and the beauty that you are in your Father’s eyes. Bless you and thank you for sharing.

  • There was a week I thought things were going perfectly and had moments of pure joy but then one Tuesday on the 14th it was the opposite. I was hurt and hurt deeply, angry with myself that I didn’t see the point to be here anymore. I was completely overwhelmed with the world. I wanted to drive my car into oncoming traffic but wrestled with myself and continued to wrestle with myself at home for the next 4 1/2 hours. I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore. I didn’t see a point for living, I was a screw up, wasn’t good enough, people were angry with me, hurt by me and I was hurt by them. The thoughts were swimming around in my head with what people told me were lies but what I believed to be true. I believed people wouldn’t care if I was gone. What was I to them? A friend came over to my aid and took me to a hospital where I was evaluated and eventually released. The past couple days had been hard on me and it wasn’t until today’s reading that I realized I didn’t fully trust or believe in my God that he could take all that pain away and give me peace. If I had believed and truly trusted and believed, “God’s peace will stand guard over all my thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.” – Philippians 4:7
    I can’t do it, only God can. I need to continue to learn and fully trust in Him. Only He can give me the peace I need. God is trustworthy.

    • Holly

      Thank you for sharing Emma. Praying for you.

    • She Reads Truth

      Emma, thank you for being so brave as to share this. Praying for you in this time and asking for the Lord to continue to grant you peace. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • Terry

      I’m glad that today’s reading was such a help, Emma. Putting my complete trust in God is a work in progress; it’s so easy to get up in the drama that we create on this Earth for ourselves. Stay the path and fight the fight. With God, you are always accepted and loved for who you are. Grace is plentiful. My prayers are with you, Emma. Hugs…

    • Erin

      You are hurting but still have incredible insight to know and trust in God. It is a challenge for me everyday to choose to let God lead and sometimes I fail. But I always know he is here for me as he is for you. Love and prayers to you.

    • Tara

      Prayed for you, Emma! Thankful that the Lord reminded you of the peace only He can provide. Thanks for sharing this.

    • peanut cheese

      feeling for you Emma. May God’s heavenly love be felt by you on this earth

    • ~S~

      Emma you are so courageous for sharing this with us. Praying that you keep trusting in the Lord xo

    • Nancy Tuggle

      Praying for you Emma! You are so right, we can’t do this on our own, we have to be lead by his Spirit who lives within us. Greater is he who is in us, than he who is in the world! Life is hard, we are all broken messed up people who need a Savior. Praise God Jesus is that Savior! His grace is sufficient!

    • Jackie

      Prayed for you, Emma. May you have peace and feel the love that Jesus has for you. You are precious to Him and He is working all things for His Glory. Hugs from afar!

  • Funny. Up to this point I have been telling the Lord.. (yes, I struggle with pride).. I don’t see and why is this so gloomy and I get it, you have lots of wrath… darker..darker.. deep dark. Is that what the people then felt too?.. Lord, I know when I give into temptation I feel heavy.. burdened… dark.. in need of a savior. But God. Too be honest.. the heavy dark and deep teach me the most.. not only about my need for a savior but about the endless mercy of of God. The way He loves us… incomprehensible. How deep and wide.. yesterday I was having a bout of real Joy.. I know at the end of all this gloom… Hes coming!

  • I accidentally posted this as a reply. Whoops.

    It is scary to trust in God. He is so different from the things of this world, and this world is what I know best. I will always be trying to know God better, until my dying day. It seems like life is an ongoing battle–between my worldly tendencies and my desire for Christ. I’m trying to rest in his grace. I will fix my eyes on Him–and I will start by memorizing scripture verses, I think.

  • My eye also immediately caught Isaiah 26:3-4. After experiencing some pretty difficult situations over the past few years, my heart had slowly started turning away from trusting the Lord and trusting that He is GOOD. I was exhausted – emotionally, relationally and even physically, and I just couldn’t handle any more of God’s “hard but good” plans for me. So I stopped trusting Him. I decided it was time to try things my way. It’s scary how each small decision to not trust Him ends up with us one day realizing that we’ve really stopped trusting Him altogether. And to be honest, it really was a process of healing to come back to trusting Him. But the amazing thing about the Lord is that He can use our brokenness, our heartaches, our most difficult experiences and use them to strengthen us, to build empathy and even to increase our faith and trust in Him. And it doesn’t always happen in an “Ah-ha!” moment or in the middle of a quiet time. Sometimes the process is slow and tiresome and messy. I wish someone had told me that from the beginning so I wouldn’t have let my trust fade when the “spiritual breakthrough” didn’t happen Sunday after Sunday.

    • Meg

      Thank you so much for sharing this Casey. I am blessed to read this because I have also been going through that messy process, but the Lord is so faithful and loving. Where you talk about God using our brokenness to strengthen us and increase our faith and trust in Him really encourages me. Praise the Lord for all He is doing in your life and for leading you to share this with us!

      • J

        “I just couldn’t handle any more of God’s “hard but good” plans for me.”

        This. I absolutely have felt, and am still feeling this for more hours of the day than I’m not most days, I am sad to admit. Thank you for taking the time to write this, Casey. I really appreciate it and agree – the moments of returning to trust in the Lord are gradual, messy, and perfectly tailored to US. How He loves us each so perfectly.

    • Alisa

      Beautifully expressed
      Thank you

  • SarahMay

    This may have been posted already, but I found this overview video from The Bible Project on the YouVersion app. Check it out here:
    http://bible.com/v/mx

    • Micki

      This is awesome! Thank you for sharing. There is a part two that covers the rest of Isaiah as well!

  • Caroline

    Thank you Jesus that you are not only our rock, but our everlasting rock! Thank you that YOU never change!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Keri McCue

    “because the transfer of power from one mere human being to another betrays our weakness in its very act of impermanence.” Mic. Drop.

    “Eternal living/thinking” has been a theme in my life the past few weeks and it’s really convicting. It is allowing me to clean out my life so-to-say. It’s been a hard process but so very needed! I love when you said, “We cannot do any work eternally; we can only do eternal work.” So good!!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Diane Huntsman

    I was talking to my 20 year old about the struggle to read and read with real concentration.. Isaiah takes concentration.. we also talked about how our iPhones and our scrolling habits have changed our brains., we are lazier about reading due to those contraptions.. I’ve struggled through these reads but have to admit my laziness at really reading and rereading the contents.. I think God desires a digging mindset.. we have to put some real effort into understanding.. the Holy Spirit illuminates truth to be sure, but we have to put some real elbow grease into the study of these truths.. Isaiah has shown me the need to stop mindlessly scrolling my phone and teaching my brain lazy habits.. reading rereading cross referencing praying meditating.. these are the requirements to gaining understanding of Gods truth.. I want understanding for transformation not just a check off that I did my devotional.. help us Lord to dig deep to get deep understanding and true transformation of mind and heart.. it’s not easy, but it wasn’t meant to be.

    • Lindsay Prater

      Amen

    • Aven

      Oh, you are speaking straight to me heart! I’m right there with you!

    • Casey

      Yes! I struggle with the same thing and I always have to stop myself when I notice that I’m just reading to get through it and pray, asking the Lord to fill me with His Spirit and keep my mind free from distractions!

    • Zoe

      You nailed it!

    • Ann

      I’m reading Isaiah in my actual leather bound Bible, and it’s been SO GOOD. The Word seems deeper and sinks in slower when I get off my phone.

    • Christina

      I really appreciate this insight! I’m reading Isaiah from my computer. I don’t research the passages every day, but I love being able to “google” questions and gain even more insight. I’ve also found that if I read through the passages like a story, instead of stopping to consider each verse as I read it, that sometimes it makes better sense. I often have to go back and re-read anyway, but treating the passage as a whole instead of addressing each individual verse to try to understand has made a difference for me. Thank you for sharing!

    • JLHS

      You are so right Diane! Effort begets illumination!

  • This has been a reading that has moved me to worship – I keep hearing King of my Heart over and over in my head and plan to listen to it soon. Here is a link to a video, if anyone wants to listen/sing this morning!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g6_BLuhr0HQ
    Thankful for the constant redirection of my constantly distracted heart and mind in the form of this study!

    • Margie Pierce

      Thank​ you for this song! God never lets us down! God is good and faithful!

  • I had just finished talking to my husband about all of the worries that I have at the moment and the I read this. Just what I needed to hear – thank you. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness and for taking our burdens. for

  • I love the NIV reading of Isaiah 26:4: Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord HIMSELF, is the Rock eternal. The Lord Himself. Why should we trust in the Lord? Because of His power? Because of His gifts? Because of….continue listing all the things of God. No. We trust in the Lord because He is I AM. I love that Isaiah reminds us to trust in the Lord because the Lord in and of himself, regardless of what he does or does not do, is the Rock eternal. I love it! Yet so often my actions and words reflect that I fail to believe that God being God is truly enough. I want to put my trust in the gifts of God and not just God. Lord, help me to trust in You simply because you are who you say you are – the Rock eternal!

  • It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one struggling with the reading of Isaiah. I’ve always had problems with comprehension with the help of all the authors and you godly ladies I’m understanding better. I am behind a bit but hope to catch up tomorrow. PLEASE pray for my highschooler son who leaves Sunday with few other high school students, their youth Pastor and other adults as they go on a Mission Trip to Mexico. Pray first of all that God will have a mighty work in all their hearts. Pray for their safe travels as they cross the border. And come home renewed and safe.

    • J

      Prayed for your son and the team as well as for your peace and comfort, Mari! He is holding you and your boy and will surely do a great work among them and through them for the Kingdom there. May you have a blessed and joyful day!

  • Katalina

    And there it is! The promise that God is good even in the midst of destruction. What do we have to fear? We can’t look at Him like some president or dictator, even through all this doom. He is the Creator of this world. He is the Creator of every soul that has walked this Earth. He had a right to rescue what was being forgotten or damaged and the only way He saw fit was to make some drastic changes…. but through it all, He kept His promise. And just as we learn He is an everlasting God, how long ago did these events take place? Imagine, that long ago and in present day 2017, He has not changed. Whatever destruction may be going on in your life, don’t be dismayed and trust in the word of God. He’s waiting for you with open arms. It’s difficult when all we keep reading about is His wrath, but I think that’s why it’s so essential to have a relationship with Him that goes beyond a church service and repeating bible verses. It’s about an in-depth connection where you speak to Him as if He were right beside you, and do your part by seeking His presence in everything you do. Be a witness to Him working in your life but remember it’s not about seeing only with the naked eye. Your blind faith will take you farther than you’ve ever excepted with the Lord guiding your path. That’s a promise !<3

  • Churchmouse

    Our small group has been reading through the Bible for nearly six years now. We opened our Bible to page one and are currently in Jeremiah. We are turtles! We had just finished walking /stumbling through Isaiah when SRT announced that Isaiah was to be part of its Lent readings. My reaction was Oh dear, not again! Yes Isaiah is a hard book to understand. Yes the visuals in Isaiah are dramatic. Yes the prophecies are dark, gloomy, painful and Oh so very repetitious. I admit I wasn’t looking forward to reading /stumbling through Isaiah for a second time. I even complained to God in my prayers. He said “would you not do a hard thing for Me to then see the Holy?”. Yes. Those were His Words impressed on my heart. In those few words He convicted me of preferring comfort and ease and all things pleasant. Life with Him on this earth is not like that. He asked me to see the world, now and as it will be, with eyes wide open. He asked me to see it with complete trust and obedience to Him. Would I be faithful to walk with Him in the darkness, through the evil? Or would I look for rainbows and unicorns and miss His strong and mighty hand? Am I willing to miss His presence in the hard because I prefer soft and fluffy? I’m guilty of wanting to only read verses that stroke me. He was asking me to see Him, faithful and true, in the verses that don’t. The SRT Scripture selections and the devotions are such a blessing because they take me by the hand and keep me trudging through, casting light on the way. This is good stuff, SRT. This is hard and holy. You are His answer to me.

    • Katalina

      Amen!

    • rebecca7395

      Amen! I have felt exactly the same. And in some ways this is what makes Isaiah the perfect study for Lent.

    • Laryssa

      Thank you Churchmouse for your comment. I too, like comfort and fluff over hard and holy. But somewhere in the midst of discerning, we must choose. The way of the Cross was not pretty, agonizing to say the least yet, that is what our Savior endured. How then, can I sit in comfort?
      The last two years have been hard for our family. My husband and I lost both of our parents to age and disease. I have yearned for, begged for comfort. My mother didn’t know me at the end of her journey. I yelled at God for the disease that riddled her mind. I cried because I wanted to hear her say my name one more time. To look at me and know me. But the glory in the pain is God whispered my name. He knows me. He called me close to himself, under the wing of his protection. And thru the hard mess of life, I’ve seen the holiness of God and I choose this path.
      Isaiah is hard there’s no mistaking that. But, God. Look to the Holy. The Faithful and True.

      • She Reads Truth

        Thank you for sharing this, Laryssa. So grateful for your words this morning.

        – Stormye

    • She Reads Truth

      This was so wonderfully worded and so needed. Thank you, Churchmouse! Always encouraged by you.

      – Stormye

    • Em

      My sentiments exactly! In the notes sections of my SRT Isaiah journal I keep writing: “I’m lost” or “it’s so dark and confusing”, “this darkness is legit”, “Father God I am still trying to make sense of this book…”
      I even solicited my pastors and a bible scholar who I work with and they all gave me similar answers: heavy. confusing. dark.
      After the pattern continued I cam to the realization that maybe the darkness and the confusion is part of the experience in reading this book. Once I accepted this and put my trust in God instead of trying to explain it or figure it out it hasn’t been as difficult. It’s still a struggle but I’m wondering if that is part of the experience. Also just being honest with God that I don’t understand is something I need to practice and this book is helping me with that as well. Thank you churchmouse!

    • Barbarabeana

      You’re so on target Churchmouse. Yes Isaiah is hard to read and uncomfortable but we have the unchanging, hope of Christ in us. Solid rock under our feet.

    • Christina

      Thank you for this!

  • I don’t often read the Message translation, but I stumbled across it last time I read this part of Isaiah, and I love it:
    “At that same time, a fine vineyard will appear. There’s something to sing about! I, GOD, tend it. I keep it well-watered. I keep careful watch over it so that no one can damage it. I’m not angry. I care. Even if it gives me thistles and thornbushes, I’ll just pull them out and burn them up. Let that vine cling to me for safety, let it find a good and whole life with me, let it hold on for a good and whole life.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭27:2-5‬ ‭MSG‬‬
    Praying that I can cling to God and truly find my life in Him. And praying that I’ll truly understand that God is for me–He keeps loving me and caring for me even when I constantly mess it all up.

  • MamaCrazy

    This was a much needed reminder for me this morning as my little household including my very pregnant exhausted self battles hardcore colds this week. This mama trys to hold down the fort and see the end in sight. I sing the words “Rejoice in the Lord always!” It brings to mind and heart some words from one of my favorite songs:
    “When Christ shall come
    With shouts of adulation
    And take me home
    What joy shall fill my heart
    Then I shall bow
    In humble adoration
    And there proclaim My God
    How great Thou art
    Then sings my soul
    My Saviour, God, to Thee
    How great Thou art
    How great Thou art!!”

    Enjoy today and make the best of it friends♡

    • Kelly

      Thank you for this. As a very pregnant mama with two little ones of my own (2&5) and babysitting a 2year old during the week I feel for you. Praying the Lord gives you strength and encouragement today. Thank you for your words of encouragement

  • Christina

    We deserve, and can be thankful for, the Lord’s discipline. No matter how difficult life becomes, I can trust that He is working into fruition His plan from before time began. If my mind is plagued with anxiety and worry, chances are very likely I do not have my mind stayed on Jesus. I am not trusting Him. No matter how my circumstances unfold here in this temporal plane, the eternal God has me in His hand. I can glorify Him no matter what.

  • Tochi Heredia

    This song by Kings Kaleidoscope fits perfectly with today’s reading:

    “Dust to earth, ash to ocean. Evanescent, fading fast, You’re all I really have”
    https://youtu.be/F0_uROWStpc

  • Kathleen

    You will keep the mind that is dependent on you
in perfect peace,
for it is trusting in you.
- Isaiah 26:3

    The devastation and horror described in these chapters makes me want to run to Him as the only solid salvation. I love the reminder of perfect peace for our minds when we trust in Him.

  • Dorothea

    This devotional by Lore is very well written. It would be good to see more of her writing here.

    • Frances

      How do you know it is Lore who wrote this today? I’m not seeing that at the end of the article like we used to?! Can someone help me access that? I enjoy reading about the authors!

      • Elisabeth7291

        At the top of the article.

        • Missy

          Agreed, I don´t see it. It´s just listed under the other articles by guest writers. Hope you guys can put the tiny bios back:) It´s nice to be able to tag the authors!

    • Anna Wood

      Lore has a blog where she posts more of her beautiful writings, it’s Sayable.net. She definitely has a gift with words. Hope this helps!

  • This song came to mind as I read today’s message..
    I think it absolutely speaks of the King of our hearts who only has good and great love, I will say it again He only has good and great great great love for us …
    Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:4). .. He will never let us down…Amen.

    May God who is the King of your heart, bless and keep you in His love and Grace today…with love… as always, Sisters..xx

  • I’m having a hard time reading Isaiah. Sorry to be critical but I wish this study had a different focus. Chapter after chapter of war, destruction, and punishment is very gloomy and lacking context for me. It’s difficult for me to try to keep focused on the greater theme of Lent. And while today’s message of encouragement for the Trump era is helpful and well written, it’s just reminding me even more about the darkness around me. Is anyone else struggling with this study? I’m trying hard not to give up!

    • Chryso

      I can see where you’re coming from and there are moments where I feel like I’m just reading the words not really taking Isaiah in because it is feeling all doom and gloom but then I remind myseld that these readings are for Lent. We live and a truely broken and painfilled world. This is the time to remind us of that and remember that the only way to get through it is God. The only one who can heal this brokeness is God through Christ Jesus’ action on the cross. That is what Lent is all about. Looking desperately for the cross because He is THE only answer for all this pain and darkness. We get to know whats coming, the people of Isaiah’s time had no clue the same as so many in this world don’t know that there is Light in the darkness of this world.

    • Ana

      I agree, it is a book hard to read. I read the books of Samuel and Kings recently and that helps me to give historical context. As for the gloominess I try to find Jesus hidden in some verses. 26:2-3 reminds me of the Good Shepherd and His sheep, that He is the gate and how His sheep trust in Him and follow Him. Verse 4 reminds me of Jesus as our rock, the parable of the man who built his house on the rock, Jesus as the cornerstone. Verse 8 reminds me of Revelation. We will receive a new name and will learn the new name of Jesus. It also made me remember the names of God and of Jesus (Emmanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace). Verse 12, the peace of Jesus. In chapter 27, verses 2-5, remind me of Jesus the true vine and how He and the Father tend the branches (we!) with such care. These are some examples only. Jesus is the light that illuminates the Old Testament. I hope I’ve helped some how. God bless you! (Sorry for my English:))

      • Judy

        Your English is fine! :) I guess my problem is I don’t have that great of a background with the Bible to be able to connect the dots like you can, if that makes sense. But the only way to get there is to keep reading. I probably just complain too much, haha! God bless you too, Ana!

      • Marietta

        So good to hear that I’m not alone with my struggle reading Isiah. It’s getting easier the more I read.

    • Sarah McEntee

      Ahhhhh I was so pleased to see this post. I’d popped on here today to write exactly the same thing, I have been really struggling with Isaiah too, and I have to be honest I’ve put this wonderful study book to the side. .. for now. I felt that I was becoming distant from God and I was getting rather stressed about that. I’m focused on my prayers with an emphasis on where I have let God down in my daily life, but an equal focus on where he wants to take me, during this time.

    • Karolina

      yep, I agree, it is not very easy for me to go through the images of war, destruction etc as I find it hard relate and see God speaking to my heart through these passages. Yet, my intuition tells me that though sometimes I just read the words not really thinking about them, the bigger picture will emerge with time.

      • Judy

        True, I just wish I was getting more out of it each week. Maybe by the end I will understand the whole picture.

    • Tonya

      Isaiah has difficult parts, for sure, but it also has many of my favorite passages of scripture coming up later in the book. The contrast is striking and we will soon be to the parts which highlight God’s awesome majesty and glory, as well as his love, protection, and provision for his chosen ones. Don’t give up! The comfort is coming!

    • Kathryn

      I find that often times all of the Old Testament prophets can be difficult to read. They don’t leave you feeling warm and fuzzy; more often they are written regarding the disconnect between the Israelites and God. So it’s not surprising that sometimes they make us feel disconnected. *But* remember that God’s word never returns void and that we have His Holy Spirit to help us! I would encourage to pray before each reading and ask God to give your mind and heart the eyes to see what He desires to teach you each day!!

    • Kathleen

      Judy, I listened to Annie Downs podcast That Sounds Fun where they interviewed the writers’ of this app and how hard this study is. It was helpful to hear them relate and discuss it. Hoping it might be helpful to you?

    • Caitie

      I see where you are coming from too! I’ve been attempting Isaiah for over a year now and always end up frustrated. Lately though, I’ve been coming to realize that part of this book is meant to show us how seriously God hates sin, and how we really need Jesus. The destruction comes from their own self-righteousness, and God allows it while he weeps. It helps me to remember how serious my little sins are, how God hates sin, and how grateful we can be to have Jesus to save us from such destruction. Hang in there! I think Isaiah also lightens up a bit as we get further into it. :)

      • Marytony

        I agree with all of you. It is hard for me to read the destruction and war and desolation and think of God as a good father (which I know He is). But it is true that Righteousness and Justice is part of His character as well, and we cannot sugarcoat or cherry-pick what we like and we do not like of scripture. What really encourages me is that His plans are not to harm us or destroy us, but to give us hope and a future. Even though it might be dark what we are reading now, joy comes in the morning. I love later on in the book of Isaiah there are some of the most beautiful references of grace, love, restoration for Israel. And as somebody mention, we have the privilege to read all this scriptures through the light of Jesus, knowing that the battle is won, death is defeated and He reigns forever! And also what encourages me so much is to know that we are not reading alone… but I really look forward to this community and your comments, that bring encouragement to my day.
        Let’s keep on pressing together ;)

        • She Reads Truth

          Blessed by your encouragement this morning, Marytony. Thank you! Grateful to have you in the SRT community.

          – Stormye

    • Alyssa

      This was helpful to me https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-major-prophets/isaiah – i agree, I’ve struggled terribly with this study and felt guilty about it.

    • Angela

      I know exactly what you mean because the past days of reading Isaiah was really hard for me. Judgement after judgement until utter destruction. And like for Song of Songs, when whatever reading is hard, I rely heavily on a study Bible to at least study God’s Word intellectually, if it does not ‘speak to me’.

      I am reading yesterday’s and today’s reading together today and I feel so relieved. Like finally, it is over. Like watching some horror movie when the horrific night finally ends and the day dawns. And you know what, when view the past twenty-over chapters as a continuous whole, I can finally see that God’s Judgement and His Salvation is two sides of the same coin. He judges the evil to save His people. In Chapter 25, it is as if when God has finally silenced the loudness of the evil, we can at least hear the songs and praises of His people. No wonder Isaiah calls His judgements wonders that are works of perfect faithfulness. When the dust settles, we see the poor, the needy and the ones who honor Him, His people, who are the ones He is saving. This brings so much comfort to my heart, especially in this age, when we see evil all around us and anticipate the impending judgement God will bring against the world. Like in Chapter 26, He will keep in perfect peace the ones whose eyes are stayed on Him because they trust in Him. Whatever the situation around us may be, even when the world gets darker and darker, He keeps us in perfect peace as long as our eyes are stayed on Him and Him alone.

    • Meg

      I’m personally enjoying this study even with the doom and gloom. As I’m reading through Isaiah, I am being reminded of our world’s brokenness and need for a savior. Thinking about this while knowing we’re heading towards Easter will make Easter all the sweeter and celebratory. The story’s not over yet- victory is coming!

    • April Heather

      I am struggling as well. And trying to open my mind to see the study-to understand it, feel it, embrace it, live it. But the day after day destruction is difficult when I think of the parts of our world that are suffering. The Sudan & Syria & so many other places–the absolute devastation that we are reading about, that so many are actually living. And I’m begging our beloved God to relieve the suffering of those in desperate need. Yes Jesus IS our hope and salvation. But I feel a deep sadness for those in need.

  • Thankful for the amazing wisdom from this study and this community. Please consider following @HeavenBentWomen (Instagram and Twitter, blog and Facebook are in progress), a Multigenerational community that exists to bridge the gap between young and old for God’s glory. We are looking for writer’s of all ages to share how God has used your pain and past for your good and His glory. If your parents got divorced in middle school, you can write to middle schoolers specially. We are dividing it into middle school, high school, college, and post-grad. Submissions to [email protected]. You all have incredible things to say, and we would love to get your wisdom out there and connect it with the youth. Thank you for your time reading this! Our mission is summed up in this hashtag….#RecyclingBrokenIntoBeautiful for His glory.

    • Marianne

      Sorry, but I think your post is out of place here. It doesn´t contribute a bit to what we are focused on: the word of God. Instead you are misusing this platform for advertising purposes. I don´t want to judge your blog or whatever it is, but please rethink your means of recruiting contributors. Surely there is a more proper way to do this?

      • Shannon

        I apologize. My only goal is to get the word of God out to more young people. Please forgive me that it came out as a misuse of this special space. I have been apart of the SRT community for years and truly thought women in here would be interested in another space to share the word of God and their testimonies. Have a blessed day!

        • Anna

          Love your heart, Shannon! hoping to contact you soon with some potential work :)

      • Virginia

        In agreement with you Marianne.

    • Candy

      Thank you so much for sharing this info Shannon. I don’t think I would know about it otherwise!

Further Reading...