March 17, 2016

Isaiah 57:1-21

Wickedness confronts us every day. We hear about malicious people on the news. Our coworkers find unethical shortcuts. Students in our classrooms seek the limits of what they can get away with. Drivers on the freeway have flaring tempers. And, we have fleshly desires that ensnare us in wickedness. Which of the sinful acts mentioned in this passage are most relevant to you? Are you the victim or the guilty?

The Lord offers peace. Mercy is our lot—not that we deserve it, nor have we done our share to earn it. We deserted him and sought our own pleasures, fortunes, and malice. We laughed as others fell, we deceived to get our way, we idolized, and we defied him. Were you punished, disciplined, or forced to eat the fruits of your labor? We can accept the forgiveness he offers and be healed.

Listen to the Spirit. He is saying you are forgiven. Your past sins are ash discarded to the wind, and you have a new life. Peace is waiting for you, the forgiven. It abounds and needs sharing. We all have wickedness, and we all can be forgiven, including those who have been wicked to you or who led you deeper into it. The Lord despises wickedness, but for the wicked, he offers hope, a chance for redemption, a peace, and a fresh start.

Comfort is available.