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Lorna Johnston /Monday, October 4, 2021

 

“These are difficult days. Perhaps the most difficult days ever…”

Is that how you’re feeling?

You and I are living during:

  • an ongoing pandemic
  • global climate change
  • economic turmoil
  • crumbling governments
  • failing leadership
  • rising hostility to the gospel
  • deep divisions in the church

Trouble all around.

I don’t think we’re the only generation to have been dismayed by trouble all around. History is full of periods marked by swirling turmoil, and those living through it have felt its full weight.

Scripture records similar experiences, usually with language such as, ‘In those days….’ followed by a recounting of some turmoil or trouble. It’s easy to read these stories without letting the impact of what it must have been like to live through those days to really sink in. Those were hard, difficult times.

Someday, perhaps people may look back at our time and say, ‘In those days…’

Recently I’ve been reading Isaiah—a book that warns of hard times ahead as God brings judgment on Israel because of their rebellion. Amid warnings of impending calamity Isaiah 12 is this amazing nugget of hope:

You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
    for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
    that you might comfort me.

2 “Behold, God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
    and he has become my salvation.”

3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

 4 And you will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
    call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
    proclaim that his name is exalted.

5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
    let this be made known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
    for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

I’m particularly struck by verse 3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

The imagery speaks of refreshment and abundant joyfulness because of God’s salvation.

Stop. Think on that.

God’s salvation in abundance — Pure Joy!

And then notice that abundant joy leads to unstoppable outburst:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
    call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
    proclaim that his name is exalted.

5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
    let this be made known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
    for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Drawing water from the wells of salvation causes

joyful refreshment leading to

spontaneous proclamation of God’s goodness to

the peoples in all the earth.

The Joyfulness Plunge

This Thanksgiving take the Joyfulness Plunge.

1. Draw water from the wells of salvation.

Spend time quietly recalling and giving thanks for God’s amazing love, Jesus’ great sacrifice and the Holy Spirit’s powerful presence.

2. Let joy begin to soak into the troubled places in your heart.

Drink deeply until joy begins to bubble in your heart.

3. Open your mouth

Give thanks, sing praise, shout and proclaim to all who will hear what an amazing God we love and serve.

4. God’s goodness will spontaneously be made known to the peoples of the earth.

If God’s people, in days of trouble, live from the joy of our salvation, no matter who’s watching, then all will hear of God’s goodness.

Take the plunge.


Lorna Johnston is the Diaspora Ministries Leader at Outreach Canada. She leads two national teams--Simply Mobilizing Canada (SMC) and Loving Muslims Together (LMT). She works with teams of diverse and experienced leaders and ministries across Canada to alert and activate the church in Canada to the changing opportunities to engage God's mission right here in Canada.



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