How could the nation of Judah or any individual for that matter go from suffering and shame due to rebellion to such a glorious and gracious life? Only one answer will suffice, and His name is Jesus. He will bring beauty from ashes and victory from the jaws of defeat. He will set the captives and the prisoners free all by His own power and might. If you currently have a personal relationship with Jesus, then you already know about the freedom that comes only through Him. You understand the difference that He has made in your marriage and in your relationship with your children. You have seen the difference Jesus makes. Judah completely forgot the goodness of the Lord and turned to gods of rock and wood that had no power or ability to bless as Yahweh does. He alone is our God! Could we be accused of doing the same? The world looks so enticing and its ideology seems to make sense to our human minds. We experience no kickback when we follow the culture unlike when we follow Jesus. Is it worth it? Would I be willing to take some persecution to experience what Isaiah writes about in this chapter? In my mind, that is not even a question; Jesus is more than worth persecution or any other struggle I might face by serving Him. The future He offers is far beyond anything this world can offer; therefore, my well-being is already secure in Christ. I do not have to worry about what I might face here, because He is preparing my home for eternity. Are you willing to take that kind of stand? We enjoy great religious freedom at this juncture in history, but will it always be this way? If not, will it change anything in your walk with Him?

Help me, Lord, to faithfully walk with You even when it is painful and difficult. Help me to enjoy the incredible blessings that come from a growing relationship with You!