Here’s a problem I constantly encounter. There are some days when I just feel that my repeated failures are enough to make me want to stop trying to improve my character. I know I’m not alone because I have heard about some people who will choose not to follow God at all, saying, “God could never forgive my sins.”
This is why I was glad to stumble upon Isaiah 49. Come look for yourself.
When you read the first three verses, you’ll notice 1) that God addresses His servant—Israel (49:3), and 2) that Israel is aware of their God-given mission (49:1).
Next, you’ll see that Israel was fully aware of their past failures and mistakes (49:4a).
However, in spite of these mess-ups, God addresses Israel (49:5-8) to fulfill their mission:
- To bring Jacob back to Him / to bring Israel back to Him (49:5)
- To restore the preserved ones of Israel (49:6)
- To be a light to the nations (49:6)
- To bring salvation to the end of the earth (49:6)
- To be a covenant of the people (49:8)
- To restore the land (49:8)
- To make them inherit the desolate heritages (49:8)
God ignores Israel’s fixation on their own failure. In fact, He says, “Shout for joy … For the Lord has comforted His people …” (49:13). How?
- He has not forgotten His servant (49:15b)
- He has inscribed His servants on the palms of His hands (49:16) [*Note: Does not say, “He has inscribed the names of His servants on the palm of His hand]
Consider a simple switch in one of two ways:
- If you are not a Christian, and fear following God because you feel inadequate, no longer doubt. He helps you (49:8).
- If you are a Christian, and fear making the same mistakes over and over again, no longer doubt. He helps you (49:8).