Open Bible, coffee, fireplace

The Upside Down Kingdom Part 2

The Leprosy Mission produces an internal daily devotional guide, The Bridge, for use in offices, hospitals, clinics and projects around the world. Current and former staff and trustees from many countries contribute to the guide. We will share with you contributions made by one of our team.

Norman Lazonby, a member of our board, has written this series of thoughts on the Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:4

Jesus proclaims that God will comfort those who mourn.

When Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah (61:1-2) in Luke 4:18-19 he announced that the Day of the Lord’s Favour has come; that he had been anointed to bring Good News to the poor, to proclaim that the blind will see and that captives (and the oppressed) will be set free.

Isaiah was writing at the time of the exile in Babylon and from chapter 40 onwards brought a message of comfort, hope and forgiveness to the exiles. After saying in 61:1 that the Lord’s anointed servant would bring comfort to those who mourn, Isaiah goes on to say in 61:3 that they will be given a crown of beauty instead of ashes, a joyous blessing and festive praise instead of despair.

Isaiah paints a beautiful picture of the Day of the Lord’s Favour: a reversal of fortunes and the restoration of those in exile.

Paul says in 2 Cor 1:3 that God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He goes on to say that God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.

The world may tell us to always seek for happiness. But the Bible tells us that there is a time to cry as well as a time to laugh; a time to grieve and a time to dance. We all experience times of sorrow and deep grief. At such times, God can draw close to us and comfort us as we mourn.

Being comforted by God does not mean that he tales all our troubles go away. But we receive strength, encouragement and hope to deal with our troubles. God is with us in our coronavirus world.

Prayer: Heavenly Father and Lord of all comfort, help us to draw close to you in our times of need. Give us the strength we need to get through each day. Restore our spirit when it is broken and provide us with hope for the future.

Question: Have you known the closeness of God during a time of grief?

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4th Aug 2020

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Opinions are the authors own and not necessarily those of The Leprosy Mission Scotland.