A Simple Remedy for 2020
Is anyone out there a little anxious, a little weary, a little ready for some joy? 2020 is coming to a close, and many are glad to see this year go. However, the turning of a calendar will not, unfortunately, generate magical happiness. Hate to break it to you.
But there is something that can.
Well, maybe not magical, instantaneous happiness, but real, lasting joy.
You may think you know the answer. But just in case you don’t, take a look at Isaiah’s words and the best remedy for anxiety, sadness, or depression that ever existed.
A Remedy for the Blues
Isaiah says to the anxious, the weary: "Take courage, fear not. Behold, Your God will come!" (35:4). But the part I want to focus on is the phrase, "behold, your God." This is the remedy, plain and simple, to all our woes. Let’s break it down. There is much in these three words.
It is an act of seeing, which blinded eyes cannot do, thus it is an act prescriptive of grace that occurs only among the redeemed. So, the word “behold” is both reminder and command. We have been given eyes to see, so see! Look! Behold!
Our eyes do not rove, forever seeking the Lord. We seek and we find; we look and we behold! Furthermore, the word “behold” requires we redirect our eyes from what they may be currently distracted by—the worries and woes that have weighed us down.
This is our willful obedience: turning our gaze upon Him because He is more important and more deserving than whatever worries us. This isn’t always easy, but it is something we’re commanded to do. And the payoff is better than we could imagine.
The Astonishing Thing About God
Second, the most astonishing word: your.
This majestic, holy God is ours. He’s not a singular possession of but one person (though this is also true, in a sense), but the people-picking God of Israel, the nation-maker and covenant-creator. He is a God of intimate and eternal relationships. He has made provisions for a sinful people to come be “a people for His own possession.”
He desires a relationship with us, and He makes it possible. He says to His chosen people, “I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God” (Ex. 6:7). He is our God because we are His.
This word “your” speaks to all His covenant promises and provisions. No matter what’s going on around us, we, like the prophet Habakkuk, can say confidently, yet with trembling, “O Lord, my God, my Holy One” (Hab. 1:12). Isn’t that incredible?
And, too, the word “your” indeed speaks of the individual relationship between a man redeemed and His redeemer. “Your” God is not just the God of a nation, but the God who deals intimately and directly with His own.
Even in Old Testament times, this God of Israel dwelt among His people and revealed His power as He cared for His own on an individual level (feeding them in the wilderness, promising a Savior, accepting sacrifices for sin). After Christ’s death, He indwells His people personally, through His Spirit. There is nothing closer to us or more personal than that.
Though God is holy and thus completely other than we are, He dwells with and in His people. The word “your” is a crucial reminder of the relationship that on the surface seems so contradictory or even impossible but is true.
The Thing that Changes Everything
Then there is the word “God.”
The object we are gazing at is revealed. And this is when our worries and woes fall away. Our gaze moves in obedience as we remember His grace, humbled and amazed by our relationship to this great God. When our gaze lands on Him, all else fades away as insignificant and dull.
Let this simple text from scripture encourage you today. Turn your eyes to the God of heaven, the Father of Lights, the Almighty, the sender of our Savior. He is all we need, and He is the most beautiful thing to behold. Look for Him, look to Him, look on Him, always.
Lord, let me behold my God all my days! I pray that Your beauty would constantly captivate me, as I obediently turn my eyes away from my worries and my idols to You, my King and my Creator. “In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).
If you enjoyed this post today, let me know in the comments so I’ll know to do more posts like this. Consider sharing this on social media or using this topic as a conversation starter next time you want to talk to someone about the Lord or offer them biblical encouragement. We all could use a little encouragement this year!