Reflections: Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 12:1-6
Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 21:1-24; Luke 12:1-12

You will say in that day; I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry at me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid. (Isaiah 12:1-2a)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The opposite of faith is not merely unbelief, but fear. How can we trust someone if we fear him? Fear gives every occasion for doubt and where there is doubt faith is always undermined. When we convince ourselves that God is angry at us we fear Him instead of trusting Him. Instead, we wonder when He is going to pull the rug out from under us.

There are two “fears” in Scripture: servile, which anticipates punishment, and filial, which expresses a love so strong that the Christian lives in honor and reverence toward God.Here we are of course speaking of the former, and not the latter. God wants us to live in the holy fear of faith that holds to Christ and bows down to worship Him.

Isaiah the prophet received God’s revelation and truth: “For though you [God] were angry at me, your anger turned away.” Soak that in. Yes, God was angry. That’s right, “was,” and as you know “was” is past tense. God is no longer angry at you. Think about it: There is only one reason God could be angry at you. That would be on account of your sin. But in the greatest love and mercy the world has ever known, the heavenly Father placed all your sin, all the reasons He could be angry at you, on His Son, Jesus Christ our LORD.

Thus Paul writes in Galatians 3:13: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written – ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'” God only pours out anger, wrath, and punishment on cursed people, people guilty of sin and worthy of death, the death that sin brings. But Jesus took your sin; He became your curse. He died in your place under God’s righteous anger and judgment against sinners. Jesus stood in for all the sinners, including you. Jesus took God’s anger for you. As a result, God’s anger is gone from you, and that is why you are now free to say with Isaiah, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid!” In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

LORD Jesus, by Your Spirit, You give us faith to cast out all fear of confessing the true faith; for we are helpless to save ourselves, and we must trust in You and You alone for our salvation. Keep us faithful to the end, that You will not be ashamed of us when You come in Your glory with Your Father and the holy angels; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch