“The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.” (The Introit for Third Sunday after Epiphany–Ps. 97:1, 10-12)
In the name of Jesus. Amen. When one bad thing after another happens, where’s God? Or worse, have we done something to make God abandon us? Has He turned His back on us?
Into the darkness of our lives shouts the Psalmist, “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice.” In the midst of our doubt and unbelief, the song rings out, “Let the multitude of isles be glad!”
Be glad! God cannot abandon you–He refuses to because of Christ. No matter what the “evidence” around you claims, it must be wrong. He will not turn His back on you, not after the Cross.
Sure, you deserve nothing but to suffer. Repent. Turn from your sins. Stop doing the evil things you do. Then remember that God doesn’t treat you as you as your sins deserve. He’s not treating you as you deserve when things are going well, and He’s not treating you as deserve when things are going badly.
That’s what the Cross says. God treated His Son as you deserve and now He treats you as His son. He does not abandon the souls of His saints. He won’t abandon your soul. He will preserve it. He will deliver you out the hand of the wicked.
In fact, in Christ, you are already delivered from all the evil that can harm you. You are righteous in Christ. You are upright in heart in Him. Already, right now, even on bad days and in suffering.
That’s called faith–Jesus for sure. In good times, Jesus is for sure our Savior. He preserves the souls of His saints. Bad days are the days that you need to hear it most: Jesus is surely your Savior.
Rejoice in the Lord! You are righteous, even in suffering. Now that is a glorious epiphany! In the name of Jesus. Amen.
“The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory. For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.” (Antiphon–Ps. 97:6 ,9)
Daily Lectionary: Joel 1:1-20, Rom. 10:1-21
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.