But it was the LORD ’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD ’s good plan will prosper in his hands. (Isaiah 53:10 NLT)
With the new year ahead of me, I have been reflecting on the trauma of 2016. The Lord spoke to my heart this morning on several levels from Isaiah 53.
The experience of Messiah reminds me of what he accomplished that I could never do for myself. Yet, at the same time, I am deeply moved to find my own feelings and experience reflected in his — and to realize the price he paid covered them as well.
Verse 10 says it was God’s “good plan” to crush him, but that when his life “is made an offering for sin,” the Lord’s good plan would “prosper in his hands.” Multiplied dozens of my family members were crushed this past year. Some who professed to care for us turned their backs and looked the other way. Most of us held our tongues and never opened our mouths. Now many of us are confronted by our weakness, and pass each day in sorrow.
I’m clinging to Isaiah 53 on behalf of my family today. I am reminding myself that Messiah carried not just our sins to the cross, but also our weakness. He was weighed down by the sorrows we are wrestling with right now. Our crushing doesn’t begin to compare with what he suffered, and our crushing is part of God’s good plan for our lives. His promise is that Messiah will have many descendants, and that it is possible to be satisfied by anguish, once you see all it has accomplished.
Stay strong, my friends. Be of good courage. You have faced difficult challenges before, and you have seen the Lord carry you through. He has always been faithful toward his faithful children. As painful as the year ahead may be, the Lord will use it to advance his Kingdom in you and through you. And on the most difficult days, you can turn to your multiplied dozens of brothers and sisters for encouragement.
Praying the Lord will greatly prosper you in 2017 ….