Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her! Rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her. Isaiah 66: 10
The preceding verses to the text tells of the displeasure and judgment of God on those who seek to ignore His call to repentance. There is a word of assurance however for those who hear and are fearful at God's call. Those who love Jerusalem and those who mourn for her are assured that the coming judgment would not be for them. The God who judges will also restore those who look to Him in faith. Sorrows will soon become joy for them because of their love for God, and interest in God's people. They are therefore encouraged to rejoice with Jerusalem. Those that mourn will soon have cause to rejoice and those mourning with them will also rejoice with them. We learn from this that when God blesses his people, all who are connected to God's people will be blessed. We are not to give up then, but stay the course knowing that if we suffer with Christ and sorrow with his church, we shall reign with Him and rejoice with her.
Jerusalem represents the church, called out by God to be His beacon in the world. Unfortunately the world in which we live has displayed little love and much intolerance for the church in these times. As in the beginning of the chapter, there is a negative attitude towards worship, even by some of those who attend regularly. They use the excuse that the temple is incomplete so they cannot worship as they should. We find any possible excuse not to worship as we ought to. What excuse have you used lately to stay away from worship? God would have us know that true worship comes from a heart that is humble, contrite and obedient to His will. In other words friends, worship is not something we do at church, but worship is an act of the heart leading us to unite with persons of like hearts at a prepared place, the church. It is through this medium, the church, that God pours His blessings into the world. Those who love her and mourn with her in harsh times, will undoubtedly rejoice and be happy with her in her moment of restoration. This is indeed a wonderful word of encouragement to God's people not to give up but to stay the course. Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Friends, God has promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. Kingdoms rise and fall, but the church remains. Nations are born soon to die, but the people of God will live forever. You may be discouraged, but you won't be defeated. Take hope in the future glory promised to all who love and trust the Lord God. Let those of us therefore who love the Lord and His bride, the Church, never lose faith, but stay the course.
Till next Tuesday, be blessed!