Shake Off the Gloom

It was a very dark period in the history of the children of Israel. Despite warning after warning, they had hard-headedly developed a longstanding habit of idolatry and rebellion. This led to God sending various nations against the children of Israel intended to shake their faith in their false gods and erroneous, deceptive beliefs.

God’s intent was that the children of Israel would notice how little their false gods could protect them. He wanted them to repent of their sins and be renewed in their trust of his promises. Most of all, he wanted them to turn around, and return to him.

God’s discipline led to periods of gloom and despair for the children of Israel. This teaches us that God does not always keep us from trouble and sorrow — in fact, sometimes they are part of his discipline, his attempt to get us to think!

If we have rejected God over and over again, is there not some point where he is going to try and get us to connect the dots? Will a loving God not demonstrate for us where our sinful choices will eventually lead us?

He does that to shake things up and lead us back to him. He does that to get us to realize the choices we are making are leading to failure, not success.

We may sometimes fear that our period of gloom and distress will never end. We begin to believe that we are doomed to failure, trouble and sorrow. But God assures us that this is not his goal. His goal is to get us back into the light.

And that goal becomes clear when we remember that our Father sent us Jesus, his one and only Son, to make it possible for us to be forgiven, restored, and reunited with him. Jesus is our true light. You might recall that Jesus made this claim about himself: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8;12, NIV).

If you’re going through a period of distress right now, it may be that God is trying to teach you something. Step back, look carefully at what the Bible teaches about God’s holy will for your life, and ask yourself, “What changes is God asking me to make? Do I need to return and place my faith in Jesus? Is it time for me come back and walk in the light of his truth and love?”

Then remember that God does not intend to leave you in distress forever. So, take your sins to Jesus. In him, you are forgiven. You are free. Stand up and walk into the light of Jesus’ love for you. Shake off the gloom and experience the peace that the Prince of Peace has for you!

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

“The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned…

… For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:1-2, 6, NIV).

Lord, grant me a humble heart. Help me to willingly and regularly examine myself — my heart, my mind, my words and my actions, too — to see where there are changes that need to be made. Where there is gloom and distress, direct my eyes to your Son, Jesus. He is the true light. He is my forgiveness, my peace, and my joy. He is the One and Only who can help me turn my life around — with eternal benefits!

Our Bible reading for Saturday, September 5, is Isaiah 8:11 – 10:19, 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 and Proverbs 21:27 – 22:6.

Header image based on "Gloom Clouds" by Joel, CC By-SA 2.0

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pastorjeffgunn

I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

2 thoughts on “Shake Off the Gloom”

  1. Our Bible reading for Saturday, September 5, is Isaiah 8:11 – 10:19, 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 and Proverbs 21:27 – 22:6.

    “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Heavenly Father, what a wonderful thing you did by giving us your Son Jesus. He is our king and Savior. In Jesus alone all things on this earth are made in sight. It is the hope and peace that anyone who calls upon you can call the truth. From thousands of years before Jesus walked the earth your prophets told of his coming. Many, many years before that you promised us a way to defeat sin. As always Father your words are true. Once again by faith we know you have done it all.

    ~Paul Montenieri

    Like

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