Walk in Confidence - Isaiah 51:4-8
A Lent Reflection for Saturday, March 4th
By Rebekah Bolin
Lectionary reading: Psalm 121; Isaiah 51:4-8; Luke 7:1-10
Selected passage: Isaiah 51:4-8
Isaiah 51:4-8 NIV
“Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. 5 My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm. 6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
7 “Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have taken my instruction to heart: Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults. 8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations.”
As I near the big 4-0 birthday this year, I have been contemplating on how I want to enter my 40’s by “not caring what people think.” However, I feel this statement is overused, used incorrectly, and/or quite honestly, not realistic. What I believe my heart desires is to be in a place where I respect people’s thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives, but not to let anxiousness and depression creep into my soul if someone says something against me, does not love or respect me in return, or tries to tear me down. In other words, to walk with confidence knowing who I am (a child of God!) and knowing my purpose (to love God and to love others as myself). Anyone or anything that goes against my identity or purpose does not need to take away from my precious peace and joy.
What I love about this passage is that it expresses God’s confidence, especially in times of turbulence. This seems silly to point out (of course God is confident!), however, it is a model for us as we seek to walk in confidence—even when things around us look bleak. God knows who he/she is and God knows what he/she is doing. God knows to bring justice, righteousness, and everlasting salvation. Others will have their opinions, reproaches, and insults, but these do not concern God. And God tells us not to fear these things either. In the end, nothing outside of God will matter because it will be God’s righteousness and salvation that will reign forever.
As we approach Easter and all that it means, may we have a deeper understanding that God sees us for who we are and loves us unconditionally. God is faithful, offers and arm of hope, and desires justice. May this knowledge allow us to walk in confidence and not fear. Even when we are surrounded by injustice, may we not allow anyone to come against our identity and purpose. And may we not care if they do because ultimately God’s righteousness, justice, and salvation will always come through.
Reflect on an area of your life where you desire more confidence and an area where you need God’s assurance. Write this reflection down and then imagine God next to your side, cheering you on. Imagine God whispering, “I got you. Though your circumstances appear grim and lonely, know that you are my child and you have purpose. Do not worry what others think--the only thing that matters are my words to you.” Write down what you would tell God in response to this encouragement.
Thank you for your words of hope. May we be encouraged to walk in confidence, knowing you are with us, for us, and forever loving us. May we be confident that you are next to us, even in times of trouble and distress. May we know in the depths of our souls that our identity is in You, we are your children. May we walk with purpose and not fear reproaches and insults. Thank you for your faithfulness and everlasting love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About the Author
After growing up in Wisconsin, Rebekah graduated from Fuller Seminary and lived in Los Angeles for 15 years. She now finds herself living in the magnificently beautiful state of Hawaii. While in LA, she started and pastored a church in Downtown LA. The church is currently on hold, but the vision is still alive and she hopes to eventually make it back to the city. Until then, she is living it up on the Big Island—exploring and enjoying the scenery and working for a major U.S. airline. In her free time, she loves to travel, hike, play soccer, and laugh around the dinner table with family and friends, and enjoy the adventures of life the Lord takes her on.