Day 1 of 14

Hope Rising Scripture Journey


Isaiah 40:6-8

The Word of God Stands Forever

6A voice says, “Cry!”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All flesh is grass,

and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.

7The grass withers, the flower fades

when the breath of the Lord blows on it;

surely the people are grass.

8The grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God will stand forever.

DAY 1: WHAT SHALL I CRY?

READ:

Isaiah 40:6-8

REFLECT:

The documentary film Hope Rising: Stories of Trauma and Healing uses the first half of Isaiah 40:6 to frame its stories of pain and restoration. The writer of Isaiah asks, “What shall I cry?” The answer compares people to grass and wild flowers. Wild flowers are frail. They wither and die. They can’t stand up against the wind. We are the same way, vulnerable and unreliable.

In Isaiah chapter 40, the speaker goes on to ask more questions: To whom will we compare God? With nations? With idols? With the universe? Everything we consider solid and stable can pass away in a moment—everything, that is, except the enduring Word of God. It is the one thing we can count on. And that Word tells us that God is a God of comfort, a gentle shepherd who takes us into his arms and holds us close to his heart (v. 1, 11).

The speaker then asks, “Why do you say … ‘My way is hidden from the LORD?’” (v. 27)/ Nothing is hidden from him. He is in control, enduring, greater than everything. Even if problems are huge and last a long time, he will not grow weary (v. 28). And he promises to give us strength and power if we continue to hope in him (29–31).

God also sees the suffering of the millions of people who experience ongoing severe trauma—from the war zones of eastern Congo to urban centers in North America. We may choose not to see, but God sees. We may grow weary and lack the power to respond, but God never grows weary and he’s never short on power.

Even when nothing else is reliable, when promises made by our families, churches, communities, and governments prove hollow, God promises to uphold his Word. All who are crushed or discarded, all whose natural beauty is withering, can rely on it. He calls and sends out messengers to carry his Good News to those in need of rescue (see v. 9–11).

RESPOND:

Has anything you counted on as solid and stable ever been taken from you? How did you feel? Imagine God as a gentle shepherd holding you close to his heart as you suffered. Imagine God seeing and comforting people from around the world who are suffering from extreme trauma. Read on in Isaiah 40 to discover more about God’s reliable good news.