Have you ever said these words?

But my work all seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose at all.

Although I have to admit to having these kinds of thoughts from time to time, these are not my words. They come from the lips of the prophet Isaiah about Israel (Is. 49:4).  God had told him that Israel would bring Him glory, but Isaiah wasn’t very hopeful. Nevertheless, Isaiah declared, “Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”

God confirmed Isaiah’s response. He said, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to Me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (49:6).

These verses tell me several things about my relationship with God.

  • His assessment of my service for Him is different than my assessment. In other words, His thoughts are not my thoughts (Is. 55:8).
  • God has bigger plans, bigger than I can imagine – not for my sake but to bring His salvation to places and in ways I never thought possible.

As we say googbye to 2015, I pray we look back without focusing on our mistakes, our shortcomings, or our unrealized dreams. Instead, may we focus on God’s faithfulness and all that He has done for us. Then, with His assurance, we move forward into 2016. We are His light in this dark world.