Isaiah 51:6 “But my salvation will last forever,
my righteousness will never fail.”
After pointing out the impermanence of everything material, the Lord here contrasts that with His salvation. We tend to think of salvation on strictly temporal terms, all the way down to saving a piece of candy to eat later, when the Lord’s salvation is for eternity. We don’t have the mental capacity to really grasp what that means, even though we try. However, God can and sometimes does reveal at least a glimpse of it to us, which is why Jim Elliot could very wisely say, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” He was martyred not long after that, but nothing could take away the salvation he had already received by faith. We can barely see to the end of our nose, much less past it, and so define “salvation” in extremely limited terms. That’s why we have to accept God’s salvation by faith: our minds can’t really grasp it. Those who insist on “understanding everything” cut themselves off from all but the slightest sliver of God’s blessings. God wants us to trust Him so that we can receive all that He has planned for us. After all, it will outlast the material universe!
This certainly applies to me. By human testing I have a high IQ, and I have always liked to learn and know things. That led to a crippling level of pride, until the Lord in His mercy essentially knocked me over the head to get my attention. I have always had an active imagination as well, and got hooked on science fiction when I was in middle school, but as Paul said, God’s plans are beyond our capacity to imagine, (Ephesians 3:20) and His peace is deeper than we can understand. (Philippians 4:7) It’s been several years now since He told me personally to rest, relax, and rejoice. Sometimes my mind and imagination fight against that! This past month has been a case in point, with my wife in the hospital. I know that God is bringing good things out of this experience, but my flesh rebels big time. I don’t want to accept that this is part of God’s best for us, because my perception is limited to the temporal. I need to fix my heart and my expectations on God’s eternal salvation, His absolutely indestructible righteousness, and not be dragged down by assorted short-term things.
Father, thank You for Your grace and mercy, even in things that are unpleasant in the moment. I’ve been quoting it a lot recently, but help me genuinely remember that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) That “eternal glory” is exactly what You were talking about to Isaiah. I pray that Cathy would have that same revelation, so that she too will be able to rest, relax, and rejoice in You today, whatever is going on with her body, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!