BIBLE READING:  Isaiah 35-36
                 Isaiah’s words continue to be those of gloom and doom, due to the wickedness of the nation and the impending punishment to come at the hands of the Babylonians.  God does offer a ray of hope to those that will be able to return afterward.  “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you." (Isaiah 35:3-4).  In the moment of suffering, it is very easy to want to give up and concede all hope, yet that is when we need to be motivated to continue and endure.  Paul offers us a bit of insight on two separate occasions: First to the church at Rome, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18).  Then again to the church at Corinth, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” (2 Corinthians 4.17).  This promise of glory that will be revealed when their suffering is complete should motivate them to be strong and see it through to the end.  The same can be said of us as well.  All of us suffer in various respects, maybe not to the point of captivity, but suffering nonetheless.  God can use that suffering to produce endurance.  The endurance will help us develop character, and character will give us hope and hope will never disappoint (Romans 5.3-5).
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