Truth of the Week
“Then you will know that I am the LORD. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” (Isaiah 49:23b, NIV)
You will know that I am the LORD; the one who hopes in me won’t … be ashamed . (CEB) … be sorry. (CJB) … be confounded. (RHE) … ever regret it.
It is interesting to compare translations for this verse and then contextualize it — the vast majority of translations that I reviewed were different from the NIV. For example, much like the CEB translation, the others used some form of ashamed/shame in place of disappointed. One used the term “sorry,” and another “confounded,” while yet another, ended in “won’t ever regret it.” In context, either ashamed or confounded is probably more descriptive for the target audience of that time — as this Book of Comfort was written at a time of oppression prior to the restoration of Israel and the re-population of Zion.
While the definition of disappointment is “unhappy or dissatisfied” with an outcome, the definition of ashamed is “feeling shame, guilt, or disgrace; feeling inferior or unworthy” as a result of an outcome. Sorry and regret are synonymous — and closely aligned with disappointed. Confounded implies confusion, bewilderment, annoyance and irritation.
The terms disappointed, sorry, and regret, seem less harsh than ashamed or confounded — none of which is a good outcome.
Temporal Challenges and Trust
Regardless of the translation — I need the encouragement — and the promise is the same — once you place your hopes in Him, the outcome will be favorable. In this case, by seeking to know Him, and understanding what he represents, the hope that I have will not be disappointed, or shamed, or confounded!
A job search is a stressful prospect under the best of circumstances. When you are the primary breadwinner operating daily the best way you know how in a highly uncertain, toxic work environment and face the threat of losing this job before you find another, it is daunting. If you combine this with other major negative life events, such as the loss of a loved one, a major life-threatening illness of and care-giving for a spouse, it becomes overwhelming. Once you factor in all of the doubt and uncertainty that you carry as baggage from childhood — it’s time toss your pride, reassess your values, and seek intervention.
With new-found hope, the following verses stood out to me in response to my current situation.
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31, NIV)
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. (Psalms 40:1-3, NIV)
Inspiration/Affirmation and My Hope in Him
My grandmother always said that “you should seek guidance and intervention from the one(s) who know you best, and know what’s best for you.” (I thought she meant herself, yet spiritual as she was, I finally know that she meant Him.)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13, NIV)
So I seek guidance and intervention from Him, with all of my heart — the only one who REALLY knows me and what’s best for me, my hope is that I am able to step back, get rid of the baggage, and build a strong enough relationship with God through reflection and prayer that I am able to persevere through all such trials, and let his plan for me unfold as it must.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Lord, please hear me as I call from my heart, let me place my trust in You. With faith, let me remember that your plan is in motion, and that You will lift me from the pit, and give me a new song — because I cannot be disappointed by placing my hope in you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN