July 20, 2017 • Life for Leaders
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
It’s harder and harder to trust these days. Partly, this is due to the epidemic of cynicism that plagues our society. But, our cynicism comes as the institutions and individuals we once counted on turn out to be untrustworthy. Yet, even in our cynical age, there is something in us that looks, even yearns for something truly reliable, something that we can truly count on.
Isaiah 40:8 identifies this “something.” It is the “word of our God,” that which “endures forever.” The divine word contrasts with the transitory character of nature. In the right season and especially after a rain, grass looks brilliantly green. But in a time of drought or during winter, grass withers, turning straw-like and apparently lifeless. The same is true of flowers. They may look gorgeous, but before long they fall to the ground and lose their colorful beauty.
The word of God is not like this. It endures. God’s proclamations can be trusted. His promises are secure. What God says, he will do. Thus we can put our trust in God’s word, confident that it will always be there to guide every facet of our lives.
In times of financial uncertainty, we can see our investments withering. The good health of our loved ones, and even of ourselves, will ultimately fade. Trusted institutions will falter or fail. That which we most love in this world won’t last, no matter how good it might be. Yet God will always be there for us. His word will never let us down. God’s word is something we can really count on.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
How have you recently experienced the withering and fading of life?
Are you tempted to put your confidence in things that don’t last?
What helps you to trust God’s word as revealed in Scripture?
Gracious God, today we’re reminded about the transitory nature of life. We see it in the natural world around us. We feel it in our own bodies. And we read it in Scripture. The things of this world won’t last, but you will. And your word will.
O Lord, help us to enjoy the rich blessings of this life, including the greenness of the grass and the brightness of the flowers. But may we not put our confidence in that which will not last. Help us to know your word, to meditate upon it, and to trust it. Thank you for the simple truth that your word stands forever. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Servant at Work (Isaiah 40ff.)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.