If you could have one miracle this Christmas, what would it be? Talk to the Lord about it.
Read Zephaniah 3:14–20
14 Sing, Daughter Zion;
shout aloud, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
15 The Lord has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
16 On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
17 The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
18 “I will remove from you
all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals,
which is a burden and reproach for you.
19 At that time I will deal
with all who oppressed you.
I will rescue the lame;
I will gather the exiles.
I will give them praise and honor
in every land where they have suffered shame.
20 At that time I will gather you;
at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honor and praise
among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes
before your very eyes,”
says the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Rom. 8:24b-25).
What a contrast to the hopelessness and despair of the pronouncements with which Zephaniah began. We have gone from hopelessness, to the possibility of salvation, to ultimate certainty. God’s plan is always to rescue and restore those who trust in him. Maybe in this life it won’t always happen in the ways we want, but when Christ returns we will be gathered from wherever we are and he will bring us home (20). We will no longer be punished (15) or oppressed (19).
Perhaps this has been a hard year for you. Perhaps you have been through sorrow and suffering, trials and temptations. Why not pause and read the passage again? Even in the darkest times, the Lord has been with you. Even now he is singing over you as his beloved child (17). Maybe God has already restored your fortunes (20), or maybe you are still waiting for a miracle.
Though we hope and pray for restoration this side of eternity, we live in a broken world where oppression and shame take many forms. Whether or not we receive our miracle in this life, we can be sure that God is faithful, God is good and God will one day bring about our deliverance. We have good reason to celebrate!
Even in the trials or daily grind, what can you celebrate today? Make a point to remind yourself to celebrate throughout your day.
Sing, shout aloud, be glad and rejoice (14)! Praise God for all that he has done for you and the future he has planned for you.