Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Today’s Topic: Chin Up
Today’s Text: Isaiah 35:3-4 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Have you ever heard the expression, “Keep your chin up”? Sure you have. My need to know things sent me to the internet to find out where that expression originated. According to one site, the first use of was in the Pennsylvania newspaper The Evening Democrat, October 1900, under the heading Epigrams Upon the Health-giving Qualities of Mirth:
“Keep your chin up. Don’t take your troubles to bed with you – hang them on a chair with your trousers or drop them in a glass of water with your teeth.”
The unfortunate thing is that I couldn’t find one reference to this idiom that gave any reason why we should be able to keep our chin up, other than the reference to the possible health-giving benefits of mirth. That’s sad. People know the value of a positive attitude, but fail to find the real motivation for one.
As I mentioned yesterday, we are in a section of Isaiah that looks ahead to the promised return of the King and the establishment of His kingdom on the earth. Here is our motivation for releasing worry and fear. Here is the encouragement we need to be strong. God is coming to redeem us and to set the world straight. Peace will reign because the Prince of Peace will be on His throne. That’s sufficient for me to keep my chin up.
Read carefully the rest of this thirty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. You will find great encouragement to press on. You will find the hope you need to be determined to finish the race of life strong. You will discover the joy of knowing that Jesus is coming to save you.
1 The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. 3Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” 5Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. 8And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.