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     Those the LORD has rescued 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. “I, even I, am he who comforts you.” Isa. 51:11-12 
     Dear heavenly Father, words cannot begin to measure my gratitude for the hope these promises bring today. This Scriptures lands on my heart like a cascading waterfall of fresh mercy and invigorating grace. This is me—my story. I’m one of rescued ones of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke.
    As this day begins, it’s liberating to affirm, with certainty, that I’ve already been ransomed and redeemed—declared righteous in your sight, delighted in, wanted, desired. I was bought out of sin, condemnation, and death, and brought into your eternal embrace. Hallelujah, many times over!
     Thankfully, Father, I’m no longer my own. I’m yours, and you love me because you love me, period. Nothing can intensify or diminish the affection you have for me, or any of your children. All captivities—the ones I’ve generated and those brought upon me by others—all of them are broken in Jesus. No imprisonment, no bondage, no stronghold will keep your children from arriving safely home in the New Jerusalem.
     Lord Jesus, you are my Jubilee, my eternal year of the Lord’s favor. My boast is bold because your work is finished. I cry “Abba, Father,” because you cried, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” The saints in heaven are more happy than I am, but they’re not more secure—all because of what you have accomplished on our behalf. You are so generous and grace-full, tender and tenacious, praise-worthy and heart-endearing.
     Father, I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like on the Day when we will be crowned with everlasting joy. What will it sound like when my voice blends in with the entire family of God as we enter the New Jerusalem together? I know what it feels like to be overtaken by guilt and shame, but what will it be like to be overtaken by gladness and joy? Bring on that blessed Day when all sorrow and sighing will flee away forever!
     You are the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. Forgive me for seeking my comfort from anyone or anything else. May the comfort I find in the gospel today overflow to those around me. So very Amen I pray in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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