A school in Harlem, New York, invited a millionaire to speak to a class of sixth-graders. He tried to think of what he could say to inspire the students to stay in school. Putting his notes aside, he said to them, “Stay in school and I’ll help pay the college tuition for each one of you. Suddenly the students changed and for the first time, they had hope. Nearly 90% of that class graduated from high school. Hope from a trustworthy promise-maker can inspire. That is how God gave ancient Israel hope, even as they were about to go into exile. Here is what God told them through the Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 12: “In that [coming] day you will sing; “I will praise you, O Lord! You were angry with me, but not anymore. Now you comfort me. God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation! In that wonderful day you will sing: ‘Thank the Lord! Praise his name!’” Today, when we go through rivers of trouble we can still hope in the Lord, because He has promised never to leave those who belong to Him. He can give us peace in the midst of difficulty as He refines our character. On the other side of the trouble we will be His vessels of honor, people God can use for His highest purposes. So we need not despair when trouble comes.
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