African Americans sometimes shout during their worship services. Scholars say that while shouting likely has roots in African culture, in America, it is often a way to cope with injustice and anticipate a day of fairer treatment. Those who shout are not unlike ancient Israelites who looked beyond past suffering to God’s deliverance. Isaiah helped his people anticipate that future day of gladness. After warning them of certain judgment to come, he looked beyond that to encourage them. He wrote in Isaiah chapter 12, “In that day you will sing, ‘I will praise you, O LORD! You were angry with me, but not anymore. Now you comfort me. See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. … In that wonderful day, you will sing: ‘Thank the LORD! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done’” (vv. 1–2, 4).Isaiah could comfort ancient Israel based on the reliable promises of God. And today, despite our struggles, we have God’s sure Word. If our faith rests in Him and in His Son who has reconciled us to God by His atoning sacrifice, one day we will say with all of God’s redeemed people, “The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad.”
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