Picture yourself here:
You’re tired. You’re apathetic. You’re disconnected. You’ve been running on empty for longer than you can remember and you’re starting to notice that most everyone around you is, too. A slew of disappointments, mixed with a thick portion of resistance and a dash of betrayal, have brought you to the edge of yourself.
It may not be true for you right now, but it could be true for the people you lead day in and day out. It could be true for the cities, the states, the countries you pray for. Division, poverty, isolation—an endless series of headlines that raise death tolls as they raise death tolls. A world on the edge of itself.
And yet, inside you, there’s a tug, a nagging feeling that you may have something to give: a song, a word, an idea that could never have really been yours, built on hours of intimacy with Jesus and longing to be shared. Something that, through the person of Jesus, can rebuild the ruins in others’ hearts.
The nation of Israel found itself in a similar place a few thousand years ago. Destined to be carried away, bound to a foreign emperor, the tiny kingdom found itself sitting in the ashes of its destruction, longing for a new start. Isaiah’s prophecy in the 61st chapter of his book spoke to this place. Through Isaiah, God promised that He’d not only trade Israel’s pain for beauty, but that He’d raise them up to be “Oaks of righteousness”, and a source of wealth and safety for other nations.
The next ten days will look at what it means to “rebuild” lives, cities, and nations as a worshiper and leader. As you begin this study, start by asking God to place certain people and situations on your heart, and to give you a perspective of hope for the future.