No matter what we find ourselves afflicted by, God reminds us that we must respond with worship. Even during war, persecution, plagues, and separation, God reminds us that we are not forgotten and belong to the Almighty and called us to worship him with all of our heart. Worship is engrained into our very core, and that circumstance tries to cover up that calling upon our hearts by distracting us with any number of problems in our lives.
The danger we face is the same danger that faced the people of Israel and Judah. When we focus upon the affliction, we tend toward thinking that God has abandoned us or is absent from us, but that is contrary to the truth. God has written our names upon His hands. Jesus reminded the apostles to look upon him and the sacrifice Jesus made. God calls the people to look upon God’s hands and remember that the work of salvation is complete; therefore, we must look at God’s hands and worship, casting aside any afflictions, as they are not worthy of our focus.
Isaiah 49:13-18 (NIV)
13Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
14But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
15“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
16See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
17Your children hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you.18Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.