Isaiah 61: Day 16

"They will rebuild the ancient ruins..." (Isaiah 61:4)

I’ve always struggled when it comes to building things. Trips to Ikea often end with me staring vacantly at a sheet of instructions, hoping a housemate will offer to help and, if I’m lucky, take charge and do it all. But flat-pack furniture is one thing, and the thought of building something for God in a spiritual sense seems way more daunting.

So if you’re anything like me, Isaiah 61:4 is a challenging verse. How could I return something to a state of fullness and beauty? Surely that’s not my calling or ‘skill set’?

To bring some context to this verse, the Israelites had been living in exile for a long time, and Isaiah prophecies they will return and restore the homes of previous generations from a state of ruin to places where God’s Spirit dwells and is poured out on all people. And when we think about where we reside, study and work, I’m sure we can all see where there is brokenness and where people are far from and in need of God.

That means the call to rebuild that which is ruined is just as relevant to us now. God redeems us, and those who He has set free He sets to work. This may feel way beyond what you’re capable of, but the Spirit of the living God works in and through us, meaning we bring light and hope where there is darkness. God saves us from our sins and brings life where there is decay. Through His grace, God uses broken people to fix broken places.

So when we step out in faith our campuses and workplaces will be transformed. They can become places where there is an overflow of God’s power and presence, where His Kingdom advances, revival breaks out and His glory is reflected. 

As a follower of Jesus you have something the rest of the world really needs, and so making this happen isn’t about how gifted or good you are, but about how willing you are to let God use and send you. 

Spend some time asking God to highlight a person you know, or place you are a part of, that is in need of the hope and freedom He brings. Then think of one thing you could do today to show them it in some way.


We invite you to join us as we journey slowly and prayerfully through Isaiah 61 - line by line over forty days. 

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Ed Earnshaw

Student Mission Developer

Ed’s faith came alive at uni and he gets excited when he sees students step out and grow in their faith. He now works with churches to help them welcome and disciple students.

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