As a Kentucky basketball fan, last season was rough (if you can’t stomach any sports talk, feel free to skip to the next paragraph). Nothing was going right on the court, and loss piled upon loss, with college basketball’s all-time winningest program stumbling to a record of 9 wins and 16 losses. What went wrong? I could write longer on that question than any of you want to read, so allow me to summarize–everything. Everything went wrong, one problem leading seamlessly to the next. It wasn’t a fun time to be a Kentucky fan, but the good news is that this season has brought quite a turnaround. As I write this devotional, the Wildcats are ranked fifth in the nation. It is a much better time to be a Kentucky fan today than it was this time a year ago. That’s the beauty of a great turnaround. The contrast of this season against the backdrop of last season makes the joy even greater.
In Isaiah 6 and then 9:1-7, we read of a turnaround far greater than anything that happens on a basketball court. Isaiah 6 ends with a prophecy of destruction. What would go wrong? Well, everything. Spiritually speaking, a refusal to hear would lead to a lack of understanding and a refusal to see to the loss of sight. And this dulling of spiritual senses would inevitably turn the promised land into a wasteland. Isaiah 9 even ends with more bad news, but sandwiched in between is the end of the story. Isaiah 9 opens with the prophecy of a great turnaround, “But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish.” There are promises of light where there is darkness, an increasing joy to drive out the gloom, peace and justice to replace war and oppression. That’s where we read of One who is everlasting and whose reign of peace is ever increasing from this time forth and forevermore.
How have you seen God bring about a great turnaround in your life? Or the life of someone you know? As you remember what God has done, let your joy increase before Him. Give thanks for what He has done.