Read Isaiah 62:1-5

The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.—Isaiah 62:2 (NRSV)

I got into a lot of trouble in school, and my report cards always included comments about my bad behavior. Because of my actions, those comments described me in ways that were not positive, though they were frequently deserved.

Surprisingly, one teacher thought I was redeemable. She named other traits in her comments and in person that revealed my positive attributes. Naturally, my self-esteem increased. In time, others began to see these positive traits in me as well. This one teacher gave me the confidence to live a new way and cast the old identity aside. This wasn’t merely a change of perspective but a transformation from God.

The prophet Isaiah documented a similar situation with Israel. They had sinned but God was gracious, welcoming them back and providing hope. God gave them a new name. “Forsaken” was changed to “My Delight is in Her (see Isaiah 62:4).

Israel’s righteousness was only possible because God saves and redeems. We are described by God’s grace rather than the labels of our own sinful condition. Just as my teacher gave me a new identity, God also restores us so we can reveal God’s amazing attributes!

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for naming us and calling us your own. Help us to live in a way that brings you glory. Amen.

Thought for the day: My identity as God’s child is stronger than any label others can give me.

—Mike Medeiros, California