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Broadly speaking, a visionary leader is someone who can envision the future. Such leaders are especially desirable when conditions seem hopeless. We all admire Dr. Martin Luther King’s visionary speech, “I have a dream.” But the greatest visionary of all is none other than God Himself. When God’s ancient people were in exile, feeling dejected, God sent a message to encourage them. We read in Isaiah 51 where God told them that even though things looked bleak now, better days were coming. God promised to let them go home. But God promised to do more than that. He looked into the distant future when their Messiah would restore the entire earth. God said, “My mercy and justice are coming soon. My salvation is on the way. My strong arm will bring justice to the nations. All distant lands will look to me and wait in hope for my powerful arm. My righteous rule will never end!” The Messiah arrived and was rejected and crucified. But He rose again and ascended to heaven. Today, He offers eternal joy and gladness to all who accept Him as their Savior. One day He will return and restore the earth to what it was like in the Garden of Eden. While He is away, He counts on His followers to share the Good News of God’s forgiveness; to work for justice and righteousness in the earth; and to show His compassion toward the poor and suffering.

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