Do you remember a gift that you received as a child that made you really excited? Do you remember the joy that you experienced when you opened it? As we read through this passage from Isaiah, the theme of joy bursts out. The prophet writes about the transformation God is going to bring to his people. As a child responds to receiving a long-desired gift, so we too respond with joy when we encounter God transforming our places of struggle.
GOD WITH US: JOYMessage by Josh Mutter – December 13, 2020
Isaiah 35 NLT
Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
the splendor of our God.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”
And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
and unplug the ears of the deaf.
The lame will leap like a deer,
and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
and streams will water the wasteland.
The parched ground will become a pool,
and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.
Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish
where desert jackals once lived.
And a great road will go through that once deserted land.
It will be named the Highway of Holiness.
Evil-minded people will never travel on it.
It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;
fools will never walk there.
Lions will not lurk along its course,
nor any other ferocious beasts.
There will be no other dangers.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
They will enter Jerusalem singing,
crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
About Josh Mutter: Josh Mutter is the Lead Pastor at Westheights Community Church. Josh is married to Michelle and they have two very busy little boys named Silas & Isaac. Josh enjoys long walks on the beach and smooth jazz – well, not really. But he does enjoy time with his family, spending time outdoors, watching baseball, sipping coffee and reading a good book.