It is easy to let the news, social media, and our past experience determine the way we see our future in today’s world. Our hopes can rise and fall on the general state of our country, workplace, or family. For others of us, we choose to resist any form of hope whatsoever. The very idea of hopes dashed is too painful.
When we look at our situation, we seem to be surrounded by a desert on all sides. It is as if we are in the middle of a hot, barren wasteland where nothing can grow. We are thirsty, but there is no river. And in this place, we are tempted to believe this is the hand we have been dealt. Nothing can change. There is no way forward.
Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Through Isaiah, God is saying he is making way for all creation. He has a plan for salvation and a path of deliverance for all people, and His name is Jesus! He is saying he has come to give us hope and a future! In the middle of the dried up, worn out, broken down— there is a way forward.
Time after time in Scripture, we see God do just this.
After tending sheep for forty years, Moses was stopped in his tracks by a burning bush. He was about to become the leader of the Israelite exodus.
Joseph was thrown into a well, left for dead, sold to the Ishmaelites, falsely accused, and thrown in prison for over two years. He became second in command over all of Egypt and saved his family and the entire country from famine.
Hannah longed for a son but couldn’t have children. Year after year, she wept and poured out her heart before God. She eventually gave birth to Samuel and five other children.
The way may look different than we think or desire, but God’s promise remains.
As we close, it is important to note God does not promise to bring us out of the wilderness but that he will make a way in the wilderness.
Paul says in Romans 5:5, “Hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.”
God has given us the Holy Spirit whose work it is to open our eyes to the overwhelming significance of God’s love for us; a love that has staggering implications for our future, a love that fills us with hope!
We are prone to believe the lie, the false story that things cannot change. But take another look at God’s track record and his promise. For generations, he’s been doing new things; he’s been making ways in wastelands and rivers in deserts. Who are we to believe the promise is not for us? Who are we not to believe he will do it again?