This scripture today is for those that are weary. I love these verses as words of encouragement for those that are tired, stressed, uncertain, questioning where God is… words of hope and restoration. There are at least two levels of fulfillment/application:
- words of encouragement in Isaiah’s day. Isaiah spoke to people in slavery. A message of hope that the day is coming when the people will go home.
- The words are for us today, those that are worried, feeling overwhelmed, tired.
This scripture is for you! Words of hope and expectation. Truth putting stress and sorrow in perspective ~~ on this earth tiredness and pain is temporary. AMEN! The final word of God is always Hope and glory. Internalizing God’s promise of a glorious future is a home coming, living in the presence of God knowing all will be joy and peace.
I remember the time I brought Sally home to Whatcom County before we were married. I’d been in Seattle a long time ~~ bright lights and the business of the U District. I drove the back way home to Sumas: Mt. Baker Highway to Nugent’s Corner, Siper Rd, Hopewell Rd. and came to a stop to turn onto the Telegraph. I paused and looked at the darkness. Quit. No people. No street lights. Awed by the bright stars in the sky. I was home. //// It’s time to go home to God. /// Listen to His promises. Hear the future He has in store for you: READ Is. 55:12-13. God has an amazing future for you. It matters not how tired you feel, stressed, disappointed… God’s future has the power to change the way you live today.
Is. 55:12 begins with “you.” Who is the “you”? Is. 55:1 you are those who come to the water because they are thirsty. Even though they have no money, they "buy" wine and milk without money and without price. Is. 55:6 you is the person who seeks the Lord while he may be found and calls upon him while he is near. Is. 55:7 you is the wicked person who forsakes his way and the unrighteous person who forsakes his thoughts—the people who return to the Lord for mercy and pardon. The "you" of Is. 55 is a person who feels need in his soul, hears the voice of God offering refreshment and exhilaration, seeks the Lord, calls upon him while he is near, drinks from the fountain of life, receives mercy and pardon for sins, and trusts in the triumphant promises of God described in Is. 55:11: "my word . . . will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
The Is. 55 vision of coming home to God is for all who desire God.
The promise of God for a glorious future is a Beautiful and Radical change. Is. 11:6–9 is another place depicting an amazing future: The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
There is coming a day when all pain and bloodshed and hostility and tragedy will be over. Revelation 21:4 describes it like this: "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." Is. 2:4 says. "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
One day, perhaps soon, this age will close, the Son of man will descend with power and great glory (Mark 13:26). The dead in Christ will be raised with glorious new bodies (1 Thes. 4:16).
This promise in the last two verses of Isaiah 55 has to do with you and has tremendous relevance for your future. What Sort of Future Is God Planning for You?
1. You Will Be Joyful. Is. 55:12: "You shall go out in joy." We have limited satisfaction now ~ our sins forgiven, we have a purpose to live for, and the hope of perfection. But there is much grief and sorrow mixed into our joy in this age with all its sin and pain. When this age is over, the age of perfect joy begins. God is planning that you will be happy forever.
2. You Will Have Peace. Is. 55:12: "You shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace." Joy implies all the inner turmoil will be taken away. I believe the promise of peace implies all outer turmoil will be removed. The phrase "be led forth" is important: "You shall be led forth in peace." We have a leader and commander to lead us, who was spoken of in Is. 55:4 READ. Surely this is a reference to Christ, the One who will be victorious and bring the peace we long for. Swords to plowshares indeed!
God is planning an internal joy and an everlasting external peace. No more terrorism or war or abortion or rape or arson or fraud or slander or any fighting. No more drama. No more loneliness. No more depression.
There is more: God’s creation is for our pleasure! There is nothing more beautiful than the silver frost Sally and I came home to Friday morning. Nothing more amazing than Mt. Baker or Mt. Shuksan. What is more glorious than a flower? God makes clear in these verses we will not lose God’s amazing creation in the age to come. He says not only creation will be there, but nature will be there to celebrate your coming. Is. 55:12b-13a: READ.
In the new world the curse is overcome, and nature will not only stop being against you (thorns, briers, drought, floods, earthquakes), nature will be entirely for you.
God is planning for you to be joyful forever. He is planning for you to live in peace forever. And he is planning that good and beautiful things in his creation be preserved for your exhilaration forever and ever. It’s time to go home! Let the promise of your amazing future with God impact the present!
One more amazing truth: The glorious future promised by God is not for us alone: it is also for God! The last part of Is. 55:13 says that all this transformation of God's universe is designed to be a memorial to the Lord. READ. “the Lord’s renown” or His Name! It is fitting God seek a memorial for himself. He is GOD! This is His world. Eternity belongs to Him. We were created by Him. Sustained by Him. Redeemed by Him. It is right that everything remind us of God now and in the age to come. God created us, sin entered the world, and now ever since we chose to distance ourselves from God through sin, God has made a way to bring us completely back to Him. Eternity with God is the fulfillment of God’s design to fully restore His creation.
It is right for God to build himself a memorial. It is right for God to make an everlasting sign of his character that shall endure forever. What is the memorial (the name, the renown) that God has made for himself? Answer: the everlasting joy of his people. Peace forevermore. The memorial is getting rid of thorns and briers, and replacing with cypresses and myrtles, the clapping of trees, the singing of mountains, and the peace and joy of you and me.
May you find encouragement knowing the way God seeks to memorialize his glory is by making you and me joyful forever and ever. His passion is peace. His greatest memorial is for us to be joyful and everlasting peace. Like a mother that only wants her children to find peace, so God’s zeal, his passion is for His people to be joyful, to be at peace…
God’s promise is for a glorious future. God is planning for you to be happy forever. He is planning for you to live in peace forever. He is planning that mountains and hills and trees increase your joy. Begin living the promise today. For those that are tired and weary, broken and struggling, the promise of a glorious future has the power to put all of today’s stress in perspective as a temporary reality that is in the process of going away. God is invested in His promises, for the fulfillment of His promises is His lasting legacy. As one person said, “your joy is God's fame. Your happiness is God's reputation. Your peace is God's memorial” (John Piper, note: thanks to piper for some of the outline for this message).
It’s time to go home! For those that are stressed it is time to live the joy promised by God. For the weary it is time to find peace. Let God’s creation celebrate your joy and peace. God Himself wants nothing more than for us to find satisfaction and contentment. God’s invitation to believe His promise for a glorious future, has the power to transform your world today! Amen.