Go Out in Joy
by Tammy Pressley
For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up, and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up; this will stand as a monument for the Lord, an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed
The coronavirus, civil unrest and violence, impending national debt, strained family relationships, and corruption within political parties have all caused a rising sense of fear and an increasing feeling of vulnerability in people all over the world. So, in the middle of all the unrest, what are God’s people to do?
As Christians, we are called to be joyful, which is not a natural thing for us. Too often we place our joy in our circumstances. When things are trouble-free, we feel great, and it’s easy to trust God. But when life starts getting difficult, we start to doubt that God is good.
Though the book of Isaiah was written to Israel, it is still relevant for believers today because it reveals the character of God. In Isaiah 55, God is speaking to a discouraged people in captivity whose future was uncertain and whose life was hard. These verses show God’s path for moving His people from being insecure to being filled with peace and joy. Instead of being like scrubby desert plants, they will be like stable and useful trees. Isaiah reminds them, and us, that when we start to focus on God instead of the things around us, our feelings of fear, uncertainty, anxiety, or sadness are replaced with God’s peace.
People are seeking joy and peace, and those who don’t know Jesus are still looking for answers on how to be happy. That’s why so many look for the next promotion, biggest house, nicest car, and perfect family. Instead of looking to the world for these things, if God’s people will turn to Him, joy and peace are always the result. In fact, the joy is so great that even the mountains, the hills, and the trees of the field join in.
When we truly have the peace of God, we stop needing answers for everything, we stop having to worry about everything going on in the world and we can simply trust in Him for what is to come. When we seek His heart, we find peace, an inexplicable peace that will guide us through this life and all the trials we face. Isaiah ends verse 13 by saying that God’s joy and peace in our lives will be an “everlasting sign” to those around us. God’s goodness will be on display through as you go out in joy.
Dear Lord, help us to experience the joy and peace that comes from you, not only during this Christmas season, but in each day of our lives.