“For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12, NRSV).
Isaiah 55 is full of prophecies of the future glory for God’s people and an invitation to those who are thirsty to come, seek the Lord. Then come the astounding verses, “‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts’” (55:8–9).
Following those verses, Isaiah talks about how God’s Word is like rain and snow watering and nourishing the earth. His Word will always accomplish what He desires (55:10–11).
Then finally, these verses about God’s people going out in joy and being led forth in peace, with all of nature rejoicing.
It seems that the context reveals that we “go out in joy” only after we have sought the Lord, come to Him with our thirst, trusted Him to do things His way, and gotten soaked in His Word. When we do these, we will go out in joy—out of slavery to sin and into freedom, out of slavery to evil desires and into purity, out of slavery to our own self-focus and best-laid plans into a willingness to let God lead.
We can take that to the bank because this “will be an everlasting sign of his power and love” (55:13).
The Lord has set you free. He has great plans for your life—plans that are beyond anything you could imagine. He gave you His Word, which He promises will accomplish what He desires.
You want freedom and joy? Seek the Lord. Come thirsty. Trust Him. Soak up His Word. Know that His plans and thoughts far beyond (and better) than anything you can imagine.
Walk into your world today trusting in God’s great plans for you. And if you listen real close, you just might hear the trees clapping their hands!
Prayer: In Your Word, You promise freedom, Lord. Freedom from sin and freedom from strongholds. I seek Your face, I come thirsty, I dive deeply into Your Word, I trust You that Your plans for me are beyond my understanding and better than anything I could plan. Amen.