"Finding Joy at the Corners of Hope and Peace," Isaiah 35: 1-10; Pastor Richard Strode
Sometimes we suffer from life's disadvantaging circumstances (impoverished neighborhood, racial disparities, socio-economic inequities, etc.) or our bad life decisions (health, financial, relationships, etc.) which leaves us in a "wilderness" with seemingly no way out. This "wilderness" is a place where we are emotionally, financially or physically isolated from any support. It is a depressing and hopeless situation to live through. There is a lesson that the Israelites learned while living in exile in the wilderness which we can apply to our lives when we find ourselves in the "wilderness." God saved them and our faith in God's promises to save us assures us that God is bigger than our circumstances. God can change our "wilderness experience" into a time of joyfulness. When you experience that your hope in God's promises, which does not disappoint,is the best decision you ever made, you gain a peace of mind which the world will likely misunderstand. We develop a "Joyful" attitude because our perspective shifts to the eternal and looks forward to the Lord's return for us.