Desolate Places – Isaiah 49:23

“Then you will know that I am the LORD;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”

Isaiah 49:23b

This statement is made at a time when the Lord’s abandonment seems clear. The grief and emptiness of His people feel unending. The outlook of Israel is seen in verse 14: “But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.’”

Such a desperate statement. So void of hope and light. But the Lord responds with beautiful, steady assurance that His people are not forgotten. Even if their own mothers forget them, He never will. He has engraved them on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:15-16).

He then begins to unfold a picture of what He is preparing to do. The desolate places that seem to define their lives will not remain as they are. Those circumstances which threaten to destroy them will instead serve as jewels adorning them in the glory of their Lord’s faithfulness. What appears to be endless barrenness will overflow as the Lord restores what was lost.

When our future looks to be a continuation of the barrenness of our present, discouragement and despair can quickly take root. But our God acts for us. He restores. He is at work in your midst, even when you can’t see Him. He is preparing the way for His glory and goodness and power to be displayed more brilliantly than you can imagine. “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4).

Our God wants us to know that He is faithful. He longs for us to trust Him, to look to Him, to wait on Him, so that we can experience the wonder of how He comes through for His own. Being aware of the concept of His faithfulness is very different from seeing it play out in our lives in ways that go beyond what we thought possible. So let us seek to know Him and trust Him in all things. Let us cling to the hope we have in Christ, and wait expectantly for what God will do in our impossible situations. He knows the plans He has for you. They are plans filled with His goodness and steadfast love. There is hope for your future. Look to our God who is mighty to save, and He will show Himself faithful.

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