Rivers in the wasteland

Let us worship the God who deserves to be praised for His goodness during both the blessings and hardships of our lives.

Sometimes we find ourselves wandering. We may be in the wilderness or a wasteland, unsure of God’s plan and outside of our comfort zones. But when we are wandering, do we remember God’s promise to deliver us and provide strength during the trial?

God has delivered

Due to the sin and rebellion against God of the people of Jerusalem, Babylon destroyed the city and exiled the people within it as slaves. This led to generations of Israelites being born in exile. This may seem harsh and unfair, but it was their punishment for sinning against God.

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘Because of you, I will send an army to Babylon and bring all of them as fugitives’” (Isa. 43:14).

We have assurance of the character of God, from who He says He is and what He has done. We see scattered throughout Scripture God’s fulfillment of His promises to His people to deliver and save them, no matter their circumstance of affliction or sin. Looking at the past reminds us of the work and mercy God has accomplished on our behalf.

Even after God redeemed the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, He continued to provide for their needs while they were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, eventually leading to their arrival at the Promised Land. There is no rebellion too great or sin or time spent wandering from Christ that could cause God to turn His back on us. He has promised to deliver His children and to take care of them, and He will, no matter the wilderness or wasteland in which we find ourselves.

God’s promise to deliver us

“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isa. 43:19).

This verse has been the background on my phone for all of college. On days when I need a reminder of God’s promise to deliver me and of His character, this verse is a comfort. We have triumphing hope that God is working at all times.

It can be easy to allow current circumstances to cloud your view on God’s promises. However, it is important to remember that God cannot be less good to you on a mundane Monday than He was on the Friday afternoon when Christ hung on a cross for us all. 

So when life does not match my definition of “good” during my season of wandering, I have confidence God is working all things together for good because it is who He is (Rom. 8:28). When I am assured of this fact, I can face my circumstances because I can stand in confidence and strength in the Lord, not in myself.

There is not a single moment where God is not loving and merciful to us. When I cannot see the goodness in my situation, I remember to shift my focus not on what the world may see but to what God sees, knowing He is at work and has a purpose for every moment I find myself in. I know the temporary suffering is bearable because He has promised to deliver us and to provide rivers in the wilderness. I am not alone through the wandering and struggles of this earthly life.

Let us worship the God who deserves to be praised for His goodness during both the blessings and hardships of our lives.

“I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people, the people whom I formed for Myself that they might declare My praise” (Isa. 43:20-21).


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