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This is the Way: Isaiah 30:21

Devotions for the storms of life

Today’s Bible study from the Standing on Faith in the Storms of Life series is all about how putting our trust in God allows Him to show us the way through our struggles. While I encourage you to grab a Bible and a notebook and pen for the Journaling and Reflection section, you may prefer to just think about the prompts or skip them entirely.

Read: Isaiah 30: 15-22

Key Verse: Isaiah 30:21 – This is the Way

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

What Does It Mean?

The book of Isaiah is filled with examples of the Israelites’ mistakes and God’s unfailing grace and mercy towards them. In verse 15, God identifies the source of strength and confidence for the Israelites – repentance, rest and trust in Him. However, instead of depending on God to get them out of trouble, the Israelites sought to solve their problems their own way – by running away.

This is something that frequently plays out in the lives of Christians worldwide. How quickly do we forget God when trouble strikes and are filled with anxiety about getting out of the mess we’ve found ourselves in? For even the most devout Christian, prayer is often an after-thought, a case of ‘nothing I’ve tried has worked, so I suppose all I can do now is pray.’

Prayer, however, should be our FIRST response. The Lord is clear that our salvation and strength come not from striving and solving, but from repentance, rest, quietness and trust. The word translated as ‘trust’ in v15 is a word that is used only in this verse – nowhere else in the Bible. It means implicit trust and confidence in God rather than reliance on our own strategies or on other people or things.

God knows that we are fallible beings and is full of grace and mercy when we, like the Israelites, fail to put our trust in Him. More than that, He actively seeks to rescue us when we pridefully run in the wrong direction – verses 20 and 21 show us that when we are in deeper trouble than we started out in, God will be in the midst of it with us, and our ‘ears will hear a voice behind [us], saying ‘This is the way; walk in it’ (v21, NIV). Just as Jesus told us that He was the ‘Way, the Truth and the Life’ (John 14:6), here God is promising that there will always be a way out of trouble for us!

Bottom Line on

We like to think we know best, but the truth is that God always knows better. It can be a challenge to always submit to His guidance, and pride is a huge stumbling block, but the lesson we can learn from the Israelites’ experience is that we don’t always know best, and following our own escape plans in times of trouble just leads to more trouble. If we quiet our minds and listen to God’s guiding voice, we will find our strength and the right way through our difficulties, as God tells us, “this is the way; walk in it” (v21, NIV).

Journaling and Reflection

  • Re-read verse 15. If you can, try reading the verse in different Bible translations. What picture comes to mind when you think about ‘repentance and rest’ and ‘quietness and trust’? Do you find it easy or difficult to be in these kinds of states? Why?
  • Verse 18 promises that God will be gracious and compassionate towards us even when we get ourselves into more trouble through pride. How does it make you feel to know this?
  • Is prayer your first defense or a last resort? How can you practically put prayer and trust in God at the forefront of your defenses?

Prayer Pointers

Ask God to reveal to you times when He has shown you a way forward when you thought there was no way. Thank Him for His grace, compassion, and ever-present guidance in your life.

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