Our Ways or God’s Ways

Good morning. How are you guys doing? Good. Good. Hey, if you have your Bibles, go ahead and grab them. Turn to Isaiah 55. We’re going to be in this text pretty much all day. So we’re going to look at it from verse 1 through verse 13, and then we’re going to ask the […]

Topic : the-gospel | Scripture: Isaiah55

Transcript | Audio


Good morning. How are you guys doing? Good. Good. Hey, if you have your Bibles, go ahead and grab them. Turn to Isaiah 55. We’re going to be in this text pretty much all day. So we’re going to look at it from verse 1 through verse 13, and then we’re going to ask the Lord to reveal what he wants to reveal to us. We’re going to dive into his grace this morning as we examine these promises, examine these truths.

My name is Hunter. I’m one of the pastors here at The Village. I oversee the home groups out in East Zone. So Little Elm, Colony, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Sachse, all the way out there as far as you can imagine in the East. So I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to open the Word of God with you today.

I don’t know where everyone is in this room this morning. I don’t know if this is your first time in church or if you’ve been in church your entire life, but I don’t believe you’re here by accident. I don’t believe you walked through those doors and you’re sitting in those seats by accident today. I believe the Lord, the Sovereign King of the universe, has a purpose for you being here today. I’m excited to see what he wants to do this morning. So here in a second I want to just read Isaiah 55 over us and then I want us to pray and ask the Lord to move by the power of his Spirit, and then we’ll get started.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

Let’s pray.

Father, I ask right now by the power of your Spirit that you would begin moving and stirring in the hearts and lives of your people this morning. As we come here from all different backgrounds, we come here from different stages of life, different experiences we’ve walked through, yet I pray for the unifying power of the gospel to be extended forth today. Father, I confess my own inadequacies. I confess my rhetoric is broken. But with the same breath, Father, I confess you are Lord over all. I believe, Father, you are sovereignly orchestrating all the details of today. And so may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing unto you, O God, my rock, my Redeemer. I pray all of these things in the powerful name of your Son, Jesus Christ, amen. Amen.

When I was 14 years old, my father took me on my first overseas mission trip to Kenya, Africa. It was probably the most amazing trip I’ve ever been on. The Lord did unbelievable things. I’ll share those things here in a minute with you. But we get to the DFW airport… my father, our team, and I…we go up to the check-in counter, and the lady says, “I’m sorry. Your itineraries are no good.” Not what you want to hear to start off a mission trip, but nonetheless, that’s what she said. So we just simply asked, “Okay, well, what does that mean?”

She said, “Well, the airlines actually went on strike this morning, and so we had to re-route your itinerary to Chicago and then to London, and then from London you’ll be back on the right track.” So we said, “That’s great. Okay, what does that mean?” She said, “Well, two things. One, you have a six-hour layover here in DFW before you leave, so just hang tight. Two, I wasn’t able to fit everyone on that same flight.” So we’re going, “Okay, what does that mean?” She said, “Well, one of you has to leave right now, fly to Chicago, and then fly to London, and then just wait for the rest of the team in London.”

Lo and behold that one person was me. Fourteen years old. I can’t drive. I can’t vote. I can’t go anywhere without mom taking me, but apparently I can fly internationally by myself. So my father said, “This must be a mistake. Can we change it? Can I go in his place? Can we try to squeeze him on?” The lady said, “I’m sorry. No. The computer just picked a name and he has to leave right now or else he’s going to be stuck here and you’re going to be in London.”

So Dad said, “Okay, here’s some money, Son. I’ll see you in London.” I was like, “Okay, Dad. Bye. Bye everybody I know.” So I jumped on a plane. I flew to Chicago, stepped off the plane in Chicago, and just froze. O’Hare International Airport. Crazy busy. Planes taking off, landing every few seconds. I have no idea where I’m at. I can barely read, and so I’m just walking aimlessly, not sure where I’m going. I know I have to go to the international terminal, but I don’t know where I’m going. So I overhear a guy with a British accent. I’m serious. No joke. British accent.

I go up to him and I say, “Hey, are you by chance flying to London today?” He said, “Actually, I am.” I said, “Cool, cool. Can I just follow you to the terminal? I’ll just lag behind you. We don’t have to talk or anything. Can I just follow you?” He said, “Sure.” So I followed this stranger to the terminal. It was crazy. So I get to the terminal, find my flight, get on the flight, fly to London, land at Heathrow, and then I just sit there for six hours just listening over and over again to my Audio Adrenaline cassette tape, nonstop, over and over again. I just sit there and I’m just waiting.

Then sure enough, Dad and the rest of the team show up. We’re reunited. All is well. We take off to Nairobi. When we land in Nairobi, we step off the plane, and it’s cold and rainy. So two elements we really didn’t anticipate for. When you think of Africa you don’t think of rain and freezing cold. I had one pair of jeans and one pullover jacket, and so that’s what I wore every single day. Out in the fields, out working, out doing the work of the ministry. Come back in, freezing cold, wet, muddy, and filthy. We try to rinse our clothes off, hang them up to dry, only to put on those same wet clothes the next day, go back out into the fields, go back out into the villages, only to come back in. Seven days of this that we’d wear these same clothes, wet and just muddy.

So we’d go out into these villages and we’d take these vans down these dirt roads back into really the most remote parts of the jungle I’ve ever experienced. But these dirt roads were now mud pits. It’s been raining the entire time. So our driver would say, “All right, we have to get out and we have to push the van.” So we’d get out and we’d just start pushing this van down this dirt road. Really, when you think of missions, this is like THE mission trip, right?

We’re pushing these vans down these dirt roads. We’d get back in the van, drive a little further, get back out, push them again finally to the point where he’d say, “I’m sorry. We cannot drive any further. We can’t go any further. We’re going to get stuck. So you guys are just going to have to walk.” So we we’re like, “Really? We’re in the jungle. What are you talking about? There are lions and there are tigers and elephants and all these crazy animals that could attack us. But if you say so, we’ll go.”

So we’d walk miles to these remote villages, really cut off from the rest of the world. But it was unbelievable. We’d get back into these villages. We’d share the gospel, the hope, the good news of Jesus Christ, and these men would come to know the Lord. They would be reconciled unto the Lord. We saw families put their hope in Christ. We saw men who had statuses in the village and who were leaders in these little villages donate their land to start churches. We even saw two villages that had been at war with one another in the 70s be reconciled because of the gospel.

It was an unbelievable trip. But every step of the way and every leg of the journey we had before us two options. We could, one, walk in our own ways with our own plans. We could change and cancel the trip. We could change the flights. We could do whatever we could to not do what we were called to do. Or we could walk in the ways of the Lord, trusting in faithfulness that he was going to direct and lead us.

So this morning, before we dive into this text, I just want us to pause, all of us in this room, all different stages of life. I want us just to simply pause. I believe the Lord wants us to examine our hearts today. Are we walking in our own ways this morning, pursuing our own things, making our own plans? Are we trusting in his goodness, his ways? Are we placing our hope, our security under his banner of grace and mercy today? Because the invitation that is going to be extended to every single person today is an invitation to the greatest banquet, the greatest feast, the greatest celebration any of us could ever hope for or imagine.

Before we start looking at Isaiah 55, I think it’s important to know the context, to gain a little bit of perspective of what has been going on. So you’re in Isaiah 55. Flip back just real quickly to Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53, probably the more popular text in Isaiah. In my opinion, one of the most glorious texts, and it depicts and describes the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Let’s look at Isaiah 53:4 together.

“Surely he [Christ] has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

This text is unbelievable. It’s amazing for several reasons. One, Isaiah is writing these words, prophesying about the atoning work of Christ on the cross some 700 years before Christ actually went to the cross. That’s fascinating! That’s unbelievable. The life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ are not just found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. It’s not just in Paul’s letters. It’s not just found in the New Testament. All of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, is screaming out the name Jesus. Right here in the Old Testament, in this book of prophecy, Isaiah is prophesying the brutal death of Jesus Christ. That’s amazing.

Perhaps the more glorious reason it’s amazing is because of what has actually taken place in this text, right? That God, an infinite, holy, beautiful, wonderful, pure God, would send his Son Jesus to this earth, live a perfect life, and then die a lawbreaker’s death in our place. That he would carry our griefs and our sorrows and our sins and our struggles upon his back. The mark of death that had your name on it and my name on it was placed on Christ, and he went to the cross, and with his stripes we’re now healed. It’s amazing. So Isaiah 53: The Suffering Servant, Jesus Christ, the atoning work of the crucifixion.

Isaiah 54: Now all is forgiven in Christ. Because of his work in 53, all now is forgiven. And so the chapter opens with the barren woman can now rejoice. Then it moves to the widowed woman can now call out to her Maker as her husband. Then the one who is divorced can run to the arms of Christ, to be gathered in, to be renewed, and to be restored. All because of the cross, all because of what took place in 53, now all can be forgiven and made right in the eyes of God. The pinnacle verse of Isaiah 54 is verse 10. Let’s look at it really quick.

“‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” Right there the truest expression of the character of God. He is abundant in mercy. He is rich in love. Steadfast. Never to be moved or shaken.

Because of the work of the cross he now has established this covenant of peace. The chastisement that brought us peace was put on Christ. So now this covenant he has made is eternal and everlasting. So with this table set before us today, Isaiah 53, Isaiah 54, we can now come to Isaiah 55 with a little bit of understanding of why this invitation is being extended to us. So let’s look at this invitation. Isaiah 55:1:

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”

So right out of the gates, the Lord is saying through the prophet Isaiah five times, “Come.” That’s five invitations. Five times he uses that word. That’s five pleas to join in this invitation, this banquet, this feast. If it had only been one time it still would have been important, but five times should tell us this tone is pretty urgent, that what’s at stake here is something spectacular, something amazing, and something we don’t want to miss out on. “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters…” “…come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk…” “…come to me…” Five times.

So I want us to answer a few questions in these first few verses. Who is this invitation extended to? And secondly, What is actually being offered here?

So first, who is this invitation extended to? “Come, everyone who thirsts…” So in this room today, I believe there are two types of people. I believe there are those in this room who are thirsty. They’re thirsty, and they know they’re thirsty. So maybe you’re in here today and you’re at your rope’s end. Maybe you’re in here today and you have nowhere else to turn. You’re broke. You’re in a dry well. There is heat beating down on you. Maybe despair and hopelessness are strangling you right now. Maybe you feel you’re just crawling closer and closer through that shadow of the valley of death.

If that’s you in this room this morning, I just want to remind you our God hears the cries of the broken. He’s not a distant God. He’s not an apathetic God. He’s not a lackadaisical God. He is near. He has inclined his ear to the cries of your heart. He hears your pleas for mercy. So cry out to him this morning. If you’re thirsty in this room today and you know you’re thirsty, you know you have nowhere else to turn, nothing else to hold onto, cry out to God.

So the first person in this room is thirsty and knows it. I believe the other person in this room is thirsty but doesn’t know it. You have other places to turn to. You’re running to other things to try to satisfy your soul. You’re chasing after that new toy or that new job or that new family or that new car or that new boat or that new home. You’re chasing after all of these things that in the end will not and cannot satisfy you. These idols in your life are robbing you of joy…endless, infinite joy. Every time you turn to another thing or another thing or another thing that’s not Christ, you come back empty, you come back thirsty.

But because you may have a lot of resources you may not realize you’re thirsty. But I want to tell you you’re running to a candy shop thinking it’s a five-star restaurant. These things all of our hearts in this room chase, apart from the Creator himself, are idols. So either you’re thirsty and you know it today or you’re thirsty and you may not know it. But we’re all thirsty, myself included.

So this invitation that has gone out before us is not just for the VIPs of the day. It’s not just for the wealthy. It’s not just for the movie stars or the rock stars. It’s not just for the lords and ladies in the king’s day when you think of a feast and a banquet. It’s for you! It’s for me! It’s for the homeless man under the bridge in Dallas who has no security, no money. Come to the waters. Come buy without money and without price. It’s for the person in this room who is carrying the shame of an eating disorder. Come delight yourself in rich food.

It’s for the person in this room who’s running to images on the Internet to fill their heart’s desires. Why do you labor for that which cannot satisfy? It’s for the married man or the married woman in this room today who’s looking for their hope and their identity in the other spouse. God is your covenant. God is your joy. God is your hope. It’s for the single man or the single woman in this room who’s trying to find Mr. Right or Mrs. Right, that right job, start building that 401(k) up. Only God can satisfy. Satisfaction is not found in any of those things. Satisfaction is found at the banqueting table of the King.

So it’s put before all of us this morning. Come. Come. The table has been set. All the costs have been taken care of. Jesus, our Lamb, has been slaughtered. He is the blessing of the banquet, the focus of this feast. He is the centerpiece of praise, and he stands ready, welcoming us in. “Come to the waters. Come delight in rich food.” God is saying, “I’m the One who gives you life. I’m the One who gives you satisfaction. Not these other things.”

Let’s look at what is actually offered here at this feast. Verse 1: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk…” So right there three different beverages are explained, right? Three different beverages are put before us. You have water, you have wine, and you have milk. Three distinct beverages. They don’t normally go together. Wine and milk should never go together…ever. That’s nasty. But in this text they’re all here for a purpose. I believe they’re all three pictures, unique in their own standing, but all three pictures of the gospel.

So let’s look first at water. What does water do in a physical sense? It quenches your thirst, right? We all know what it’s like to be thirsty. You work outside, you run a race, you do manual labor. You run to water for your satisfaction, for your drink. You don’t want to go chug a glass of milk when you’re thirsty. That would be disgusting. You run to the waters. Water quenches your thirst. In this text, water is plural. Did you notice that? “…come to the waters…” I think it’s plural for a purpose. I think it’s plural to show us the abundance of what’s available. Not just in quality but quantity as well.

So think with me. In John 4, Jesus is at the well with the woman from Samaria. He asks for a drink. After a little dialoguing back and forth between them, he says to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

What does she say? “I have to have that water. That’s what I have to have.” So this water that is being extended and offered to us at this feast is not just some tap water from your faucet. It’s the best-tasting, most purified water we could possibly drink in, and it never runs out. It never runs dry. It’s available in abundance to you and me. The gospel today is available in abundance to you and to me. Water represents life.

Then there’s milk. Milk is completely different than water. Milk is what you give to babies, right? You don’t give babies water, and you certainly don’t give them wine. You give them milk? Why? Because milk has all the nutrients and ingredients to strengthen their bones and their muscles and their nerves. In the same sense, spiritual milk is to strengthen our weak souls.

So are you hurting in here today? The gospel would say Jesus is your Healer. Are you troubled in here today? The gospel would say Jesus is your very present help in time of trouble. Are you fearful or are you anxious in here today? The gospel would say Jesus not only gives you peace, but Jesus is your peace. So milk strengthens our weak, weary souls.

Then there’s wine. Wine is different than these other two beverages for the fact that wine is not a necessity of life. You don’t need wine to strengthen your muscles. You don’t need wine to satisfy your thirst. That’s not the purpose of it. I believe wine is in this text to show us the enjoyment and delight of our God. Psalm 104:15 says wine gladdens the hearts of men. In John 2, Jesus, at the wedding feast, turns water into wine.

Why? Because it’s the drink of celebration, the drink of joy and delight. So if God had only given us the cross of Christ that would have been enough, right? That’s what we need. But God, being rich in mercy, abounding in love, pours out showers over us, blessings upon blessings and graces upon graces, and God in his goodness created the mountains, and he created the stars, and he created the flowers in the field.

I believe he created those things, again, not out of necessity, but he created those things for us to look at and see how much he loves us and all the more we would enjoy him. So when we stand before a mountain peak we don’t stand and just see a mountain. We see the glory of God manifest itself in creation, and we can enjoy him so much more for it. So spiritual wine is not a necessity, but it’s in this text for our enjoyment.

Three pictures of the gospel all uniquely different in their chemical makeup…life, strength, and joy, all offered to us this morning. It’s not enough for you and me just to hear this invitation, right? It does us no good if we just hear this invitation in one ear and it comes out the other, that when we leave this place it’s just gone. Verse 2 says, “Listen diligently to me…” Verse 3: “Incline your ear…” There’s a difference between hearing and listening, right?

Any of you in this room with small kids, if you tell your child, “Hey, it’s time to go to bed,” they’re going to hear you, but chances are they’re not going to listen to you and actually go to bed. If they do, that’s rare, and I want your secret. But if you tell them, “Hey Buddy, hey Sweetie, I want to buy you a toy,” they’re going to hear you and they’re going to listen, and then they’re going to ask when they can get that toy, what kind of toy they can get, where they’re going to go to get it, if they can get more than one toy.

That’s all they’re going to think about. That’s all that’s going to be on their mind. It’s going to sink down into their hearts. If they go to bed with that thought, they’re probably going to wake up with that thought. So the plea before us this morning is not just hear this invitation, but listen to these words, listen to the call extended to you by our gracious God. “…come to the waters…come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Find your satisfaction in God today.

So how do we respond to this invite? How do we RSVP to what’s put before us? Listen, the only reason you and I can even think about these next verses is because of what took place back in Isaiah 53. Because Christ went to the cross and died that substitutionary death we should have died, because Christ satisfied the wrath of God, we now can find satisfaction in God.

It’s the only way. We don’t bring anything to the table. We are not righteous in and of ourselves. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul says, “For our sake he [God the Father] made him [Jesus Christ the Son] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” We’re not righteous on our own accord. We can’t try hard enough, but because Christ went to the cross, there’s now a way paved. So how do we respond now in light of that? Let’s read Isaiah 55:6.

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

So this invitation that’s extended to us is extended to us free of charge, right? Come buy without money and without price. But it’s still conditional. There’s still an element that must take place in our own lives, and it’s that element of surrender. We just read it. We must forsake our ways and return to the Lord. We must stand before God and say, “God, I’m tired of going my own way. I’m tired of walking my own walk. I surrender to you.” That’s the reason we are thirsty, as we saw in verse 1. It’s because you and I, in our own nature, in our own ways, are wicked. We’re wicked. No part of us is good. In our flesh, no part of us is good. Not even down to our thoughts.

Church, I’m convinced we don’t take seriously enough our sin. I’m convinced we are okay with just sin management, just treating the symptoms of our sin. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, to our hearts, we don’t deal with that very well. Sure we may tell our home group or our accountability partners, “Yeah, I’m struggling with this. I’m struggling with that,” when all the while our hearts are walking down a very deep and dark road.

A few weeks ago I went and had some allergy testing done. I’d walk outside and my eyes would water and my nose would get stopped up and I’d just start sneezing like crazy. So I went and had allergy testing done. If you haven’t had any of that before, basically what they do is they put all kinds of nature on your arm…so cats and dogs and trees and grass and all of these things. If it swells up like a mosquito bite then they conclude you have the allergy to that thing.

So after extensive testing, they basically told me I was allergic to the outside, which makes it so difficult to go anywhere. So the doctor came in and he said, “Okay, we have some options. We can give you some antihistamine, some medicine that whenever your eyes water it’ll dry your eyes up, or if your nose gets clogged up it’ll make you be able to breathe or it will take the sneezing away. But it just treats the symptoms. It doesn’t actually do anything with the allergy itself.”

I was like, “Well, that sounds horrible. I don’t want that.” He said, “Okay, well, the next option is we give allergy shots. So you come in once a week, we inject you with a little bit of tree, and over the course of time your body builds up. Now it takes a lot longer and it’s a little more painful, but after awhile your allergy is actually fixed. It’s gone.” I thought in that moment, Yeah, that’s what I want. That’s what I want. That’s what I need. Not just in an allergy sense, but for my own soul, my own heart. I don’t want to just walk around just trying to fix the symptoms of what’s going on. That doesn’t do me any good, because I could remove a symptom and the problem is still there, right?

So here in this room today I’m convinced we need to get more serious about our sin. Not just confess it, but repent of it. We would forsake that sin, forsake that way, and return to the goodness and glory of the Lord. That we would put to death the things of this earth, as Paul writes in Colossians 3. Put them to death! Forsake those ways. Turn from and return unto the Lord, who has abundant compassion. The sin we’re walking in, the sin we’re struggling in leads to death, folks.

Right in front of us stands forgiveness through the cross of Christ. But in our tiny, restricted mindset, in our limited view of the path in front of us, we can’t understand how a sovereign God could love us so much that he would abundantly pardon us. We can’t understand it. His ways are so much higher, so much greater, so much more glorious and perfect than ours could ever be.

So if we want to join in this feast we have to listen to what God is saying here. Seek the Lord. Call on his name. The way we seek the Lord is by forsaking our ways and returning to him. Because his ways are better. They’re greater. God’s ways always lead to life. Let’s look at what else God’s ways are going to lead to. Isaiah 55:12:

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

Now believer in this room, these verses right here are about our future in Christ. They’re for those who have come to the waters, those who have called upon the name of the Lord. This promise is for those who have forsaken their ways and returned to the Lord’s ways. Look what’s offered. Look what’s coming. Joy and peace. We will go out in joy. So no more temptation of sadness.

No more temptation to be led to these ending springs, these dry wells. No more of this. Everlasting, overflowing, abundant joy is before us. There’s coming a day when there will be no more sadness, no more death, no more tears, no more struggle. All we will have before us is joy. No more strife. No more anxiety. No more fears. Just peace. An everlasting well of joy and peace awaits us, church.

It’s not just us. It’s not just humans. God is renewing all of creation. Think with me for a moment. Genesis 1: God creates the heavens and the earth. He forms the mountains, and he forms the fields and the sky and the stars. He forms the oceans and all the beasts of the field and the waters. Then he creates male and female, and he steps back and he thinks, This is so good. This is right. There’s open communication between God and man. There’s perfect harmony in all of creation. The grass doesn’t wither. The trees don’t die. Everything is as it should be, and it’s good.

Then in Genesis 3, the serpent comes and whispers that lie to Eve. Having believed that lie, Adam now has sinned. In that moment everything is fractured…everything. Now sin and death and despair and struggle and frustration and curse and thorns and thistles, all of those things are now introduced in this vocabulary, and it’s broken. Then God sends his Son Jesus to go to the cross, and through his death, burial, and resurrection, destroy the power of sin over our lives.

But we’re in this weird state still, right? It’s what theologians call the “already but not yet.” Yes, we have been secured with the eternal promise of glory in Christ Jesus, having put our hope and faith in him. But we still battle. We still wrestle with the flesh. There are still death and disease all around us. We still are hurting. We still are struggling. But there’s coming a day when God in all of his glory will end it all. There’s coming a day when the struggles of this life will be no more. Let’s look real quickly at Romans 8. I want us to read this text together. Paul is talking about our future glory. Beginning in verse 18:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.”

My wife and I have two kids. Carson, our son, is 4, and our daughter Saige is 2 1/2. A few weeks ago, maybe a few months ago now, we found out we’re pregnant again…with twins. Yeah, thank you. We would love your prayers. No, I’m joking. We couldn’t be more thrilled. We couldn’t be more excited the Lord would count us worthy to give us these two little lives. It’s unbelievable. We’re so thankful for this.

But my wife is already starting to show. Her ligaments are starting to stretch already, and it’s kind of painful. The further she goes along in her pregnancy it’s just going to get more painful and more uncomfortable. She’s going to get larger. But in this process, never once will she say, “Man, I wish I wasn’t going to have these babies. Man, I wish I wasn’t pregnant.” No, she doesn’t say those things. She doesn’t lose hope. Why? Because she knows there’s coming a day of full deliverance. She’s knows there’s coming a day those babies will be born and that pain will be gone.

All around us, church, we are observing a pregnant creation right now that’s groaning with these same pains, that’s getting harder to live. The thorns and the thistles are still growing, but creation itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. All the while, the joyful anticipation deepens. Because there’s coming a day when that sky is cracked and Christ our King descends down, that the mountains will burst forth in joyful delight and freedom.

They will begin singing, and the trees will clap their hands, and the thorns will turn into the cypress, and the briars will turn to the myrtles, and a renewed creation will be enjoyed by a renewed humanity, all ruled by our King, Jesus Christ. I can’t wait for that day, church. I can’t wait for it! I pray if you’re a believer that you can’t wait for it either.

So this invitation that’s offered to us today is not just a one-time feast. It’s not just a one-time meal. It’s not just for Sundays only, when we’re in here. It’s for every day of our lives, for the rest of our lives, until finally we’re in that place we were created to be in, with the person we were created to be with, dining together at the marriage supper of the Lamb. That day is coming. We’re invited to partake into this blessing today. So come from a place of thirst to drink. Come from a place of hunger to food. Come from a place of dissatisfaction to satisfaction. Come from a place of sadness to joy. Come from a place of death to life today.

So real quickly I just want to revisit this pause we talked about earlier. Are you in here today walking in your own ways, pursuing your own things, running to the dry wells that will not satisfy? Or are you running to the overflowing, abundantly joyful wells of God, delighting in his ways, chasing after his glory? That’s before all of us, myself included

So maybe this morning we need to get serious about confessing and repenting of our sins. Maybe we need to get serious about forsaking these ways and returning to the Lord. Maybe for some of you in this room today you’ve never called upon the name of the Lord. The promise of this text is that his Word that goes out will not return void. So we can be assured that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. So maybe you need to call upon the name of the Lord this morning. I pray we would do business with the Lord today, that we would run hard after him, that we would drink in deeply this invitation of satisfaction. Let’s pray.

Father, I thank you for the cross. I thank you that because Christ went to the cross and because he satisfied your wrath we can now come to this table of satisfaction, not on our own accord, not on our own strength. We can’t buy it. We can’t earn it, yet you extend it so freely to every person today. So Father, by the power of your Spirit, I do ask that those in this room who do not know you would leave this place knowing you today and those who do know you, God, I pray they would leave this place knowing and loving you so much more today. So Father, do what only you can do. I ask all these things in the precious name of your Son Jesus, amen.