How to Trust God in Exile

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We all experience times of feeling lost, confused, and disconnected- like we don’t belong. The writer of this passage understood this all too well. Living in exile in Babylon, far from their homeland of Israel, the people felt weary, restless, and tempted to doubt God’s goodness.

But in the midst of this exile, the prophet speaks words of hope- reminding them that though their sin led them there, God’s hand is not too short to redeem. The wilderness they found themselves in could become a place of renewal and joy.

This passage contains wisdom for all who have experienced seasons of wandering and uncertainty. Times when we feel we’ll never make it out of our own wilderness. When we’ll discuss how, though we can lose our way, God specializes in making something new out of the desert places of our lives. And how through Jesus, the weary find the words of life and strength they need. Even in exile, God can put home in our hearts.

  1. Exile is a picture of our current state in a broken world. We feel unsettled, anxious, and tempted to despair.
  2. When in exile, we are tempted to think that God has abandoned us and it’s too late. But God’s hand is not too short to redeem us. Though our sin got us into this state, God can bring us out. His grace is greater than our sin.
  3. God can turn wasteland into waterways. Though we may feel stuck in the desert, God specializes in making rivers out of deserts and turning mourning into dancing.
  4. We are tempted to think we’ll never make it and don’t have what it takes. But the truth is, we never did. Jesus is the one who gives weary sinners the words of life and strength they need. He frees us from exile and puts home in our hearts.
  5. Through communion, we celebrate that Jesus gave his body and blood to make a way for us to be brought home to the Father. His grace covers our filthy rags and clothes us with righteousness.

Exile and wilderness will remain a part of our story as long as we live in a broken world. But the good news of this passage is that God never intended these seasons to define us. Through Jesus, who gives himself for our weary souls, God turns wasteland into waterways of refreshment and grace.

Don’t let the desert define you. Look to the one who turns mourning into dancing and clothes the filthy in robes of righteousness. Open your hands to receive the life and hope he offers. And let his home be made in your heart, even as you journey through life’s wilderness. For his grace covers every mile of the way.


Isaiah 40:27, Isaiah 49:14, Isaiah 50:1-2, Isaiah 51:3, Isaiah 35:1, Isaiah 41:18, Isaiah 43:19-20, Psalm 30:11

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