This is the free student devotional for Resilient Faith, Session 5: Joyful Faith.
Find a bench or a quiet spot in nature to get away and reflect on what God has taught you about Himself this week. Meditate on the Scriptures you have read and thank God for being your Guide.
Think about the most beautiful place in nature you’ve ever seen. It might be a majestic waterfall, the mountains, or the ocean. How did that place call you to praise God? Journal about the experience or sketch the place below.
Sometimes, a beautiful place in nature makes us feel peaceful or joyful, but Isaiah 55:10-13 tells us that we can continually experience those things in our lives if we seek God’s guidance. Read the passage, then consider the questions below.
You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. —Isaiah 55:12
• Examine verse 11. What does God always achieving His purpose have to do with His guidance in our lives? Explain.
• Following God’s guidance means we have the assurance that He will accomplish what He set out to do. Look at verse 12. What are the results of following God’s guidance? When have you experienced peace and joy because you followed God’s leadership in your life?
• Joy is found in being freed from bondage, while the “peace” in verse 12 is an inner peace that comes from God alone. Who in your life exhibits these characteristics? What have you learned about following God’s guidance from that person? Explain.
God will accomplish His purpose. If we follow God’s leading we can live confidently, joyfully, and peacefully, knowing we can trust Him and His purposes.
Behind the Story
Note the two types of trees that are referenced in verse 13 (cypress and myrtle tree). In Scripture, nature is often used as an example to show testimony of the Lord’s redemptive work in His people.*
The thorns and briers represent sin and the work of man. The beautiful new trees represent the new life found in Christ.
*John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2005), 832.
• Meditate on this question: Would my closest friends and family say that my life is characterized by joy and peace no matter what I’m facing? Why or why not?
• Are there things in your life you know you’re anxious about because you know you’re not following God’s guidance in that situation? Confess that to Him today and ask Him to lead you so that your life may better display His glory to the world.
• For further study, listen to “I Will Follow” by Chris Tomlin and ask the Lord to hide in your heart the lessons you’ve learned about God’s guidance.
Write the key phrases of Psalm 31:3 on a sheet of paper in the correct order, then associate a mental image with each one. Use the images to help you recite the verse.