A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. . .
But the redeemed shall walk there,
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
~ Isaiah 35:8a, 9c-10 ~
Another song by Robin Mark, “Garments of Praise,” keeps going through my mind. The lyrics encourage me to surrender all those things that dull my love for Jesus, and to “Put on the garments of praise, for the spirit of heaviness,” and “Let the oil of gladness flow down” from God’s throne into my heart.
This week has been bumpy, but time after time, with the reminder to praise God, I was asked to deny self, take up my cross, and follow Jesus. It was not easy, and I did fall, but He kept helping me to get up again and move forward.
Jesus told us that “narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). We enter His kingdom through Him and we walk with Him on the road that leads to life. His Holy Spirit instructs, guides, refines, transforms, and conforms us, enabling us to fulfill God’s will for our lives while we walk on the Highway of Holiness.
When we fall, there is no condemnation, only His grace, mercy, and love; for He comes to us ready to forgive and to cleanse us from unrighteousness. His coming is like transitioning from the darkness of violent thunderheads pouring out their indignation, to the spectacularly blinding appearance of the sun that warms, comforts, and reveals to us that all is as it should be.
How could we not respond to a love like this by putting on our garments of praise?
Heavenly Father, my cup is overflowing with Your lovingkindness. Your love astounds me and bows my heart in thanksgiving. The gentle, daily reminder that You are aware of all that is going on and that You are with me, gladdens my heart. Your strength has been the underlying joy that brought praise to my heart and lips and enable me to walk in Your ways. Thank You for the blessedness of being Your child and being loved by You; for Your forgiveness and cleansing from unrighteousness; and for Your comforting presence; in Jesus’ mighty and precious name, amen.