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May 31, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”—Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)
Before you continue reading my words here, open to Isaiah chapter 40 and read God’s words, His very voice speaking to you about Himself. It’s powerful.
When I read this chapter, I feel rejuvenated. Helplessness and confusion are wiped away; a feeling of renewed strength overcomes me. The impact of these words causes my heart to beat faster, and my eyes well up with tears. I am utterly captivated when I read the words, “Here is your God!” (40:9 NIV).
This entire chapter is set in such contrast to all the chapters leading up to it. Chapters filled with judgment and darkness for the people of Judah are replaced with solace when God shines a beacon of hope for His people.
We need that hope, don’t we? And God knows it. We can come to the end of a day or a year or a lifetime and wonder why. And sometimes the “whys” are never answered. They don’t necessarily have to be answered because God cries out, “Comfort, O comfort My people” (40:1 NASB). In the midst of our hopelessness, our questioning, our obstacles, God wants us to know He offers comfort—at the right time and in the proper measure.
And strength! “Do you not know? Have you not heard? . . . He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power” (21, 29 NASB). The people of Judah needed to know this then, and we need to believe this now.
More than believe it—receive it! God will give you strength when you are at your weakest because God loves to be wanted and needed. He longs to show His strength through our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). The entire chapter reveals the greatness and power of God, and in Jesus, we have access to that power. There is no shame in admitting you’ve exhausted your resources, for God “upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145:14 NIV) and the humble will be exalted (James 4:10). Truly, the fountains of Living Water are a constant resource, and that strength, that satisfaction, is met in Jesus.
David Guzik points to the beautiful message in Isaiah 40:30-31 that connects to our generation now: On eagle’s wings we are raised to heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6); we run the race marked for us with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1); and as we receive Christ’s strength, we live in it. Renewed at any time, for all time.
DIG: When you read Isaiah 40, what does it leave you feeling?
DISCOVER: What do you discover about God?
DO: With what you feel and know, how can you move forward in the hope and strength of Jesus?