March 24, 2020. Day 84: They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.

Isaiah 40:28-31.

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

Have you ever felt exhausted (silly question)? Is it getting harder and harder to find the strength to move forward? You’re not alone.

Two hundred years before it happened, the prophet Isaiah predicted to King Hezekiah the doom of the Babylonian Exile that would come upon the nation of Judah.

Isaiah 39:5-7. Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

But King Hezekiah’s response to Isaiah’s prophecy was less than ideal. He didn’t take comfort in God, but instead he found comfort in knowing that the trouble would come after he was gone.

Isaiah 39:8. Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”

Do you ever think this way? Does your comfort in this great time of trouble rest only in your hope of it not directly affecting you personally? “As long as I have peace and security I’ll be okay.”

Isaiah offers us a better way.

Isaiah’s words that follow this hard prediction point us to find comfort, not by avoiding the troubling times, but by trusting God in the troubling times. Our hope is found in waiting on the LORD. Placing our confident expectation in our omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, never weary God.

Finding this comfort happens only as you admit your own weakness. You must embrace that you are faint. That you have no might. That you have no idea what God is doing. That God’s understanding is unsearchable.

What is producing your exhaustion today? Trying to figure it all out? Trying to control everything? Trying to rule your own kingdom? Trying to avoid problems? Trying not to fail? The reality is that most of our exhaustion in life is not produced by life, but by our response to life. Our weariness comes from our refusal to wait.

Of course waiting is completely counter-intuitive, especially in trying times. God asks us to face our trouble by resting. By not doing. Not yet. Not without first placing all your hope in who God is and what he says he will do. And when you do, when you confidently place all our expectations on him, he will fill you with his power. Maybe he’ll place you on soaring eagle’s wings, or maybe he’ll give you strength to run, or maybe you’ll simply walk the path of life, step by step, without fainting.

Soaring on eagles.

But what is this renewed strength that God gives to those who wait upon him? The word renewed means exchanged. God exchanges our weakness for his strength. The strength of his relentless love. Now, empowered by Christ’s love in us, we can powerfully share that same love with others.

“To live is Christ” offers to us the very strength of God. Christ’s tireless love lives in us. His unfainting grace is our power. The power to soar, to run or just to walk. The power that comes not by striving, but by resting, waiting, and hoping in God’s love for us. The power that comes by removing all of your unloving expectations from yourself and others, and placing them all on the all powerful, all knowing, all loving God of creation.

You

What is exhausting you today?

You in Christ

How does being in Christ allow you to embrace Christ’s strength through your weakness?

Christ in you

Where can you rest in Christ’s powerful love today and find the power to soar?

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