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Janet's Corner

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Strength to Soar

 

As we have been studying Isaiah 40 and learning about the comfort of God, we have seen the comfort of His pardon and presence, the comfort of His enduring Word, and the comfort of His incomparable greatness. Today we will look at the comfort of his promise to give us strength to soar.

 

Have you ever faced a long journey. I remember when driving back from Chicago one time, I dreaded the long hours in the car. As we were driving, I began to think about the wagon trains that had a far different journey than I was having. And it brought things in perspective for me. I still would rather fly above in a plane, rather than drive in a car for twelve hours.

The people of God who were living in captivity in Babylon were contemplating there long journey back to Jerusalem.

 Let’s read verse 27.

 

 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel,
       "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"?

 

What is their complaint? What are they thinking? Does God see us? Does God care about us? Instead of praising the incomparable greatness of God, their tendency is to look at their situation and complain. The opposite of praise is complaining. And they have two different outcomes. Joyce Meyers says it this way, “We can praise and be raised or complain and remain.” The devil loves for us to complain – it’s his invitation into our thinking and our lives. Remember Satan’s goal in Job’s life was get him to complain against God. There is a war taking place in the heavenly realm. When we praise we are declaring that we are on God’s side and honoring Him for who He is. The Creator, The sovereign King and the one who wishes to sustain us on the journey.

 

God seems to be asking His people to do the impossible. They were complaining they didn’t have the strength.

 

Let’s see how Isaiah comforts the people of God.

 

 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
       The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
       He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

 

God appeals to what they had known and what they had heard. Many times they had seen or heard that power belongs to God (Psalm 62:11).

He identifies himself as the LORD Jehovah, who was and is and is to come - the everlasting God. Our God, who does not change, who does not decay, who is not deficient in anyway. He is the Creator of the ends of the earth – the whole earth and everything in it is His and He rules it. He has absolute power of all of it and is all sufficient to help his people no matter what has happened. He will never grow tired, loses strength. He always understands – even though we may not. Even though we lack stamina and strength, God never becomes weary or overwhelmed. Our problems are never to hard for God to handle.

 

God knows how we feel. He knows our fears and He is adequate to meet our every need. Philippians 4:13 shows us that we can never obey God in our own strength, but we can trust God, our everlasting Rock, to provide the strength we need.

 

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

The Creator and the Sovereign King, the one who is omniscient and omnipresent and omnipotent desires to give His strength to us as we wait on Him.

 

 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

 

As you face the issues in your life, do you have the strength that you need?

Are you weary or weak? We all grow tired and even get to the point of weariness – nothing left within us. We can stumble and fall on our own. But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

 

What does that word hope mean? It refers to those who wait on Him with expectation. We do not just sit around and do nothing. We look to God for all that we need. We meditate on His character and his promises, praying and seeking to honor Him in all we do. The promise of his word becomes true…As your days are, so shall your strength be.” Your strength will be equal to your days, when you trust in God. (Deuteronomy 33:25)

That word “renew: means to exchange. It is like taking off and old coat and putting a new one. We exchange our weakness for His strength.

 

II Corinthians 12:7-11  

7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong..

 

 

When we acknowledge our weakness and allow God to infill us with His strength by His Spirit, we are then able to display his power through our lives and achieve his purposes.

 

Read Psalm 103:2-5 with me.

 

2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-

 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

 5 who satisfies your desires with good things
       so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

 

The highlighted verbs – forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, satisfies –signify what God does for us with purpose. He desires to renew our strength like the eagles. What kind of strength does the eagle have? Even in the scripture we see that eagles have unusual stamina and speed. The strength of  youth is often includes the descriptive word of vigor, as in the NAS translation in Isaiah 40:30 –“vigorous young men…” Vigor means strong, powerful, energetic, sturdy, sound, healthy. Someone who is vigorous has vitality, is full of life! Are any of those descriptions what you are looking for? Are you ready to exchange you weakness for the vigor of God?

 

As we go on in Isaiah 40: 31, we see that we can soar on the wings of eagles as we hope in the LORD.

 

    They will soar on wings like eagles;
       they will run and not grow weary,
       they will walk and not be faint.

 

The eagles are able to catch the thermal winds with their wings and move to new heights very quickly. It is the lifting power that makes them soar. God is the one who is able to give us lifting power to soar above and through a crisis. We can soar upward toward God – strongly and swiftly – Just as David says, “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.”  (Psalm 25:1).  Psalm 24:4 is the contrast. We are to lift up our soul in reliance upon God, not idols.

We are able to run, moving forward, when the challenges are many. We are able to walk faithfully, day by day, in the daily demands of life. Warren Weirsbe says sometimes it is harder to walk in the ordinary pressures of life than to fly like the eagle in a time of crisis.

 

We are able to soar, run, to walk, with His strength, not our own. What’s that journey like ahead of you? Does it require soaring power, running power, walking power? God can renew your strength!

 

You will find strength

o       strength to serve God

o       strength to wrestle through times you don’t understand

o       strength to resist those things that are trying to capture you or trip you

o       strength to bear the seemingly hard things that God allows in your life.

 

We lack stamina and strength, but God does not.

 

Our faith is the power that we grasp God’s power and make it ours. We trust in Him – our everlasting Rock, who desires to give us His strength.

 

Have you found strength to soar?