The Lord gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who trust, wait, and 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 40:29-31)
This builds on Soar, Run, and Walk with Christ (Part 1).
Not Plugged In?
A woman was working on her home computer and noticed that her battery power was low and the laptop was shutting down. She thought it was plugged in, so it shouldn’t have been using the battery. What was wrong? The laptop cord was plugged into the power strip on the floor, but the power strip had come out of the wall outlet!1 No wonder the woman was not getting any power. What’s the spiritual lesson?
Isaiah chapter 40 speaks of God’s power. He is the ultimate and unending Source of strength. Verse 28 says: “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.” And then verses 29-31 say the Lord gracious shares His power with us!
God is infinite, eternal, unchangeable, and we are not. He is Self-existent, Self-sufficient, Sovereign, and we are not. The Lord transcends time and space and is not dependent on them or affected by them.2 We have none of these characteristics. God is the Creator and we are His creatures, totally reliant on Him. But wonderfully, the Lord shares His power with us. That’s what Isaiah teaches. Pause a minute and reflect on the verses at the top of this page again.
Trust, Wait, and Hope in the Lord
We try to show how strong we are. But that not the Lord’s goal. Rather He shows the world and us how merciful and mighty He is, as He works in us and through us. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us.3 The Lord wants to demonstrate what He can do, not what we can do.
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”4 But we can do good things for God through Christ who strengthens us.5 His divine power gives us everything we need for life and for godliness.6 We work out the implications of our salvation, for it is God who works in us to will and to act to fulfill His good purpose.7 Plugged into the Lord, we can accomplish much for God’s name and God’s kingdom, as we trust and obey God’s word, the Bible.
Putting One Foot in Front of the Other
Peter Karl Oley (1934-2009) was my cross-country coach in high school. I was his least able runner, but he taught me to put one foot in front of the other and just keep on going, even when the muscles begin to ache over the 2-3 mile course. Much of life works that way too, especially following Jesus over the long haul.
Last time I mentioned Mary, Jesus’ mother, as an example of perseverance. Here are some more Bible examples:
- Noah labored on for 50-75 years years, plank by plank, building the ark because the Lord commanded him to. Obedience was Noah’s job. Putting together the big plan was God’s job. And Noah didn’t get those two things mixed up. Neither should we. Noah’s neighbors mocked him, but he pressed on, with God’s help, because he trusted the Lord who loved him. Do we trust God like that?
- Joseph, son of Jacob, was wrongly convicted of a crime. But he didn’t whine and grumble about being a victim. He didn’t have a pity party. The Lord was still with Joseph in prison, upholding him to serve God day by day in that bad place for years, helping others to learn about God, until the Lord released him.
- Naomi and Ruth were two widows living in wicked and uncertain times. God assured them that He would provide for them, even though they had no idea how He would do that. So they followed His Scripture commandments, one step at a time, waiting on the Lord, until He rescued them. I’m sure they were discouraged when things didn’t come together faster, but they hung on to God because He was hanging on to them. And in the end, they were not disappointed. The Lord was faithful; He always is!
A Prayer for Jesus’ Help along the Way
Help us, Lord our God. Save us according to your unfailing love….Lord, be our strength and shield. We trust you. Come help us. Make our hearts leap for joy. And help us praise you with song.
Expand our understanding and our enlarge our heart, so that we can run in the way of your commandments….Help us to not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.8
Notes (various translations): 1 This story and other parts of this post are drawn from Randy Kilgore, Our Daily Bread, August 16, 2012. 2 Psalm 139:7-10. 3 Eph 3:20. 4 John 15:5. 5 Phil 4:13. 6 2 Peter 1:3. 7 Phil 2:12-13. 8 Prayer based on Psalms 28:7, 109:26, 119:32; Galatians 6:9.