Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
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.
I have always loved this verse from Isaiah 40. There is a “old” praise and worship chorus we used to sing at the church where I was saved that was based on this passage:
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings as eagles.
They shall run and not be weary – they shall walk and not faint.
Teach me Lord … Teach me Lord to wait.
Let me put the larger passage in here:
Isaiah 40:27-31 (NKJV)
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on 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.
Isaiah concludes his message with an exhortation to completely trust in God for all things … even when we feel weary of life or when we feel God does not hear us or intervene in the circumstances we feel are beyond our control. Isaiah wants the people of God (in all generations) to KNOW the Lord, the Creator, our Father God is eternal. He neither sleeps nor slumbers. He neither faints nor is weary. So we are moved by this knowledge to simply trust that God knows everything going on in the world and in our lives collectively and individually. Indeed, His understanding is unsearchable!
But I think to fully understand the “conclusion” of trust, we need to see the larger context of why trust is encouraged … why faith in God is necessary for our well-being. So I strongly urge you to read the entire Chapter 40 and discover what God moves Isaiah to declare about His “working” in the lives of His people; how God WILL comfort His people! Indeed, the desire of God has been to comfort His people. As Paul shared: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (Cf. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4) So, Isaiah opens this message with, “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
The prophetic word Isaiah was given to declare is so uplifting as you read it through the lens of history and fulfillment. Verse 3: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” And then we see John the Baptist, the man God sent to preach the work of repentance for us. Verse 10: “Behold, the Lord God shall come in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His recompense accompanies Him.” And then we see Jesus, the One whom God sent to complete the work of salvation for us. And, oh, how Verses 12-26 serve to afford us greater perspective on the power and majesty … the divine nature and character of the God who comforts … and how we should understand our total dependence upon Him for everything because of who He is! God has been faithful to His people … to His creation in all things! And Isaiah enjoins us to trust our Heavenly Father….
So I pray this morning that you and I will receive this word and let it inspire our faith today and always. God the Father has already comforted us with the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. He has already prepared a place for us. He is coming again to receive us. So do not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap a harvest if we do not lose heart. (Cf. Galatians 6:9) Yes, do not grow weary in doing good and what is right. (Cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:13) Rather, wait upon the Lord! Rest in Him! Renew your strength through the knowledge of what He has already done for you! For we have a work to do in these latter days … the work of comforting others as we ourselves have been comforted by God. We have the work of reconciliation to complete. So let us run and not be weary … let us walk and not faint. Yes, let us keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus … the author and finisher of our faith. Amen.