Sunday, January 15, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Isaiah 40:31

Isaiah 40:31

But that 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; and they shall walk, and not faint.

This is by far my favorite verse. It was my mother's, as well. It has been since I was young and first saw the movie Chariots of Fire. Contextually its goal was to encourage the people of Israel who were facing the growing threat of Assyrian imperialism and spiritual universalism. During it's author's lifetime, Judah was decimated by the Babylonians. Isaiah was, in fact, a prophet of judgement whose sole purpose was to reveal God's ultimate salvation for His people and anticipate the coming Messiah. However, the theme of the passage holds true in every aspect of our contemporary spiritual lives. To breakdown the verse, we must ask an important question. What does it mean to wait upon the Lord? The 1913 Webester's definition of the word wait is to stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary till the arrival of some person or event; to rest in patience; to stay; not to depart or to watch; to observe; to take notice. All of the elements in these two descriptions give us insight into the concept of waiting Isaiah is trying to convey. To wait on God is to rest in the faith that God is sovereign and the peace of in His unconditional care. It is a sharp focus on His word, to trust, decisively in its direction and wisdom. To take notice of God's providence and His working within our lives and ultimately, to seek out how God can use any situation we are in or issue we encounter, for His glory and our spiritual growth. When we wait on God it results in an extraordinary promise. God will renew our strength. He will pull us up and carry us. He will provide the courage and ability to overcome  when every drop of human energy and resource are spent. Why? So that, like so many heroes of the bible came to recognize, God provides the only source of true achievement. Without God's intervention, David would not have defeated Goliath. Joshua's army would have been stopped and destroyed at the walls of Jericho. Moses would have been just a murderer on the run. Noah would have drown with everyone else. Finally, we would be utterly lost in sin and condemned to an unimaginably horrific fate. God wants there to be no doubt, without Him, we are unable to move even one step ahead. There is no better description of how God renews our strength than this passage. It is powerfully expressive and intensely visual. Through his revival, we rise on wings as eagles. We soar through the sky on the currents of his love and grace, reaching heights we could have never imagined. Through his moving, we will run the marathon of our lives with legs that will not tire. We can walk through the paths of our existence through all the stress or strife without fainting. This is a stunning promise. Can we truly comprehend it? How can anyone lose hope with such a beautiful note of pure love and encouragement from our creator? His word is alive, current, never ending, and absolute truth. Digest that for a moment and you will understand how wonderous our God is. He will never leave us or forsake us. Even when He seems silent, or the problem looks bigger than any possible solution God is there. He is carrying us through the storm, unaffected by the winds and wail. He molds and refines us so that we may become all that He hopes us to be. Do you know how much God loves you? Is His truth or fiction? What issue in your life is bigger than God? Are you ready to allow God to shape you, no matter what trials and tribulations may come, into the man or woman that He knows you can be? God bless.

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