By: Pastor Mark Wood – Seed Of Hope Church
In today’s world we are faced with so many distractions that take us away from focusing on God and the strength he can provide for us. The bible tells us that our flesh is week and yet we let things like TV and the Internet consume our lives.
Satan uses these things to desensitize and distract us from the word of God tells us about different things. Just look at the fact at how main stream, family based, tv shows today try to teach us that homosexuality is ok, how nudity and casual sex is ok, and how cursing is ok. If you get on the internet and have a different opinion than someone else on a subject you are immediately chastised and cursed at, not to mention the things you can look at, like pornography, without even trying to find it.
We fail God in so many ways but I am here to tell you that we can have a renewed strength in Jesus Christ.
Let’s look at Isaiah 40:25-31
25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. 27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? 28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But 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.
These verses touch the very core of Christian experience. If we are honest before God and with ourselves we must admit that we fail very much in our Christian living and service.
- The Word of God convinces us of our failure. We often “faint” and “have no might” (verse 29); we are “weary” and we “fall” (verse 30). This is God’s description of the weakness that so often characterizes the lives of His children.
- Our Own Observations convince us of failure. Our eyes tell us that there is much weakness in the church today and amongst God’s people. Indeed, the prevailing condition would seem to be one of failure.
- Our Own Experiences tells us that there is much failure. Our own heart tells us. We are so faint and weary, and so slow to learn the way of victory and power! – look up Proverbs 14:10 which says.
The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
So What is the cause of our failure?
The PRIMARY cause: Is our own Ignorance of the resources at our disposal.
Yes, ignorance! Look up Hosea 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
So because we let the world distract us and don’t seek out God we are weak and even our children suffer for it.
Now let’s compare Matthew 22:29 to what we just read.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
and let’s go back and see Isaiah 40:28 where it asks “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard ?
So what are the resources at our disposal? All you have to do is finish reading verses 28 and 29 –
“the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”
So that means He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
He is offering to give us power and strength. Against the background of our own failures is the promise of the everlasting God, the Creator of the universe, to turn our failure into glorious triumph. He places all His unlimited resources of strength and power at our disposal – but we must tap these resources.
The SECONDARY cause: Is our Failure to tap these resources.
Verse 29 starts by saying, “He giveth…”, well in response to His giving we must receive.
So how does this giving and receiving take place? How does God transfer His power to us?
Well Verse 31 gives the answer – “But they that wait upon the Lord”.
But what does it mean to “wait upon the Lord?” Does it mean to pray, worship, attend services and read the Bible? Yes, but not primarily. It means to “keep silence before God” – look up Isaiah 41:1,
Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.
Let’s compare that to Psalm 62:1,
Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.
The word “waiteth” here literally means “be silent”.
Now look up Proverbs 8:34.
Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
Waiting upon God means to be cast upon Him in utter dependence, ready to hear His voice and to do His will, having all our expectations come from Him. It implies complete confidence and trust in the Lord, and absolutely no confidence in self or in human and worldly distractions.
So what is the result of such waiting upon the Lord?
- We will have God’s strength in place of our weakness.
In verse 31 it says: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”
The word “renew” here may be literally translated to “change” or “exchange”.
As humans our greatest weakness is our own strength, and if we will go to the Lord in our utter weakness He will exchange it for His strength. (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
What kind of strength? Physical strength? Yes, He can and does renew our physical strength when we wait upon Him – look up Romans 8:11.
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
Mental strength? Yes, He is the fountain of all wisdom and quickens our minds as we wait before Him – look up Romans 12:2;
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
We can back that up with Ephesians 4:23; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And 2 Timothy 1:7; For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Moral strength? Yes – and how we need it! Look up Ephesians 6:10; Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
And 2 Timothy 2:1; Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Spiritual strength? Yes – look up Luke 24:29; But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
Acts 1:8; But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
1 Corinthians 1:25; Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Isaiah 30:15; For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
- We will enjoy life above the average.
Back in Isaiah 40:31 it tells us; But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
So we will “soar on wings like eagles”, far above earth’s sordid level, to where “the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
And as you may know the eagle is the only bird that flies so high that it is lost to sight – and that is where you and I belong. As Christians we belong to Heaven now (Philippians 3:20); “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:”
(Ephesians 2:6) “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”. Therefore, God has raised us up with Christ.
look up Colossians 3:1-2; “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Today many Christians are earth-bound, hopping on the ground like a bird with a broken wing, instead of flying high like an eagle! You and I have been made to fly and enjoy an above average life simply by calling on him for our strength!
- We will do supernatural things.
Back in Isaiah 40:31 it says: “they shall run, and not be weary;”
It is not natural for us to run and not feel weary, but God promises supernatural power for the accomplishing of supernatural tasks; we are a supernatural people because we are linked to a supernatural God!
look up John 7:38; He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
And John 14:12; Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
So by getting our strength from Him we can accomplish supernatural things.
- We will live victoriously in the hardest place of all – in the daily lives.
We will “walk, and not be faint” – not “run, and not be faint”.
Sometimes it is easier to run than to walk. The most testing place for each one of us is that place where we engage in everyday things.
Look up Psalm 37:23; The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
In our daily lives we need to remember that our Savior was born to free us from worldly distractions and to give us supernatural strength and power.
We need to get alone in His presence and say, “I’m weak! I have no strength, and I am distracted by the things of life. But Thou art my life, Thou art my strength, Thou art my victory…”, and by faith he would breathe in the life of his risen Lord, for body, mind and spirit.
And the result? – strength renewed!