Scripture: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for 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 40:28-31
As a seventeen-year-old I traveled over a thousand miles from home to attend Bible college and a whole new world opened up to me. I still remember the day in class when I understood that Bible translations into English often fall short of the true depth of meaning from the original language. We were studying Isaiah 40:31 and the professor changed the word “wait for the LORD” to “hope in the LORD.” I knew the definition of both of those words, but I had never grasped the fact that waiting for the LORD was also putting my hope in Him!
I had grown up using the King James Bible, but at Bible college I bought a New American Standard Bible for classwork. The first few months, my heart almost burst with new understanding. And Isaiah 40:31 was one of my new favorite verses. How appropriate that at that time I was a youth in college, learning my limitations, and often feeling exhausted!
In chapter 40, Isaiah encourages the Judahites by reminding them of the sufficiency of their God, preparing them for the Babylonian captivity to come. The sufficiency of God emphasized by Isaiah is that He is everlasting, the Creator of all the earth. He doesn’t grow tired. He doesn’t make mistakes. His strength and energy are unfailing. We cannot comprehend Him.
We are not like Him.
We grow tired. We make mistakes. Our strength and energy are limited. But God is willing to give us His strength! Even young people lose their strength in certain circumstances, but those (young, old, and everyone in-between) “who wait for (rest on, trust in, hope in) the LORD” will receive His strength. We will exchange “our inadequate strength for His abundant strength.” (Dr. Constable’s Notes – Isaiah)
However, we have to depend on Him completely and be willing to submit to His way, even if that means enduring Babylonian captivity. “The intent of this great chapter was to encourage the Israelites, as they looked forward to captivity, to continue to depend on, and submit to, the Lord. He could and would deliver them eventually.” (Dr. Constable’s Notes – Isaiah)
Dear friend, the same is true for us as believers today. We can be encouraged that God is still all-sufficient and that no matter what our future holds in store, we must depend on, hope in, and submit to the Lord. He will deliver us, in His time.
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