Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Sometimes, we have to elevate our lives above the level of mediocrity, elevate it above the level of problem solving, to a level where we soar above the problems, pains, persecutions, and pressures of life.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
That's what I want to talk to you about, today. I want to read a very famous passage in Isaiah 40:29-31. If you are familiar with the Bible you may have heard this, but I'm going to add some insight that I hope will help you appreciate it even more than you already do. The prophet Isaiah, speaking on behalf of the Lord, says this, "He [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 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."
Are you weary? God will give you strength. Are you weak? God will give you power. He says even youths grow tired and weary. In other words, people who are young can get burned out. Then he says that young men stumble and fall. Young men are the next stage above youths, and they stumble and fall. He's saying this problem is a problem for all of us. But look at the solution. Even though youths grow tired and weary, young men stumble and fall, those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Let's stop right there. "Those who hope in the Lord." Another translation says, "Those who wait on the Lord." Another translation says, "Those who rely on the Lord." All those ideas are present there. Hope requires that we wait and rely on God. If you will hope, wait, and rely on God, he will renew your strength.
Then, Isaiah talks about eagles. He says, "They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, and they will walk and not be faint." It says they'll renew their strength and then soar like an eagle. Eagles are interesing. They have a long lifetime, and are very vigorous, strong, and vibrant. They are extremely long-living birds, and what's interesting is that even when eagles get older, their feathers will come out, and they'll be replaced by new feathers, even in their old age. The new feathers replicate the feathers they had when they were young. This goes along with the idea of renewing your strength, and has the idea that that your old feathers, which have served you so well all these years, get replaced by new, young feathers. How would you like to have a new, young you? A new, young lower back. A new, young left shoulder? I'd like to have one of them new, young lateral LAD arteries. I would get rid of these four stents. But anyway, God will renew your strength like he does for an eagle. Then, Isaiah says, "They will soar on wings like eagles." You know, eagles fly higher than virtually any other bird. They fly so high to avoid all their adversaries. Here's what I want to say to you: instead of being under your problems, why don't you fly over them? The Bible says that if you wait, hope, and rely upon the Lord in your difficulties and problems, you can elevate and soar above mediocrity. Maybe it's time for you to elevate today.
Let's pray. Father, help us to elevate above our problems. Help us not to sit, soak, and sour in them. Help us to do it by waiting on you for your perfect timing, hoping and expecting you'll do something great. Let us not rely upon ourselves. Do all this for anybody who is weary and tired, whether they're a youth, an older person, or a middle-aged person. Help anyone who is just stumbling, struggling, and weak. Give them the strength when we do what you ask us to do, in Jesus' name, amen.
Friday, January 8, 2021
Sometimes strengths, weaknesses and limitations just lead to weariness. Some people are so weary that a good night's sleep, a stiff cup of coffee, and a week's vacation can't solve it. You've experienced soul fatigue. What do you do when you're weary, or when you just feel so weak?
Friday, January 8, 2021
You wait on God. You turn to God. I want to look at a very classic passage in Isaiah 40:29-31. I think these verses speak mostly for themselves. I just wanted to encourage you, if you're weak and weary, take these words in. Isaiah says, "He 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 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." What's Isaiah the prophet saying from God? He's saying everybody is weak and weary. It's not just a physical vitality thing. That's what I said at the beginning. It's the immaterial side. He says that even youths grow tired and weary, even young men stumble and fall.
Isaiah tells us to hope in the Lord. Hope is an interesting word. Another translation says, "Those who wait on the Lord." When you're hoping on God, you're waiting on God. Waiting is not a passive activity. It's an active activity in the text. Those who wait actively through hope on God will renew their strength. They will get back the strength that they were lacking. When you do that, you'll be soaring on wings like eagles. You know, if you watch eagles soar, you'll notice they don't flap a lot. They know how to leverage the wind around them to just glide. It's a beautiful thing to watch an eagle glide. What's he saying? He's saying when you wait or hope on the Lord, he'll renew your strength. And you'll glide like an eagle, you'll fly above the problems of mediocrity, and it won't take that much work, because God is working through you.
Isaiah also says that you will run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint. Well, I don't know about you, but I run to the mailbox and I'm winded. Well, I'm not quite that bad. But I get on the treadmill for a half hour, and I'm tired. He's saying you will run and you won't grow weary when you wait and hope on the Lord. You will walk and not be faint. This has the idea of going for a long, long walk. A day's journey was 20 miles, meaning you can walk 20 miles in a day. That's a long walk. And so you can do that and you won't faint. Here's my point. When you're weary, wait or hope on the Lord. renew your strength in him. He will give you mental reinvigoration, spiritual vitality, emotional booster shots. He'll encourage you, but you have to wait on the Lord. To wait on the Lord means you're looking to him. You're hoping in him. you're basing everything that energizes you on him. Life will drain you faster than anything. God will replenish you. I often think of coming to church as like a rechargeable battery for people. There aren't as many of those today, but you plug them in and they charge up. Every Sunday we charge people up and, hopefully, get them through another week. I hope this passage will also do that for you.
Let's pray. Father, there are people listening to me who are weak and weary. I pray that they would find a renewed strength as you promised through your prophet, Isaiah, in this text. I pray that they will run and not grow weary, walk and not faint. That they'll soar through life like an eagle, effortless, gliding, riding the winds the way you created them. I pray that you strengthen them now. In Jesus' name, amen.