Tag Archives: Isaiah 40:31

You Need To Hear This

isaiah 40

I certainly needed to hear it.

This is a somewhat vague story for the sole purpose of not telling tales. It’s one of those “the names have been changed stories to protect the not so innocent.” Actually there are no names, which much like the parables of the bible, may allow you to place yourself inside my day and encourage yourself in my discovery.

I was almost in shock, but not entirely. The evidence had been there before but not to this degree. It involved people I cared about as well as people I didn’t really care about if I’m honest. Both people had hurt me, one unknowingly, one intentionally. One I knew to be a Christian, one I wondered. How vague is that! Both events in one day and by days end I was left lifeless on the ground. Weary, oh so very weary of sin.

The sins were such that they would cut at the very core of a Christian testimony. One was the sin of prejudice and the other the sin of entitlement, arrogance and self-righteousness wrapped up in a package. To the unsaved looking at either of these lives with the notion of being drawn to Christ, was ludicrous. Neither of them would leave anyone feeling the need to be saved, being that their version of saved was very, very jaded.

Their behavior cut me. I fought back the tears thinking about the damage to the name of Christ in their behavior. I wanted to lash out, but I just couldn’t. It wasn’t the place to draw attention to someone else’s sins. And so I sat in silence, hurting. Hurting for Jesus. Hurting for someone who might hear and not understand that these people are “just human” with human flaws and all. Later in the day I talked to God, but to no avail. The knot in my stomach was still there. I spent a restless night and awoke with a feeling of despair and of nothing getting fixed. I can’t fix a brokenness in the spirit of other people, especially when they don’t acknowledge that it’s even an issue.

I complained to God and then I heard this:

“That feeling you have Shari… that’s the same feeling I have when I look at your sin. Hurt. Knowing what you know, how you could ever feel your behavior is acceptable or excusable because you are human. Remember that before you judge someone else.”

I needed to hear that. It was a stark reminder that my name is nameless too in the book of God when it comes to sin. But I still felt weary. Now I was not only weary of their condition but my own condition felt heavier still.  But God lured me into His word as He often does to seek strength for the moment.

His understanding

Isaiah 40 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.

God’s ways are not my way nor are His thoughts my thoughts. How good to know that even when I am weary, and not from well doing but rather from evil doing, God understands. He sees human nature for what it is. It is what He died for. But in my human form I cannot search long enough to understand it, because I am not God. And unlike me, God is not weary. Not even weary of me. So I must rely on His understanding.

His Strength

29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

He knows my utter human frailty. I have no might and He knows I will fall and faint. But through His Holy Spirit He encourages my soul. How awesome that gift is. So I must rely on His strength.

His Forgiveness

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

Probably the hardest of all to understand. The people in my story hurt me a few times. How many times have I hurt God? Countless. Multiply that times all His people. All the people for whom He died. Now imagine that pain. We can’t. Nor can I imagine how Almighty He assuredly is that He can take that hurt and love me anyway. So I must rely on His forgiveness.

His Wings

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.

Even with His wings, the word doesn’t say we’ll soar, it says we’ll walk. We won’t fly, but we won’t faint. That’s good news! I’ve heard the word “Wait” preached not as the meaning to delay, but rather to serve. As a waiter would wait (serve) a table, which puts a whole other perspective on that scripture. As we “serve” the Lord our strength is rekindled. So I must keep serving. Keeping God’s word in my heart so that I do not faint on days like that mentioned in this story. When people fail me, I can draw strength to forgive from the endless well of forgiveness that God has in supply for His children… for me.

Did you think that God had forgotten you?

isaiah 40

I must confess there have been times that, although I didn’t think the Lord had forgotten about me, I may have thought He was tired of hearing from me. After all, I grow weary of people whining, just think about how many whiners the Lord listens to each day! I was in one of those modes yesterday… whine, whine, whine… I got sick of listening to myself. Praise the LORD it’s Sunday! I needed a spiritual kick in the pants and Isaiah gave me one this morning when I read his words in chapter 40.

Isaiah 40

21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

Have ye not known? That was a real bell ringer for me this morning. “You know the answer to this Shari, you’ve heard it again and again from the beginning of your salvation and from the beginning of time God has preached it to men. I understand everything you’re going through.”

And He does! The ignorance of men never ceases to amaze me, self-included. We think we catch God off guard by our day to day musings of life, and the scientific world thinks that the answers to creation lies in a text book, when there in verse 22, long before Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and they thought he would surely sail off the end of the earth; Isaiah proclaims that God “sitteth upon the circle of the earth.” Hmmmm…. and exactly how did he know that. And how is it that Job said that God “hangeth the earth upon nothing” In Job 26 verse 7? That coming from the oldest book in the Bible. Oh how I need this reminder this morning!

God knows everything I’m going through. He doesn’t mind if I whine… well maybe He does, but He tolerates me just the same, I’m not the first He’s heard. You really should read all of Isaiah 40 for your own encouragement today, but by way of brevity to start our day I’ll skip to verse 28-31. The latter of which is one you’re most likely familiar with. But listen to the words leading into it…

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.

Have we not known and heard that that God is eternal? You can’t get to be eternal by growing tired… that’s a long time. We grow weary, even the young grow weary and some just collapse along the way but God does not. He is there listening to us, encouraging us and cheering us on until we reach the day that we shall be with Him.

Are you waiting? As in serving not as in sitting. It is those who serve God that renew their strength. I’m headed to church today to serve Him in whatever capacity He will allow. It is there that I get my battery recharged and refueled for the week to come. I hope today finds you in the house of the Lord!

Don’t Stop in the Storm!

downpour

The image above was my drive in to work this morning. (I know… picture taking while driving is a bad idea) But the Lord gave me this thought as I was driving so I figured He wouldn’t mind if I had an illustration to go with it.

This was the second time in two weeks that I’ve driven one of the most treacherous highways in our area in a down pour of rain. I say most treacherous because every day you’ll likely face one, if not all four of the following, mudslides, rockslides, fallen trees or deer for a 20 mile stretch. Two weeks ago it was as if I was driving in an end times event movie, but it was very real. Two huge trees downed in front of my car, countless water crossings that turned my jeep into a boat, fallen rocks and water falls shooting down off the hill causing ditch lines to become swollen creek beds, it was crazy! Two inches of rain fell in 10 minutes and the hills couldn’t hold it. Today was not quite as bad but bad enough to cause me to continue on in rains I would have generally just pulled off and waited out. But there are very few places up Route 5 east where there is safety in a storm, I felt it was safer just to keep moving.

I thought about my testimony just last night in a Revival where I had praised God for making it through that storm a few weeks ago and how great it was to have the peace of God through something so scary. My thought this morning was “That’s what you get for shooting your mouth off about being brave Shari, a repeat!” And then I heard in my mind… “shshh and listen… there’s a lesson in this storm.

Isaiah 40:31

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.

It’s sometimes more dangerous to sit and wait in a storm than it is to keep going through it. If you stop you may be taken over or swept away, but if you keep moving, in a little while you’ll see the sun again. Glory! Is what I thought. How many times have I just wanted to give up in the midst of a struggle? Stop going to church, stop serving the Lord, quit it all! After all, that’s where a lot of the heart ache came from. But I just kept going, holding on to hope that peace would reign in my life again where sorrow rained now. And sure enough it would!

Are you going through a storm? Don’t stop! Satan will have you in his snare for certain. But if you keep moving, you’ll come through and stronger for it!

I didn’t enjoy my drive in this morning. I wanted at times to turn around and go back to the house. But I feared that I’d run into worse things by turning around. I’m now safe in my office, ready to see what the Lord has in store for my day.

So two lessons for me. Keep on keepin’ on… and be careful what you testify about! Just kiddin…. I’d do it again!