“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.” Isaiah 40:29-31
Isaiah is a book split in two parts. The first half is a warning that speaks of a future exile. The second half is after that exile, then it concludes with talking about the future coming of Christ. Chapter 40 is a part of the second half of the book. Isaiah gave a warning, but also an immediate hope following the exile and then concluded with the big picture of Jesus bringing hope to all the nations.
After the exile the people of Israel were weary and weak. They felt discouraged and doubted if God was for them. They viewed God from their current perspective instead of seeing Him as the God of their history who created the universe, gave promises to their ancestors, freed them from slavery and established kingdoms. Because they felt weak, they assumed the Lord was weak.
Isaiah wrote “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.” (vs. 28)
God knows the whole story from the foundations of the earth until the future hope for all nations. This is why He is sovereign and has “understanding that no one can fathom.” When we are tired and full of anxiety sometimes we assume the Lord is too. When our foster kids return home and the situation looks unsure we can doubt if God sees the whole picture. When we have adopted a child with big trauma behavior that we don’t know how to parent we can feel like God can’t heal what drug effect has caused. We can believe He is weak when we feel weak, but when we hope in Him our strength to keep moving forward and caring for the vulnerable is renewed.
We are not promised to live in a world where bad things don’t happen; where people use their free will to only do good, where pandemics are unheard of and natural disasters never happen. We are promised that the Lord will be with us; that He will strengthen our resolve. When we are exhausted and doubt the Lord we must look at our history and see Him in it. We must remember what we’ve overcome and anticipate the promises yet to be fulfilled. We have to pray that God “helps [us] with our unbelief” (Mark 9:24) and increases our hope in Him because “those who hope in the Lord WILL renew their strength.” - Ashley Wambach, President/Executive Director
Original post Sept. 17, 2020