These verses in the Book of Isaiah 40 are so uplifting! Last week, we talked about verse 29 and how, in spite of our weaknesses, God promises to strengthen us for whatever battles we face. Today, let’s continue understanding how this is true:
“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 faint.” Isa 40:31 NIV
Hope in the Lord. This is the key to our strength, my Friends. As we choose to trust God, that He loves us, will never leave us alone, will never abandon us in any situation we find ourselves in, has a good plan for our lives, is working all things together for our good because we love Him too and so on and so on…as we choose to trust all these promises in the Bible, we will naturally be uplifted in our souls. Steady hope does not come from our circumstances because they are always changing. Steady hope does not come from other humans because they are always fickle. Steady hope does not come from ourselves because we should be always transforming into God’s Image. No, real Hope only comes from God who never changes, is always constant and has always been Faultless and Flawless. God does not need to change because He is Perfect. Only He could be our steady Hope, our Anchor in every storm. As we choose to place our Hope in the Lord, strength automatically follows.
Choose to put your Hope in the Lord. There are countless things you and I have absolutely NO control over. Yet the really vital things, God has allowed us to control. Our choices is one of them. We choose to be joyful or miserable. We choose to hold on to resentment or to give it to God. We choose to treat others as they have treated us or as we would like them to treat us. All this God has granted us the power to control. The situations or the people involved should have NO control over these decisions. In Christ, we can decide. Only IN Christ…apart from Him, we can do nothing. (Jn 15:5) Our only “choice” when we are not focusing our thoughts on Him, is to REACT according to that old, self-centered nature, which is no choice at all. But as we focus on Christ, we actually are given another way to live, another option if you will, so we CAN make a choice. Now, with our minds centered on God, we can decide to act the old way and REACT to others and situations…OR we can choose a NEW WAY, to RESPOND to others and situations, imitating the Nature of God instead of our old, fallen self.
REACT or RESPOND. Let me give you a real life example so you can grasp what I am saying…and how powerful this Truth is. I was filling in at a pharmacy that was not my home store. I could see a patient coming down the aisle, making a beeline to the pharmacy counter and noticed, before he said a word, his anger and frustration with every step as he made his way. I chose to go to him with a smile and sincerely ask him how I could help him. He began with that “you people” kind of attitude, but I chose to calmly listen to his problem and complaints. I then chose NOT to defend myself by saying this is not my regular store…I chose NOT to defend the other pharmacists by making flimsy excuses…I chose NOT to add to the problem by reacting. By God’s Grace, I was centered on Christ that day and so, I chose to be a part of the solution instead of adding to the problem. I quickly took responsibility…even though I had not been a participant in the original problem…and just as quickly fixed it to his satisfaction. The look on this man’s face was priceless. He really had no idea what to do for a moment or two. He came ready for a fight. Again, by God’s Grace, I came ready to be a blessing. He just took his properly filled prescription and said, “Well, okay then,” and walked back down the aisle a different person than when he came in. The POWER of our choices, whether to react or respond, make all the difference. I could have leaned on my weaknesses…or I could have placed my Hope on God and received His strength to do the righteous thing.
There is a huge difference between doing the right thing or the righteous thing. If you still do not understand the amount of STRENGTH it takes to do the righteous thing…will you look once more at the Cross? As I mentioned above, I was not involved in the original problem in that pharmacy, yet I chose to take responsibility for it. My Friends, Jesus was certainly NOT a participant in our original problem either, yet HE took FULL responsibility for our sinfulness! He could have wiped away all of creation with just a lifting of His eyebrow, yet He didn’t. Jesus chose the Cross because God is always the Solution, and never adds to the problem. We must choose whether we will believe and put our Hope in Him or not. If we decide to trust Him, God will give us strength to do whatever it is we ought to be doing today. If we decide to trust anything else in this corrupt and fading world, then we should not be surprised at how weary we get and how our weaknesses rule over our day. If we choose God, we will soar above all life’s problems, more and more. If we don’t…well, I hope you like crawling along the muck and mire because that is where you will be most of the time.
Lord, help me soar. God promises to strengthen us for whatever battles we face. How? By helping us to Hope in the Lord…every good and perfect thing then flows from Him to us then, hopefully, through us. This is the Abundant Life…and it is good indeed. Won’t you join me?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think.
<>< Peace, Diane