“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 40:31, ESV).”
We live in a fast-paced culture. Society tells us that we need to exercise more, study harder, work overtime, and keep ourselves busy to become successful in the game of life. It’s all about ready, set go! Do more! Accomplish more! Focus more! Become more!
But what if the Lord would rather us wait instead of go? What if God was telling us to slow down and meditate on the provisions He has in store for us? This is what Isaiah the prophet was declaring when he said that those who, “wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.”
How is it that waiting on the Lord renews our strength? Because as creatures, we are not meant to constantly strive and achieve for the greatest. It leads to covetousness, burn out, and self-centeredness. Instead, the Lord wants us to wait on Him because He is Sovereign and we are not. God is more than able to accomplish what we cannot complete. By waiting on Him, we are declaring our weakness and dependence upon the Creator.
I think it’s fair to admit that most of us struggle with waiting. I can’t tell you how many times I have been honked by a car behind me when I didn’t go immediately as the light turned green. Or how about waiting for someone to respond to your text message? For me, I know I have a bad habit of looking at my phone every 5 minutes until the person replies.
Waiting on God is key to our spiritual growth. In Romans 12:12, the Apostle Paul makes this clear:
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
As Christians, we will face trials of many kinds, and waiting for God to see us through these difficulties are vital for our spiritual development.
For example, in seminary, there were many students who wanted to begin their pastoral career right away. Even though they had spent a couple of years learning Scripture, serving in the local church, and studying to show “themselves approved, rightly dividing the word of God (2 Tim. 2:15),” most of them were still not ready to lead a congregation.
Think about this. It took Moses 40 years in the wilderness for God to set his theology straight. Jesus, the Incarnate God, who was full of perfect wisdom and knowledge, could have started his ministry when he was really young. However, He waited for the Father’s perfect timing, at the ripe age of 30, to lead others to faith in God for three short years. If Jesus was patient and humble, how much more should we as mortal men wait for Yahweh’s perfect timing?
Remember in Acts 1:6, when the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Notice the emphasis of “at this time.” The disciples were planning on God’s timing to be immediate; they were anticipating it to happen right away.
And now, more than 2,000 years later, we are still waiting eagerly for God to restore the full Kingdom of God here on the earth. For this fulfills what the Psalmist declared: “For in Your sight a thousand years are but a day that passes, or a watch of the night (Ps. 90:4). Therefore, it’s vital that we remain patient, not grow weary, and continue to allow the Holy Spirit to give us strength.
For the prophet Isaiah said that when we wait for the Lord, our strength will be renewed. As we allow God to fill our hearts, minds, and souls, believers will run and not grow weary. Christians will walk and not faint.Tweet
This is because their not relying on their own abilities and self-centered timeline; rather, they have submitted to the everlasting God of this universe to dictate both when and how to accomplish the will of God.
Therefore, let’s do our best to deny ourselves, bear our own cross, and conform more each day into the image of God. Praise be to the Eternal King.
Devotional written by Chad A. Damitz (M.Div)