New Strength – Isaiah 40:28-31
by Dionne Stratton
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Isaiah 40:28-31 - “Have you not heard? Do you not know? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Do You Not Know?
Do you not know that there is a true and living God? Have you not heard about Him? Scripture says, “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood by what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:20)” for, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after say they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no language where their voice is not heard. (Psalm 19:1-3)” and in quoting Psalm 19:4, Paul says, “did they not hear? Of course they did: 'their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world (Romans 10:18)”. But just in-case we've somehow missed it, God reveals Himself to us in His Word. We learn plenty about God just from this one passage in Isaiah. We learn that:
He is the “everlasting God” - He has always been and will always be God. Scripture says, “from everlasting to everlasting thou art God (Psalm 90:2)” for, “...His ways are eternal (Habakkuk 3:6)”. He is the one, “...who is able to establish you by the gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him... (Romans 16:25-27)”.
He is the Creator – He is God over everything: He is not “the god of the wilderness” or “the god of the hills” (1 Kings 20:23-28). He is not like some local idol whose arm only extends so far and no farther. Scripture says, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear (Isaiah 59:1)”. The answer is “of course not!”. For, “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth... (Isaiah 40:22)” and, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)”, yet He is not distant from us or uninvolved in this world for He is, “the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16)” and “at the Name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess the Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (?)”.
He is constant – He never changes. This means that we can count on Him to always do what He said He would do and be able to provide for us everything that we need. Because He, “is not a man that He should lie nor... change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)” for He, “never grows weak or weary (v28)”, He “will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4), He is unchanging. He is, “the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)”.
He knows and understands everything – Nothing escapes His notice or can be hidden from Him, and nothing is beyond Him. The same wisdom and understanding He used to create the world is the same wisdom and understanding that He offers to us in our daily lives. Scripture says, “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth's foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place; by His knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew (Proverbs 3:19-20)”, and the psalmist says of Him, “You know when I lay down and when I rise up... before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely...” (Psalm 139:4). Scripture also says of Jesus, “(He) is not unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but (He) was tempted in every way just as we are yet He did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15). There is nothing that He does not understand and nothing He will not see you through. He is “the only wise God (Romans 16:27)” and He has given us His Spirit and, as Scripture says, “The Spirit of the Lord (is)... the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2)”.
He gives – Scripture says that, “every good and perfect gift comes from God... (James 1:17)” and that, “He gives us life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25)”, and “... gives generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5)”. Whatever else He ever gives us, God the Father gave the greatest gift He could ever give and Scripture says it just this simply, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)”. As amazing as that is, God does not stop there for Scripture goes on to say, “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)”. Indeed Jesus Himself said, “...how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:7-11, Luke 11:11-13)”. As Scripture says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “yes” in Christ... (2 Corinthians 1:20)”
Truly knowing these things will help us to learn to trust God and when we truly trust in God we are able to rest from all those things that wear us out and we will be able to say with the psalmist, “...He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul... (Psalm 23:2-3)”.
We can rest from:
Worry – in the end, worry is completely useless. As Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry... who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?... But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and (all you need) will be given to you as well (Matt 6:25-34, Luke 12:22-31)”. Scripture is filled with admonitions to not worry and to “fear not”. What do we do instead? Scripture says, “Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God... (Philippians 4:6)” You are to, “cast all your cares on Him... (1 Peter 5:7)” and leave them there.
Striving in our own human effort – we were never meant to try to live this life in our own strength. Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)”. Not “very little” or even “almost nothing” but as far as any kingdom purposes go, apart from Him we can truly do nothing and yet too often we try anyway. For this reason Scripture says, “How ridiculous is this?! After starting your Christian lives in and by the Holy Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? (Galatians 3:3)”. The implication is that this will never work as we well know (eventually). Such striving only leaves us exhausted trying to do what God has said is to be, “not by might nor by power but by My Spirit....” (Zechariah 4:6)
Promoting and defending self – The world tells us that if we want to “get ahead” we have to promote and defend ourselves (our reputations) at all costs – even at the cost of others. But God has a better way. He says, “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6)”. God not only promises to promote us when the time is right, but He also promises to take care of our reputations if we are following Him. Scripture says, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act... (Psalm 37:5-7)”. This means that you don't defend yourself to everyone who talks bad about you but you trust God to look after your name and His.
God invites us to trust and rest in Him. He says to us, “Be still and know that I am God... (Psalm 46:10)”. When we know who God is, we will find ourselves able to rest in Him.
We can rest in:
His love – Scripture says, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)”. and just in case you missed it, it says, “...He cares for you... (1 Peter 5:7)”. It doesn't get any clearer than that, but it does get better. Scripture says, “How great is the love that the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)”. If you are in Christ then you are a child of God. Not only does God love you as His child, but He loves you just the same way that He loves His only begotten Son! Jesus Himself said so, “...(You) have loved them even as You have loved Me (John 17:23)”. Because God loves us so much, we can be secure in trusting Him with every part of our lives.
His Sovereignty and Power – Scripture says, “the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations (Psalm 33:11)”. We don't have to wonder how things will turn out in the end, whether good or evil will finally win. But we can be sure that God's good plans (Jeremiah 29:11) will be fulfilled for Scripture also says, “As I have spoken so it shall stand (Isaiah 14:24)”. This applies not only to God's eternal purposes in the world, but also in our lives – in the lives of those who follow Him. To all of God's people Scripture says, “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)”. But more than working everything out for our good in this life, God promises us rewards in the life to come. As Scripture says, “For our light and momentary afflictions are achieving for us an eternal weight of glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17)” and, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18)”. So we can rest in confident certainty of the future that God has promised us.
His grace and provision – Since God is all-powerful and loves us more than we can imagine, we can rest in the certainty that He will always take care of us. Scripture says, “God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)” and, “God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8)”. For, “From the fullness of His grace we have all received grace upon grace. For... grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:16-17)”. He does this not only because of His love for us but also, “to the praise of His glorious grace He has freely given us in the One He loves... (Ephesians 1:6)”.
As we rest from these things by resting and trusting in God, we will find ourselves gaining new strength through one of the many ways that God strengthens us.
How God strengths us:
By His Holy Spirit – Scripture says, “...may He strengthen you with power through His Spirit...” (Ephesians 3:16), for, “God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and of self-control (2 Timothy 1:7)”.
By His grace – Scripture says, “...it is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace” (Hebrews 13:9) for His grace, “is sufficient for you, (His) power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)”.
Through the gifts of the Spirit – Scripture says that the gifts of the Spirit are, “for strengthening, encouragement, and comfort.... a hymn, teaching, revelation, tongue or interpretation... all must be done to strengthen the church” (1 Corinthians14:3&26). The gifts are for the building up of God's people as the church, “...builds itself up in love... (Ephesians 4:16)”.
Through encouragement – One of the gifts of the Spirit, encouragement is how God strengthens us through the words of others as He uses them to, “... strengthen and encourage...” (1 Thessalonians 3:2). This is why we are to, “not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25)”. Not only does God encourage us through our brothers and sisters, but also through His Word. Scripture says, “May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope (through the gospel), encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2 Thessalonians 2:17)”.
Through joy – Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and is one more of the ways that God gives us strength. Scripture says, “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) and tells where to find that joy, “in (His) presence is fullness of joy at (His) right-hand pleasures forever more (Psalm 16:11)”.
God is Our Strength
God not only, “gives strength to His people (Psalm 29:11)”, but He Himself is our strength. For Scripture says:
“The sovereign Lord is my strength” (Habakkuk 3:19)
“My God has been my strength” (Isaiah 49:5)
“Blessed are those whose strength is in You” (Psalm 84:5-7)
“My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart” (psalm 73:26)
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1)
“The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation...” (Psalm 28:8)
When we have found our strength in God by trusting and resting in Him, we will be able to, “soar high on wings like eagles” but even if we “run” we will “not grow weary” or if we “walk” we will “not faint”. The point is not so much whether we are soaring, running, walking, or even standing still. The point is that we will find in God all the strength we need to do what we need to in this life. As Scripture says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)” We have in Him the strength to “not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:3)” so that we will “not grow weary in doing good (so that) in due time (we will) reap a harvest if (we) don't give up (Galatians 6:9)”.
Point to Ponder:
What do you need to rest from by learning to entrust it to God? Remember; He is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). Are there any areas in which you have trouble believe and resting in the character and nature of God? Go through the truths presented by this verse again. Let Scripture reassure your heart and mind bringing strength, comfort, and peace.
Let's pray, “Almighty God, how amazed we are that You have called us Your children and that You are careful to take good care of us, giving us all that we need and filling our hearts with joy. Thank You for Your Word, that we may know who You are and in knowing You may we rest in Your sovereignty, love, and grace. Help us to commit every area of our lives to You, for You are the One who takes care of us and is able to do so much more than we ever could dream of (Ephesians 3:20). As we trust and rest in You, our Father, may You fill us with new strength – with power, endurance, and perseverance. May You not only strengthen us by Your Word and Your Spirit, but may You Yourself also be our strength as we fix our eyes on Jesus (the author and perfecter of our faith – Hebrews 12:2) and commit our way to You. God, to You be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever (Ephesians 3:21)! Amen.”
And so, “...may God strengthen your hearts...” (1 Thessalonians 3:13)
See these songs: Forever and Forever, Strong for You*
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