Sermons

Summary: We need reminders to wait on God, to hope in Him. When we do, our strength will be renewed. By our own resources we will never achieve satisfaction or serenity. Trust in God produces confident expectations and a meaningful life.

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In a Peanuts cartoon, Charlie Brown has a moment of reflection after losing a baseball game: “When I am down and out, I lift up my head and shout, ‘I’M DOWN AND OUT’!”

People without God, who see life as a cosmic accident, have no Higher Power when life hurts. W who trust in God are able to find the comfort spoken of in the beginning of this chapter. We know there’s a plan--a grand scheme of things--and when dark days come that understanding gives us confidence and strength.

We watch the evening news and are burdened as we see hungry children, victims of torture and war, acts of hatred, and we’re left with nothing to diminish the raw pain of what’s happening. If only we could somehow embrace our broken world! We rest in the promise that one day the world will be covered with the knowledge of God, that every wrong will be righted, and that God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. But how long until that day? If only it could be today! Till then we wrestle with the mystery of divine providence.

Isaiah closes this chapter with words of enormous import. These are not idle promises but truths that should bolster our faith. We are waiting in hope for God’s salvation. The prophet understands the despair of his countrymen. Some were complaining about God; others had given up and were resigned to their fate. They were sitting--despondent and weeping--by the waters of Babylon. In their minds, God had ceased to care…yet they were not outside of God’s plan for them. God had not given up on them; they were not abandoned. To all who’ve lost hope, Isaiah cries out…

“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.”

…We do, and often. We tire of our trials and are on the verge of giving up. We cry, “I’m down and out!” and we figure it’s useless to hope for anything better. That’s when we need a reminder to “wait” on God, to “hope” in Him. When we do, our strength will be renewed. By our own resources we will never achieve satisfaction or serenity. Trust in God produces confident expectations and a meaningful life.

We may think of God as transcendent and remote, so far above us, so unknowable that He couldn’t possibly be interested in our petty concerns. The remedy to such thinking is to relearn what we already know about God. This is what Isaiah is telling Israel, and us. “Do you not know? Have you not heard?” We need to recall God’s actions in the past so that we may trust His providence for the future.

Part of our problem is that we’re time-bound; God is not. He is “the everlasting God.” His ways belong to eternity; He is outside of time. He is not limited by time, and so He sees the beginning and the end. We can face tomorrow knowing that God’s already been there.

-God “gives strength to the weary.” We grow tired and despondent over trying circumstances; yet God provides all we need.


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