Summary: There is no shortage of God’s power, might, and strength. Our way is not hidden from Him. He has not forgotten about us. He will make His strength available to us, if we but trust Him. AND WAIT.
Waiting on the Lord entails patient faith and is rewarded by His strength. This past week we experimented here at the church with livestreaming on our church Facebook page. I’m not sure if you saw that post. We are learning how to film the service LIVE when we finally do come back to church for worship.
But for the past couple of weeks the Lord has been impressing one word on me and that word is “WAIT.” I’ve been asked a number of times when we are going to start having church again. My answer to that is when we are told that it’s safe enough for ALL of us to gather for worship. There are so many restrictions right now that we have to discourage anyone over 65 years old from gathering, and then with the safe distancing, we can only get about 55-60 people in our sanctuary at one time. So, believe me, I have been asking the Lord to show me when the time is right. Again, the word WAIT comes up. And even for this message, I was led to Is. 40:29-31. Listen………
“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”
There’s a chorus that we sing sometimes entitled, “Wait Upon the Lord.” Some of the words say, “Those that wait upon the Lord, their strength shall be renewed. Wait upon the Lord like the earth waits for the morning dew, it is good, Lord, to wait upon you.” Those words obviously come from the Isaiah passage that I just read.
So, let’s look at this passage today for a bit and see what the Lord is telling us.
Chapter 40 is the beginning of a new section in the book of Isaiah. It is the first chapter which looks beyond the captivity of Israel and on to the bright of the future God has in store. God has a brighter future in store for us as well.
This is one of the better-known texts in the book of Isaiah. It is well-known because it is well-loved. It is loved because it strikes a familiar chord with so many of us weary pilgrims who travel this journey in life. At times all of us have been weary. Our experiences can be exhausting. Over the duration of time we can become discouraged.
In the LIVE post last week, I asked if any of this describes you: I mentioned several of the feelings and emotions that many are going through right now with all this stay-home policy—getting tired, getting bored, getting uneasy. Tension is mounting. Anxiety is building.
I mentioned that we all love to go on a long vacation but we’re uncertain as to how to do it. How do we remain safe? And so, we get so frustrated. Are you frustrated with it all right now? I admit that I am getting there.
But just remember, this is one of the tricks of the enemy: if discouragement goes unchecked it can defeat us. So, for centuries, battle-tired soldiers and travel-weary pilgrims have been drawn to this passage written 700 years before Jesus came to earth and have received comfort. That’s why these verses are so well-known and loved.
I wonder how many of you have this passage in Isaiah 40 marked in your Bibles. We mark it because it brings us a bit of comfort as we are reminded that even in the waiting, God is there. Like so many great Bible texts, this one addresses a problem by offering a promise.
And so, the passage tells us to Wait. What does it mean to "wait"? The waiting spoken of here requires faith, and trust, and patience, and hope. Some have proposed the idea that when this passage says, “Wait upon the Lord,” that it refers to a waiter or waitress who waits on tables. But that’s not true. It is not serving at His table that renews our strength, but holding onto the assurance that He will come through for us.
The word "wait" in this instance has to do with faith, not service. It bears the concepts of trust, hope and longing. It is to wait with expectant hope.
This hope is brought to those who wait in patience. This hope is represented by patient waiting. This is not a passive, do-nothing wait.
These people wait for the Lord to fulfill His promise. To wait on the Lord is to fully believe in His promises of deliverance. Let me ask you, “Do you fully believe that our Lord is going to deliver us from this pandemic we are in?” If you answered “yes” to that, then you are understanding what Isaiah was preaching when he said that those who wait upon the Lord will have their strength renewed.