Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to encourage the hearers to affirm to others that the Lord gives RENEWED STRENGTH to believers who WAIT on Him.

8 February 2009

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris

Fortress Chapel

F.O.B. Sykes

Tall-afar, Iraq

BIG IDEA: Believers sometimes feel like God doesn’t care, and He has forgotten and neglected them. But God gives RENEWED STRENGTH to believers who WAIT on Him.

REFERENCES: Fifth Sunday after Epiphany; Isaiah 40:21-31(ESV); Jesus Heals a Boy and is later questioned by His disciples: Matthew 17:20-21 (KJV) … “if we have faith the size of a tiny mustard seed; we can look to our mountain of a problem and direct its movement – and it would move”; Psalm 30:5b (ESV) Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning; 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me; Psalm 147:1-11, 20c (ESV); 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 (ESV); Mark 1:29-39 (ESV); 1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV) “… to be steadfast, un-moveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for … our labor is not in vain … “;Psalm 30:5b (KJV) Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning; Proverbs 6:6-7 (ESV) Go to the any, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest; Ecclesiastes 3;1-4 GNB (A Time for Everything); Psalm 27:14 (ESV) Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord !;


II. READ THE PERICOPE: Isaiah 40:27-31 (ESV)

III. READ THE TEXT: Isaiah 40:30-31 (ESV) Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 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.

IV. PURPOSE: To encourage the hearers to affirm to others that the Lord gives RENEWED STRENGTH to believers who WAIT on Him.

V. SERMONIC THEME: “When The Chips Are Down"


“WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN.” Many of you in chapel today are too young to know what the phrase “When the chips are down” means. But, allow me to indulge you for a moment. Usually, the phrase, “When the chips are down” is used in extreme situations in life. It’s often associated with situations that are negative over a long period of time.

Therefore, “When the chips are down” is defined as a time of great and difficult obstacles. In other words, “When the chips are down,” things are going really bad for you.

For instance, perhaps we can imagine overhearing Osama Bin Laden speaking to some of his Senior AQUI Operatives (and Bad Guys) in IRAQ: “Remember BROTHERS, when the chips are down, I’ll always be there for you.

Unfortunately, the chips seem to be rather down at the moment; and at the rate the American and Iraqi Forces are moving around and rebuilding Iraq; it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better for us anytime soon.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 1: As a Christian, there have been times I have personally felt like God … either didn’t care about me, … or He had forgotten all about me.

a. The chips were down!

b. There have been times, I have even felt materialistically neglected by God.

c. Still, I am determined NOT TO ALLOW THE ENEMY – of our faith - THE JOY of utilizing my life …

d. When The Chips are Down … as an example of a Christian Quitter … or a Christian Crybaby.

e. Because, like many of you … here in IRAQ this morning … I am also committed to seeing that God’s Work Get Done in IRAQ… and our troops are spiritually replenished and empowered … to Complete the Mission!

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 2: As believers, you and I are like the Proverbial Ant – in Proverbs 6:6-7 - we aren’t quitters!

a. We are constantly on the move, crossing faith obstacles and challenges ….

b. … while simultaneously storing up FAITH and TRUST in GOD for …

c. WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN – in our personal and spiritual lives.

d. In other words, we can be compared to the Time-ex Watch; we take a licking - and (because of our FAITH and TRUST in GOD) we keep on ticking!

e. But, we don’t EVER GIVE UP!

f. We don’t ever throw in our towel of TRUST AND FAITH IN GOD.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 3: For God has been too good!

a. The Psalmist says it best (in Psalm 30:5b (KJV) Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

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