“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 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”.Isaiah 40:29-31
In this life, it is easy for us to assume that there are certain lessons of which we will not have to be tested in. Whether it is because subconsciously we dismiss the thought of it or we consider ourselves walking steadily in the right direction, giving us confidence that we are good.
Something I am learning about myself, and others, is the subtle deception of the flesh. It’s easy to forget that in order for our faith to be strengthened, it must be tested. A chair is meant to sit in and provide us rest from standing, but if that chair is never put to the test, how will we know its strength? Likewise, our faith, in all areas, must be tried to know its depth and stability. We will be tested by fire, and no area is off limit.
In Isaiah, we see two types of people. One is confident in their ability, their stamina and their talents. The other is barely making it, anxiety-ridden and depleted. There is no room for this type of person to look to their achievements, moral excellence, or their present progress. There is just nothing there. Nothing within them, beside them, or in front of them that can lift them from the place of despondency they find themselves in.
The first type of persons are they that have no earthly reason to lose hope. They are in a stable position in life. They’ve committed no heinous crimes and have never taken a moral plunge. They look like Joseph in Pharaoh’s palace. Everything they touch, succeeds. They are good. Sure, they have had their bad days and life has not been easy, but when it comes to looking at themselves, they secretly think, “I am doing pretty good for myself”.
The second type of persons are they that have every reason to lose hope. They are plagued with worry and concern. They are concerned about the trajectory of their life. Concerned about the present difficulties they see. Concerned about their haunting past. Their life is an utter wreck. Life seems a constant ping pong game of stable and unstable. They don’t have any reason to trust themselves or others. They cannot depend upon their record. That’s shot. Their feet are heavy with worry and their steps has have lost their pep. They have been tried by fire and tested at every turn. Life has dried every ounce of strength. Parched, they sit and wait.
From the outset, we would naturally assume those in the first category to be blessed considering their situation. I remember Nancy DeMoss saying, “Anything that makes us need God is a blessing.” The second type is often pitied and written off, but they are learning lessons that far outweigh what they would apart from weakness. It looks as if the seed being sown is small and pitiful. Their yield will not fail. We think this way for a reason. There is a word we use in God’s economy and the world despises it. It’s called, dependance. When we are forced to depend, we are in the best place possible.
That may hit you hard as you consider yourself among those in the second group. What has made you need God has felt worse than death. I would like you to consider with me what God’s word says to all of those in your position. Let’s find the blessing of needing God.
Matthew Henry said,“ Those who trust their own sufficiency, and are so confident of it that they neither exert themselves to the utmost nor seek unto God for his grace, are the youths and the young men, who are strong, but are apt to think themselves stronger than they are. And they shall faint and be weary, yea, they shall utterly fail in their services, in their conflicts, and under their burdens; they shall soon be made to see the folly of trusting to themselves.”
Their blessing is their short-lived strength and sooner or later, it will fail them. We have all been too confident for our own good and have tasted to see that way of life is unforgiving and demanding. We are eventually crushed by the law and driven, however reluctantly, into the same piteous position we looked down upon. What a great place to be. Look at the promises for the weak, weary, poor soul whose only choice is to wait upon the grace of God!
“They 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 29:30
God befriends the weak, because the weak depend upon His might. The faint one looks up. The parched one looks for water. In their waiting, those in need are met with grace. They are touched by the Everlasting God who does not faint or grow weary. They learn to depend. Dependance, like a man in need of rest, sits down in the chair of faith and finds rest after a time of weariness.
What if we started encouraging one another in this way? Do you know someone who is desperate and needy? Someone who cannot seem to get it together? Someone we all are tempted to pity? Go to them with this good news in your heart. They are in a place of blessing. Because anything that makes them need God is a blessing. Why? It leads us into the Everlasting Arms. When we are empty, we get to be filled with more of the Holy Spirit. Dependance leads us to sit down in the chair of faith in a different manner. The weight of our whole self is meant to rely on the person and work of Christ. When we need God, we appreciate the comfort of His presence far more than when we think we don’t. We recognize the significance of the gospel when we are tired. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness for me. What God demanded of me, Christ perfectly carried out in His life, death, and resurrection. He finished the race for us. He was strong for us. Guess what? Tetelestai!—It is finished.
Renewed strength, running with endurance, walking without fainting—this is a work only God can do and only received by those ready to depend. Feeling needy today? Well, my friend, I have good news. So am I. And we are in a place of blessing. We get to receive more of God Himself. The only way to come to Christ is with empty hands. Only empty hands are ready to receive such measureless grace.