7th July 2020
run and not grow weary
'but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31).
This verse from Isaiah is one of my favourite readings of the entire Bible.
The imagery is fantastic.
Anyone who has seen eagles soaring high in the sky cannot fail
to be impressed by their beauty and strength.
One of the most spectacular sights I've even seen
was the golden eagle soaring over the mountains in the Lake District
when on holiday a few years ago.
They are so beautiful, powerful, and graceful.
It brought to mind this wonderful verse from the prophet Isaiah.
Ancient Hebrew culture revered eagles as mighty warriors
that also cared fiercely for their young.
Eagles carry their eaglets to safety, away from the threat of predators.
Eagles are also known for their strength and courage in dangerous,
turbulent weather, soaring above storm clouds and to safety.
'Eagles' wings 'was a figure of speech commonly used
to attribute these fine characteristics to a person.
"gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength" (Isaiah 40:29).
The Old Testament is full of examples
of God's people placing their trust in God and finding that He is a faithful God
who gives strength to those that wait upon Him.
We could think of Israel's victory over the Egyptians,
or the great victories that Israel experienced in their journeys
through the wilderness and as they were about to take over the promised land.
And who can forget men such as Samson,
who when they relied on the Lord,
when they were faithful,
God strengthened them to perform their duties.
Of course, Samson, when he stopped relying on the Lord,
gave up the secret of his strength,
and Delilah's servant cut his hair,
then the Lord took his strength away.
A salutary lesson!
Scripture is full of those kinds of examples.
These physical victories that God gave Israel
are typical of a much greater truth,
and that's the truth that is expressed in our text,
that God is our spiritual strength.
Strengthened by His Holy Spirit,
we are able to fight the daily battle of faith.
That's the message of the text.
Those who put their hope in the Lord shall renew their strength.
The Apostle Paul, put his hope in the Lord.
He had a thorn in the flesh,
a terrible thorn in the flesh.
Scripture doesn't tell us exactly what that thorn was.
But he records for us that he prayed three times that God would remove that thorn.
God answered that prayer,
not by removing the thorn. God's answer to Paul was,
"My grace is sufficient for you:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12: 9
And sometimes when we face difficulties in our lives,
God doesn't take those thorns away,
but He does give us His grace and strength to overcome them.
That's the same promise that Jesus himself gave to His disciples,
"Come to me, all you who and weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
How sure are we of that promise?
Well consider that this promise is made by the almighty
Creator of the heavens and the earth,
the One who sustains all things,
the One who has created us and our bodies,
who has given us new life in Christ.
Is he strong enough to strengthen us spiritually?
Of course he is! He's the creator.
He's the sustainer;
and He has given us a promise.
All who wait upon The Lord,
who renounce their own strength,
will surely be lifted up like eagles