“They who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…” (Isaiah 40:31). These are words of profound hope and faith. They are born out of true experiences of God’s faithfulness. They express a personal trust in God’s power, and in his mercy. As a result, these words are also overflowing with joy.
There is another element here as well. These words come from someone who has seen the people of God fall away from him, giving themselves to idols, making gods out of anything and everything. We must be challenged by this truth as well. No matter how skillful these idols are made, no matter how well they are rationalized by those who worship them, they are ineffective, and, ultimately, there is no life in them. There is only One God, who has power over all that is, who “brings princes to nought and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing” (verse 23). Everything in creation is dependent on him, for he created and sustains all things.
Those who know God, who have come to believe in his power and his mercy, are the ones who hope in him for all that is good, and true, and beautiful. Those who believe in God and who do his will, are those who will “soar on eagles wings,” because God is with them. Because they put their trust in God as their mentor, their guide, their support in times of trouble, when they are challenged by the ever-present trials and tribulations of this life, he “will renew their strength” and they will be able to endure until the end.
If our trust and hope is in God alone, we too will be able to run the race without becoming weary, we will be able to walk through the temptations of this Vanity Fair, without growing faint. Isaiah is giving us a powerful truth in this chapter. God’s love is not distant, it is not frivolous. He gives it freely to all those who come to believe in him and who follow him with their whole heart, their whole mind, and their whole strength. It is he who strengthens us with his graces when we need them. It is he who lifts us up, as if on eagle’s wings, for he is our joy.
Lord, you are the measure of all that is good. Help us to put our hope in you alone. Turn our hearts toward love of you and away from the idols of this world. For, in truth, we are nothing without you. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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