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Tired and battered

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Not just because we have three more kids at home now. The truth is that doesn’t actually bring that much more craziness. They play with each other well, and nice weather means they are outside a lot.
It does mean breaking up the odd fight now and then and serving as referee and ultimately judge in settling disputes.
On top of that We are finishing up other Fall winter spring things. Like Bright Kids, and youth group closing events. I am also the Chair of our local Zone meetings for the Aroostock Wesleyan pastors, so I am finishing that up for summer tomorrow. We finish up TTTT on Tuesday and Ball hockey on Wednesday.
All the while trying to get ready for vacation which is fun and needed but expensive and take a bit to get ready for.
And before we know it the snow will be back.
So trust me when I say when school goes out our house kicks it into high gear and because of that we are often tired and running on fumes by the end of each day.
I betcha we are not the only ones. I feel like this is an incredibly busy time for everyone. Let’s face we live in Canada and the warm weather is only here for a very short time, so when it is here there is this pressure to make the most of it.
This season os just so short.
So many families this time of year are busy cramming as much activity as they can into the couple weeks of summer we have.
We put such high hopes and expectations on summer that usually by the end of it we are no more rested than any other time of the year. If anything we are more tired than when it started.
Which is why this evening what I want to talk to you about is...

How do we keep from giving up?

Isaiah 40 NLT
“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins.” Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” A voice said, “Shout!” I asked, “What should I shout?” “Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, “Your God is coming!” Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice? No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. All the wood in Lebanon’s forests and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough to make a burnt offering worthy of our God. The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing— mere emptiness and froth. To whom can you compare God? What image can you find to resemble him? Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains? Or if people are too poor for that, they might at least choose wood that won’t decay and a skilled craftsman to carve an image that won’t fall down! Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God— the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant? God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them. He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing. They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and they wither. The wind carries them off like chaff. “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
This life has a way of wearing us out doesn’t it? Every task, every obstacle, every hardship. They wear on us and continue to show as the prophet shouted like we are like grass, like summer we are only here for a season.
In bible school I was told my job as a preacher was two fold. At times
I am supposed to

Comfort the Afflicted

So like trying to make the most of summer many of us run ourselves ragged trying to make the most of our lives.
at other times I am supposed to

Afflict the comfortable

So summer is short and so is life so...
Today much like verse one said I am here to
Isaiah 40:1 NLT
“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God.

How can we keep from giving up?

Hope in God

Me: Hay season tired by the end kept going because I looked forward to the end
We: sometimes we get caught up in the middle of life and our situation feels so permanent. In these times it is easy to lose hope. When we loss sight of tomorrow and become exhausted and overwhelmed by today.
God: Our main verse today is
Isaiah 40:31 NLT
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
But before we dive into that let’s talk a bit about what has been going on with the People for whom this passage was originally wrote.
This message came after a long time of exile. The people of Israel had yet again turned to idol worship and thus broke covenant with God.
For a season it looked as if God may have abandoned them, at least in their eyes. Nothing was going right and it looked like God was not seeing their pain, but this was only a season of punishment as God would never break His side of the covenant.
So what you need to know is God’s people were very tired and hopeless and most likely ready to give up.
Sound familiar. Sometimes in life when everything seems to be going wrong it is tempting to think that God has forgotten us. But this is just our perception
Isaiah 40:27 NLT
O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
God has not forgotten His people not once.
There have been times when He would chastise the one’s He loves. To teach and correct but God has never forgotten.
which is why verse 31 is such a special promise
Isaiah 40:31 NLT
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
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.
In this case the NIV probably has the best translation the word the NLT translate trust here is actually
The word Trust here
It is the idea that those who never give up hope the God will restore, or right a wrong, will gain new strength to keep going because you know there is an end.
This passage reminds us of God’s power and authority over all, when our hope is in Him and not in men, or programs.
Our Strength will be renewed.
You: I don’t know what you are facing but don’t give up. Place your hope in God and have your strength to keep going renewed.
We: Let us not give up hope. For when Hope is properly placed in God we can overcome.
Next Step:
Pray with your neighbour.
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