Renewing Your Strength
RENEWING YOUR STRENGTH
Isaiah 40:27-31, "Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
There are always those times when it seems that Satan is getting the best of us. Sometimes it’s a little hard to maintain your faith and trust in God when everything is going against us and we are in the middle of one of the greatest battles of our life. It is in those times that we need the Lord more than ever. It is in those times that our faith and trust in God is really put to the test. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, in our walk with the Lord.
It is easy to live for God and trust in Him when all is going well. It is not so easy to do so when the weight of the whole world is upon our shoulders. Too many Christians bail out on God as soon as the storms get rough.
If your life is in the middle of turmoil and the waves of temptation are about to swamp you, look up and put your trust in God for that is the moment that He is really putting your faith to the test to see if you will pass or fail. That is the moment when your trust is built. That is the moment that your relationship with God will really show its true depth.
Have you heard about the "gator aid" that was given to enlisted men in a Florida training camp during World War II? The daily training for those GIs included a run through an obstacle course. On the final stretch of the endurance test, they had to grab a rope and swing across a broad, shallow pool.
Under the blazing southern sun the water looked so inviting to the men that most of them soon developed a habit of making it only halfway across the pond--that is, until an enterprising lieutenant made it the new home for a large alligator. From that day on, the recruits left the ground 15 feet from the water’s edge and fell sprawling in the dust on the other side.
Likewise, our behavior as Christians must sometimes be shaped by the "encouragement" of the danger of unfavorable circumstances. Without God’s loving correction and faithful discipline we would never develop spiritual strength and endurance. If the Lord didn’t permit threatening conditions to come into our lives, we’d soon succumb to feelings of self-sufficiency and overconfidence.
Illustration found at www.elbourne.org
We must not forget that God has promised us that we would never be tempted above what we are able to bear, but with every temptation, every trial, every test, every trouble, He will make a way for us to escape and win the victory. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
God never promised that we wouldn’t have hard times. He never promised that we would sail through life without troubles. What He did promise is that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He promised that He would supply our every need. He promised in Psalms 55:22, "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
In the passage above, Israel had become discouraged so God had to remind them of just Who He Is. God is still in control and those who would place their trust in Him would be renewed in their strength.
I don’t know about you, but there are times when my strength fails. I know that many of you do too because you are always asking for prayer for strength to stand for the Lord. There is nothing wrong with praying for strength. In fact, that’s the best thing you can do. But, if you really want to have more strength, God has already laid down the pattern for you to get stronger in these verses.
The first thing is that you must realize who God is and what He is doing for you right now.
To you, the trial you are facing is very personal and it seems that no one else can relate or understand but you have to realize that multitudes of people have faced and are facing the same situations that you are. Your circumstances are no surprise to God. Your troubles don’t move God. He knew what was coming and He already has an answer for every one of them. We will only see victory if we do it God’s way.
God is God and He is all-powerful. There is no limit to His ability to meet you need. There is no limit to His deliverance and provision for whatever you need. God never gets tired, never grows weary, and is always listening for the prayers of His children to rush to their aid.
What will we do with the trials that face us?
Will we turn to our own devices and make decisions that will cause us to have less time for God, for the church, or even for our families?
Will we forget the Word of God and become depressed because we don’t have the faith that everything will really do as Paul said that it would do in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Will we abandon our promises made in the moments of triumph?
Will we forget our commitments to Christ that were made when all was going well?
Will we forget the times in the past that God has brought us through some rough times? Will we forget the blessings, the healings, the miracles and every good thing that God has done?
Will we overlook the fact that God has always been and will always be faithful to His promises in the Word of God? What will we do now that things are not perfect any more?
It is time we stopped our pity party, quit looking like it is the end of the world, and lift up our eyes to Hills of Glory where our help comes from. God is far above our petty troubles no matter how bad they might seem to us.
God will not allow us to fail if we will keep our trust and faith in Him.
So now the test is on – the question is not one of survival but whether you will pass or fail? If you pass, your faith and trust will grow stronger. If you fail, you will abandon the ways of righteousness, turn your back on God and put everything in your life in jeopardy, or, you will face similar trials again down the road until you learn the lesson of faith and trust. The choice to fail or pass is our alone. God will not force our decision one way or another because He wants us to learn and to grow in Him. God will deal with our decision as a loving Father and not as a tyrannical Dictator.
…there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength
I wish I could say that I understand why God allows some things to happen. I wish I could but I can’t. His ways are far above my understanding ability. I can only put my trust in Him with faith and know that somehow God will take care of everything.
God knows how to give you the power to overcome. He will take your weaknesses, your failures, your doubts and fears, and He will turn them into miracles of deliverance. In fact, God often does not move until we have given it over to Him completely because He will not share the glory of your deliverance with you. It is all of Him or none of Him. God is our source of strength. God is our source of provision. God is our source of power. God is our source for everything we need! We can’t do anything within ourselves.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
We may pride ourselves in our ability to take care of ourselves. We in America, have such a pride in our freedom and independence that we hate having to admit that we need help from anyone, including God.
But this scriptures tell us that no matter how strong or independent we may be, we cannot do it alone. God often has to bring us to the place where we have to stop trying, turn to Him and say, “God, that’s all I can do, now it’s up to you.” God is waiting for those words but they often aren’t said until we have exhausted our own ideas with no results.
The longer I live, the more I realize that everything is in God’s hands. When I was younger I was more inclined to solve everything with my own ability. Now, after many years of trials, tests and troubles, I am just beginning to get a real glimpse of what living by faith really means.
Faith says that everything will work out when it seems that everything is crumbling around me.
Faith says that my bills will be paid when I can’t see how they will in the natural sense. Faith says that God will take care of me and that I must force myself to stop being overly concerned with the future.
Faith says that I know, that I know, that I know, that somehow, God will work it all out and that when He does, I will be so greatly blessed for having faced all that is happening right now.
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
This is a scripture that has been preached on so many times that I cannot count them. We quote it, we read it, we preach it, but do we really believe it?
Waiting upon the Lord requires true faith.
Waiting upon the Lord requires going through the fire sometimes and still trusting God to bring us through.
Waiting upon the Lord requires that we believe in the impossible, look for the unseen answers, hope in the times of hopelessness and know, without knowing why or how, that God will take care of us.
Baby eaglets, in their nest, can do nothing but wait until the mother eagle returns to her nest to bring the necessary food, drink or whatever else is needed to keep her eaglets alive. We must stay in the “nest” of God’s house, trust in the fact that He will bring us what we need, and then accept and digest what comes because we know its for our own good.
Those baby eaglets will cry, scream, flap around a lot, and generally make a real scene while they are being cared for. Does that sound like some Christians you know? When the trials come they will cry and moan and scream and let the whole world know just how bad things really are. It as though they are drowning in tears, dying in sorrow, and God has abandoned them. Where is faith in that kind of reaction? How can we say that we trust in our Almighty God to meet every need and then act as though we have no hope?
The reason so many Christians fail the fiery tests of their faith is that too many are bankrupt spiritually when the trials come and so we have no faith and trust in God in our spiritual account to draw strength from.
We haven’t spent time preparing and “saving up” our blessings for the “rainy day” of trials to come.
We haven’t spent time studying.
We haven’t spent time praying.
We have fasted at all.
We have gone about our daily lives as though there would never come a time of trouble when we have to know that they are surely around the corner.
God won’t let you stay on the mountaintop for long because it’s down in the valley that your faith and strength will grow.
There is a song that I listen to every now and then that says this:
The God on the Mountain
Is still God in the valley
When things go wrong
He’ll make them right
The God of the Good Times
Is still God in the Bad Times
The God of the Day
Is still God in the Night
That’s the God that we serve.
Isaiah 59:1, "Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:"
Some of us, if not all of us, are facing some great battles and trials. It’s testing time and we are taking our final exams. God has blessed and now it’s time to see if we will trust Him or not.
Though many of us have seen pictures of a huge eagle’s nest high in the branches of a tree or in the crag of a cliff, few of us have gotten a glimpse inside. When a mother eagle builds her nest she starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and a number of other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the project. But then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs. By the time the growing birds reach flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them quite reluctant to leave. That’s when the mother eagle begins "stirring up the nest." With her strong talons she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp rocks and branches to the surface. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles. Eventually, this and other urgings prompt the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode and move on to more mature behavior.
Today in the Word, June 11, 1989
Just as that mother eagle never forgets to come back to her nest, Jesus will not forget you either. As that mother eagle is always out gathering and preparing a way for her little eaglets, so is Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gathering, preparing and protecting his sheep. Just as the mother eagle stirs her nest to force her eaglets to grow up, Jesus has to stir us up, mess up our little playhouse, if you will, and make us uncomfortable enough to mature and be more like Him.
If you are facing great trials and tests right now, then lift up your head. Look to Jesus because your answer is already on the way. Don’t allow Satan do destroy your victory. Don’t allow him to convince you that all is lost. Don’t listen to his deceiving, lying voice. Listen to voice of the Lord and the Word of God and lift up your head for your redemption is closer than you think.
It won’t be long until this world and all of it’s troubles will be left behind. We shall see the King in all His glory. We shall be like Him and be with Him in Heaven. What a wonderful day that will be when my Jesus I shall see; when I look upon His face and behold His grace. But until then my heart will go on singing. Until then with grace I’ll carry on. Until the day that my eyes behold the Savior, I will put my faith and trust in Him and He will not fail.
Wait upon the Lord. Put your faith and trust in Him and He will let your spirit soar above this world. He will lift your spirit upon eagle’s wings and you will be strengthened for the journey ahead. Only by patient waiting, placing your whole-hearted faith in Jesus and trusting in Him totally will you have your strength renewed.
God has it all under control. If you are a Child of the Most High God, then look up for your Father sees your need and your answer is already on the way!