|Messages By Ovid Need|
We dealt with the context of this verse last Sunday, but not really the verse itself. While the context is fresh in my mind, I wanted to go ahead and finnish this. I find it extremely difficult to deal with much of anything in one 45 min. message. To develop anything decently I need about 1 hr. and 15 min.
I have found something pretty consistent over the years. Whatever I preach about, I usually have to go through it at the time. This is one of those times. I have more physical difficulties this past year than I have had all of my life. There has never been a time that I have needed the grace of God more to get me through the faintness.
We looked at 11 short points about this faint, which were not necessarily in order.
1.) This does not give up permission to give up, and enter into a life of ease as a child of God. Rather, just the opposite. Faintness is a call to cast ourselves upon the Lord for His might.
2.) Which gives us the next point, which appears quite strange to the natural man. Faintness increases our responsibility, because faintness is the path to more grace and power and might from God.
3.) Nor does this give us an excuse for sin. "Well, I grew weary and faint, therefore, I fell back into my old ways."
4.) God does not give more power than is needed at the time it is needed, nor does He give to little power than is needed. It will be just enough to see us through.
5.) God does not give the power until it is needed. We do not have the grace to live tomorrow, today. He will give grace to the weary, when the time comes.
(This reminds me of some confrontations we get into. How many times have I thought of just the right thing to say, LATTER? It is too late to say it now. But, if I will be honest, it is best that I did not think of it at the time, or I would have gotten myself into even more difficulty.)
6.) We grow through faintness. Sitting still when we are faint, will only make us more faint.
7.) This faintness teaches humility, and dependance upon the Lord. I wonder if this is not a reason that so many young people get into so much difficulties, V. 30.
8.) Another thing here. No matter how far gone we might feel, faintness implies life. Maybe not much, but life. As the saying goes, As long as there is life, there is hope.
9.) God's promise of strength to the faint, shows His loving care for His own.
10.) Last of all, faintness keeps us dependant upon the Lord, therefore, we should rejoice in our weakness. It is through the faintness and weakness of His people that God receives His glory as they continue on anyway.
11.) God does not give power to the ones who are not faint. Faintness is the condition upon which He shows Himself strong. If I am strong in myself, why do I need His strength?
Men particularly are bad about this, but I have known some women just as bad. Men seem to think that it is somehow a denial of manhood to admit they cannot handle life in their own abilities and strengths. And with the woman's lib movement, this is becoming more and more prevalent among women.
2 Chr 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
This was not spoken to some mamby-pamby. This was spoken to Asa, King of Judah. This is consistent with the fallen nature. As long as we think we can take care of things ourselves, we will. This prevents the Lord from being able to work.
2 Cor. 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
The fallen nature tells us that if we are not strong or wise enough to handle things ourselves, then we are not a capable individual. This was the temptation to Adam, "You don't need the Lord, you can be as gods yourself." The word of God tells us that because of the death sentence in us as the result of Adam's sin, we are driven to handle things on our own, to our own destruction.
I would suppose an example that we can all identify with, is stopping and asking directions. Many of us would rather be an hour late and run out of gas than to stop and ask directions.
Many folks live their lives like this. They would rather destroy themselves than seek any advise or help from the word of God or the preacher.
With this, we have dealt with the idea of faintness. Now, let's look at some things from Isa. 40:31..
The answer for faintness again, is strange to the natural man. But here we have the promise of renewed strength.
Let's take these words in their order, then tie them all together.
The first word here is wait. But they that wait.. When we think of this word, wait, this is just what we think, wait. Only when we say wait, we think of inactivity, just doing nothing except waiting.
When I was working with the Steamfitters on the Hospital in Franklin, the foeman (who was a union man, of course), used to come around and tell us not to work ourselves out of a job. He would hint that we were to wait for quieting time. If the company superintendent would come around, this "pusher" would come around ahead of him with his warning that we were to look busy.
The superintendent's name was Donald. When he would leave the companies trailer, the foeman would come around ahead of him, saying, Quack, Quack. That meant that Donald was coming and we needed to get busy.
Sad to say, many people see this wait the same way. Sit and wait until quieting time, and if some one happens to be watching, look busy.
The root of this word means to wait or to look with eager expectation.
Ps. 56:6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.
119:95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.
It is used for the wicked who make an attempt to destroy the life of the righteous. He is waiting with eager exsection for the chance to destroy the righteous.
Gen 49:18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD. Waiting with steadfast endurance is a great expression of faith. It means enduring patiently in confident hope that God will decisively act for the salvation of his people.
Ps. 130:5, 6 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Waiting involves the very essence of a person's being, his soul.
Isa. 40:31, those who wait in true faith are renewed in strength so that they can continue to serve the Lord while looking for his saving work.
Ps. 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. Isa. 40:22, 23 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. There will come a time when all that God has promised will be realized and fulfilled.
Ps. 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. In the meantime the believer survives by means of his integrity and uprightness as he trust in God's grace and power.
Ps. 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. His faith is strengthened through his testings, and his character is further developed.
Hos. 12:6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually. Ps. 37:24, 34, Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. In the midst of whatever comes their way, God's people are encouraged to remain faithful to the way of the Lord. They are to maintain consistently God's standard of justice while preserving a godly attitude of love.
Isa 26:8, 9 (L.U.) shows us that during the time of God's judgment against sin, the righteous must exercise great faith.
Isa. 8:17 (L.U.) gives us Isaiah's expression of confidence in the just actions of the Lord.
Pro. 23:17, 18 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off. Shows us that as long as there is a future, there is hope.
We certainly have a future, eternal with the Lord. But only the believer can really express his hope in the future, for it belongs to or God alone. The wicked have no future, therefore, no hope. God is the source of hope for his people,and he has promised them a future and a hope.
Zech. 9:12-17 (L.U.), God's people are called prisoners of hope, their hope is found in v. 16.
All of that to say this. Wait here means following the principles of God's word, prayer, waiting and confidently and fully expecting God to move and do something which will bring glory to Himself.
The phrase "wait upon the Lord" means to wait for His aid, to trust in Him. Actually, this phrase of Isaiah's, But they that wait upon the Lord.. would be Isaiah's version of Ps. 37:3-9 (L.U.)
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
In the context of Isaiah he is speaking to a people who were in captivity in Babylon. They had absolutely no hope of release except the Lord. It applies to everyone who are in circumstances of danger or want. It is for all who feel they are weak, feeble, guilty, helpless. It is the call to His people to place their confidence in the Lord through faithfully observing the precepts of His word.
This wait does not imply inactivity, rather it implies doing the best we can according to His word and depending on His aid. To wait upon the Lord without faithful application of the instructions given to us in His word, and prayer, is presumption.
An example of this would be a farmer. He says, "I'm a farmer. I have this choice land, therefore, all I have to do is wait on the Lord and gather in the crops."
No! NO matter how good of a Christian he might be, he will starve. He must till the ground, plant the seed, wait (and pray) for the right weather conditions. If the Lord is good to him, he will have a good crop. He sowed his seed in hope, in faith that the Lord would see fit to reward his labour. But he had to abide with the established principles to expect any kind of crop.
This is the though of this verse as Isaiah says, But they that wait upon the Lord... It is the ones who apply the principles of God's word, pray over them, letting their request be made known to God, that will have the strength of the Lord. Anything less will surely be disappointed.
It we sincerely desire to see this church increase in its influence upon souls in this area, we will have to sow some seed in hope. We will have to use any and every Biblical means at our disposal to reach this community.
The next word is renew.. The word here is not what we think when we think of renew. It means, change (which is the marg. reading); like in change garments, Gen. 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
Change of a bad sacrifice for a good one, Lev. 27:10 He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be holy.
In Isa 9:10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. it means substitute or cause to succeed.
Then here in our text, Isa 40:31 and in Isa. 41:1, renew means change for better.
Now, this answers the objection of the youth of Isaiah 40:30, that they have enough energy that they do not need the Lord. We see that the word renew means here to change for the better. The indication is not that the person is without strength at all. The word speaks of changing whatever strength we might or might not have for the better strength which God offers to the ones who realize that their strength will not suffice.
In other words, if a person is smart, and if a person wants to survive this life, they had better exchange their natural strength for the better strength of the Lord.
As we mentioned, strength includes not only mental and emotional strength, but physical strength. And the way to gain this renewed strength is to wait.
They that wait upon the Lord.. will have the strength of the Lord to stand strong in the faith, to wage the spiritual warfare effectively, to discharge their duties, WORK, as people of God. The people of God have found this to be true down through the ages.
wings as eagles.. This scene is taken from the fact that the eagle rises on strongest wing of any bird, and the heights at which it flies make it appear to go into the sun. Its seven-foot wingspan allows it to glide effortless at over 2,400 feet. And the turbulent winds promote this gliding.
The picture here of the eagle is of one gaining strength from the promises of God in the midst of the turbulence of life, to:
1.) ascend toward the throne of God.
2.) Fly above the cares and difficulties of this world.
Let me give you 6 things the turbulent winds enable the eagle to do:
1. cause him to fly higher.
2. the heights to which he can fly allows him to see a far greater area. He can now see more of the total picture.
3. be lifted above the harassment of crows, hawks and other birds.
4. allow him so soar with less effort.
5. enable him to stay up longer.
6. allow him to fly faster. His normal speed is about 50 miles an hr. When he uses the turbulent wind currents, he can gain a speed of well over 100 miles an hour.
It is the power of the indwelling Christ that allows the believer to rise above the temptations and pressures of life here on earth, Ph. 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
They shall run... This only carries on the picture of the eagle. Those who trust in the Lord and continue to do good, will have the strength to continue on in the face of the most difficult of circumstances. They will be vigorous, elevated, unwearied, because God will sustain and uphold them. They will never faint in His service.
This promise was given to the captives in Babylon, encouraging them to not faint, not give up hope. Their hope was in the future promises of the Lord.
Hundreds of thousands of God's people have found supernatural strength by keeping their attention focused on the Lord, His word and promises which He gives in regards to the future greater glory which He has in store for the faithful in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Are you faint this morning?
Do you desire to see the Lord do some great things in your life, your family, your community, your church?
Ps. 37:3-10: Isa. 40:31 gives us the answer in our turbulent times.
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