“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.” Isaiah 40:31(KJV)
Do you ever get tired of waiting for something to happen? Waiting for your ride to pick you up, or for the repairman to come to your house? For something that requires so little physical effort, waiting can be draining! Impatience can sap our energy. God wants us to take part in a different kind of waiting that will build—not take—our strength.
In Chapter 40 of his book, Isaiah speaks to people who felt that the justice due them had escaped God’s notice. These folks felt that God was inactive when He should have been acting on their behalf. The climax of God’s response through Isaiah is the passage we’ll study.
Now, waiting is something most of us are not good at. But God tells us that waiting upon Him is a source of great strength. If this is so, then we should want to become very good at waiting! Let’s look at how God’s actions and our waiting come together to secure the strength He promises.
The Bible tells us that God causes all things to work together for the good for His people (Romans 8:28). The Bible also tells us that God sees and knows everything about us and our lives (Psalms 139:1-6). We are never in a situation that God does not know about. God might appear inactive or unknowing to our limited perspectives. But sometimes God doesn’t act because He has something more glorious in store for us that must be delivered later.
Remember that God’s actions are always eternal in nature. God may deliver certain actions into this world, but only when they serve an eternal purpose. We cannot always know God’s purpose because His actions may not manifest themselves in this world—or they may simply be too wonderful for us to understand when they do (Psalm 139:6). However, the closer our relationship with God, the more we will see with an eternal perspective, and the more we will see God at work.
We know what worldly waiting is—it’s what we do at the drivers’ license renewal office or in a grocery store checkout line. Waiting upon the Lord is much different. It contains two important ingredients: trust and action. Waiting upon the Lord is trusting that God is always active in ways that bring about good for His people, and understanding that He calls us to be a part of this activity (Romans 8:28). Since God is always active for His people’s good, we should likewise be active as we wait. Understanding the eternal perspective of God’s activity allows us to stay the course even if worldly justice or rewards aren’t immediate or even forthcoming. God promises us that work done in His name for His glory lay up treasure in heaven for those who do it (Matthew 6:19-20). It is this great reward that we look ahead to, trust in, and wait for. With our eyes on this target, undistracted by what the world may be telling us, our reward is ever clear.
The synergy between God’s actions performed for our eternal benefit, and the trust we show by working diligently in His name, produce eagle’s wings that will take us higher than we ever imagined. That’s the truth.
If you wait upon the Lord, if you trust He knows everything about you; if you trust in His promises to work all things together for your good, because you love Him and you respond to His call, then you will mount up with wings as eagles; you will run and not be weary; you will walk and not faint.
That’s the YouTruth, if you wait upon the Lord.
© 2009, 2011 Dan Buckhout