Isaiah 40:31a – “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;”
The often heard piece of scripture is most commonly used to encourage those that have grown emotionally, physically or mentally weak in their labor of love for the Lord. It is easy to understand how any person can become exhausted in the daily pursuit to become a living sacrifice so that Christ may live through us. However, when considering this verse, have we ever stopped to consider why those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength?
The answer is two fold. First let us consider that those that wait upon the Lord are receiving the blessing of rest due to God’s omniscience. The Lord knew that you would need a moment of respite and refuge at this appointed time. Those that wait upon the Lord are not truly waiting for God to “do something,” they are reaping the blessing of a well needed rest in the time of hard labor. Too often we think that waiting upon the Lord means the we are zealous to do something for God but he has yet to provide guidance. Yet, how many times can we look back upon the past and see that the what we perceived as “waiting” was in reality God’s providence giving us a space of time to renew our spiritual, emotional and mental strength for the labor ahead of us?
Secondly, those that wait upon the Lord renew their strength because their strength is not personal. I have no strength except for the strength that the Lord has given me. I can no more take a single breath under my own power, except the Lord provide such power to me. When we wait upon the Lord, it is because we do not dare venture forward without certainty of being in the perfect will of God. Abiding in His perfect will, we find that our strength is renewed not from our own preparation or revitalization but rather the presence of God. The arm of strength will always fail us, but with the strength of the Lord going with us on our mission to labor for God we will never be exhausted. So many things are above our comprehension, such as God’s timing, yet when we obey by waiting upon God he will provide us with the strength to do that which He has instructed us to do.
Waiting upon God is not a time of twiddling thumbs or trying to find something to occupy our empty schedule. It is a time to receive blessed sojourning in this strange world that we no longer belong to. It is a time to bind up wounds and tend to older aches and pains. It is a time to make use of the balm of Gilead as the Chief Shepherd taketh us lie down in green pastures by still waters. Waiting is not laborious to those that are in proper spiritually standing with God, it is a sweet moment of rest and peace.
If waiting upon God is irritable to a Christian, then there is obviously a matter of the heart that needs to be addressed. For when we have a problem obeying God, the problem is not with God.
Your fellowservant in Christ, Bro. Jordan Foster