Waiting and Renewal – Words of Grace Blog – December 22, 2023

Waiting and Renewal – Words of Grace Blog – December 22, 2023

“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

This Sunday at Grace Community Church we come to the end of Isaiah 40. The last verse is understandably a memorable one, for it contains one of the great promises of God to us and it calls us to a proper posture before him. We wait for the Lord. The Lord renews us with strength.

The Posture of Waiting for the Lord. Wait for the Lord, we’re told. But what does that mean? How do we wait when we have to live, work, decide, do?

Waiting for the Lord is not like sitting in a waiting room flipping through magazines, watching the clock, and wondering about the lives of the other people there with us. We don’t go into a room to wait on the Lord. We go on living as we wait for him.

Some Bible translations say trust in the Lord, hope in the Lord, or look to the Lord. All these translations communicate a posture of the heart, a way of positioning our souls before the Lord.

To wait for the Lord is to live turned toward him, with our eyes on him, and our steps in sync with him. To wait for the Lord is to do what he says to do, in the way he says to do it, trusting that he knows best. To wait for the Lord is to remain faithful to him in confidence that he will remain faithful to us. Submission to his will, obedience to his word, expecting his help, and trusting his timing are all part of waiting on the Lord.

Faith is keeping ourselves in this posture of waiting while we work.

The Promise of Renewal from the Lord. The Lord, who never grows weary, renews the strength of his weary people when they wait for him.

Attempts have been made to understand the order of the activity in this promise. If our strength is renewed, why are we pictured as first flying, then running, then walking? It seems that as we gain strength we would first walk, then run, then take flight.

Maybe we should think not about which takes more strength, but which more often describes our lives. There will be a few times in life when we will need to fly. Sometimes we will have to run. But every day we walk as followers of Christ. Walking requires daily, ongoing, moment-by-moment strength from the Lord. At all times, in whatever circumstance, the Lord promises to supply strength to those who wait for him.

The closing word from Isaiah 40 is a great way to enter 2024. Something practical; wait for the Lord. Something promised; the Lord will renew our strength.

I look forward to worshipping with you this Christmas Eve Sunday.