Passage: Isaiah 40:27-31
The Greatness of God.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God"?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but 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.
Journal: Suffering can lead to two very different emotional responses. One response is to feel that God has abandoned us and that we suffer alone. This more often than not results in the depression we discussed last week. [v. 27 -- "Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, 'My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God'?"] Isaiah is warning against this carnal response sprouting from our sinful natures. Yet, it seems that most of the citizens of Judah are feeling sorry for themselves. The result is sluggishness and hopelessness.
God seeks a very different response; a response that focuses on His great love for His children. It is not centered on a false hope that those who seek God will be free of suffering. Rather, it is a very real hope that God will provide us the strength and faith that we need to face and stand firm against all obstacles. [v. 28-29 -- "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength."]
His everlasting nature throws a tall shadow over our temporal circumstance. It is not that our difficult circumstance is small to him. Rather, it is that He has an eternal perspective that maintains our circumstance as a small step along our eternal journey. It is this perspective that He can so lovingly provide to us as we face all of life. Our life does not make Him grow weary, and He is never bothered by our petitions for sustenance. Our strong and majestic savior is also quite approachable. This combination, His strength and His approachability, is worthy of our pursuit even in the midst of our loneliness. He knows every detail of our day, both our thoughts and our actions, and cares deeply about each second, minute and hour. No, this intimate encounter with Him does not ensure a "happy" life. Yet, the closer we draw to Him and the more we experience His love and strength, the greater will be the joy that we roots deeply within us during the peaks and valleys of life's journey.