Passage: Isaiah 40:31
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: What does it mean to "wait for the Lord?" It is an important consideration since the promised result is both strength and endurance. Hope is part of the equation. [Lam. 3:24-26 -- "'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.' The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD."] The context in Lamentations, much like the context in Isaiah, involves advice to a people facing the challenges of suffering. The exhortation is to "wait quietly." That is, we are never to blame God for action or inaction, or to accuse God of mismanaging our life. I am speculating here, but perhaps the cross provides a picture of "waiting quietly for the salvation of the LORD." That is, in the midst of the noise of the crucifixion on earth [the taunts, the beatings, the crowds, the earthquakes, the darkness, the very noise of Satan], there was likely a triumphant and blanketing quietness in heaven as all eternity silently rejoiced at the Lord's salvation.
This picture leads to a second point. We often become disillusioned when we see the wicked prosper, or the righteous suffer. The Father's sacrificial gift of the Son, on the surface, suggests that the wicked did prosper and the righteous did suffer. Yet, in reality, the suffering of one brought salvation for the many. The righteous did in fact prosper and the wicked will in fact suffer. Thus, waiting on the Lord involves the constant battle to shun the here and now for the promise of the now and forever. It is a daily battle to "wait for the Lord," and a battle in which Satan is actively poised in opposition. So it is that Isaiah is encouraging his brothers and sisters to have an endurance that is drawn from the well of faith. Their life was difficult. Our life is often difficult. We must stop looking down. We must always look up. It is a test of our patience. It is a test of our faith. Weariness often sets in. It is here, as the waves of our trouble and depression sweep toward us, that God will renew our strength and allow us to "mount up with wings like eagles." Wait on the Lord, for your hope is in Him.