Strength for the Weary

January 22, 2017

As the day of the Lord draws near, it will be more difficult for believers to live holy and blameless lives. There will be mounting pressure to compromise, especially as wickedness increases. However, we can always take comfort in the fact that the Lord is with us. Through the prophet Isaiah, we are told that “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29). By ourselves, we certainly cannot overcome the challenges that will come our way. We will be too weak to confront these as they come like a torrent to devastate many.

To emphasize the challenges that we shall face, the prophet further said, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31). This truth goes against what the youth and young adults firmly believe – that they are strong and are able to overcome any problem they will face. Their belief is not without basis because the Book of Proverbs says, “The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head” (Prov. 20:29). In the last days, however, their strength is no match against the torrents of wickedness.

While it will be difficult to live holy and blameless lives, believers are not without hope because we are told that we shall be renewed in strength and, like eagles, will be able to sour and rise above the challenges that will come. It is amazing how an eagle was even used as an illustration. We certainly can learn many lessons from an eagle. We are told that eagles can spot a rabbit as far as five kilometers away. Just as the eye of an eagle is sharp and focused, we should also be focused and be able to spot dangers that are coming from even miles away. Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light” (Matt. 6:22). Eagles soar in the midst of storms. They actually enjoy gliding above the storm. We should also be able to rise above our challenges as we soar in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Besides, eagles fly high and build their nests on top of the tallest trees in the mountains. They do not fly with low flying birds but enjoy flying among themselves up high. We should also aim high in our walk with the Lord and avoid lowering our standards by walking with those who lack faith in God.
Another lesson that we can learn from eagles is that they do not eat dead animals. They want to eat something fresh. In like manner, we should also receive the Word of God as a living Word. We should read the Word and meditate on it every day to refresh us. Let us not rely on inactive words that we have learned many years ago.

Lastly, eagles renew themselves. When they are old and feel weak, they go up to their nest and spend time alone. Meanwhile, they pluck out their feathers, talons and beaks. When their new feathers, talons and beaks come out, they are renewed and can live another forty years. We can also renew ourselves by spending time with the Lord and repent of our sins and trespasses. By doing so, we are renewed and are refreshed. We are born again to live eternally with God.

But while the Lord gives strength to those that are waiting on him, many still stumble and fall. It is because they are not waiting in hope. They are not expectant of good things coming but are just passively waiting for nothing. Besides, others are busy watching the lives of others and comparing themselves. No wonder even King David, in his Psalm, said, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7). Comparing ourselves with others is not beneficial at all. It will only add to our burden and will cause us to be angry. King David almost lost his faith because he was actively comparing himself with others. He envied not only the health and prosperity of the wicked, but their freedom from the burdens of men. He considered these a great injustice and he said, “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin” (Psalm 73:16-18). Indeed, it is useless comparing ourselves with the wicked because they have their own destiny - destruction. All that we see in them are temporal and will pass away. On the other hand, our destiny is heaven. Therefore, we should be concerned about spiritual things and not the temporal things of this world. Let us remember that the Lord himself will strengthen and renew us in the midst of this wicked and perverse generation as we wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!