Wait Training, Part 3: Wait Watchers – Isaiah 40:31

HawkWatching&WaitingBut they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).

When we wait upon the Lord, our faith is actually strengthened because the act of waiting develops God’s perspective in us. In other words, it’s Wait Training!

So, wouldn’t you rather be having faith for what you know God wants to do and wants you to do instead of hoping that what you want to do is what God wants you to do?

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Wait Training, Part 2: The Inscrutability of God – Isaiah 40:28-29

Waiting_For_God“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power” (Isaiah 40:28-29, NASB).

When we wait upon the Lord, our faith is actually strengthened because the act of waiting develops God’s perspective in us. In other words, it’s Wait Training!

“Waiting upon the Lord” causes you to rise above your present circumstances to get a higher view, a more objective view, a God-view of them. From that vantage point, you can gain perspective about what it is that you are hoping and trusting God to do and thereby develop a better understanding of God’s plans and purposes for you.

When you follow the advice to “wait upon the Lord” (vs. 31), it’s easy to see why you must wait on God to act and to perform His will when you consider it within the context of the previous verses. God is the Everlasting Creator of the universe. Time and space exist only within His Infinite realm (vs. 28). So, He proceeds about the business of performing His will at the perfect pace!

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Wait Training, Part 1: Strengthening Your Faith – Isaiah 40:31

wait-trainingBut they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).

When I was younger, we often sang this verse at prayer meetings or Bible studies as a song. Then, at the end of the verse we added this refrain to the song: “Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait.”

The Hebrew word that is translated “they that wait upon” in the KJV finds its root in another Hebrew word that means to wait or look for, to hope for or expect. The sense of the waiting in this verse is eager expectation or anticipation. So, the NIV translates it as “those who hope” and the HCSB translates it as “those who trust.”

Unfortunately, when we talk about “waiting upon the Lord,” it’s not necessarily waiting with hopeful anticipation, but more like waiting with dreaded apprehension! For us, waiting upon the Lord is exceedingly distressful and practically unbearable. Instead of eagerly waiting upon the Lord, we impatiently wait upon the Lord.

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In God We Entrust – 1 Peter 2:21-24

InGodWeTrustDollarBill“And while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23, NASB).

A law passed by Congress and approved by the President on July 30, 1956, declared “IN GOD WE TRUST” to be the national motto of the United States. This motto is engraved or printed on U.S. coins and currency.

So what’s so important about trust in God that we wanted it printed on our currency? It’s meant to show that the United States is a nation that trusts in God, a nation that recognizes God’s sovereignty over all nations on Earth.

“Trust” is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Trust in God means recognizing or acknowledging that God is Sovereign and Mighty over His Creation.

But, in these verses the Apostle Peter tells us that when Jesus experienced suffering, He entrusted Himself to God.

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God’s X-Ray Vision – 2 Chronicles 16:9

superman-x-ray-vision“For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9, HCSB).

These words were spoken by a prophet named Hanani to Asa, king of Judah and Solomon’s great grandson, to rebuke him for forming an alliance with the king of Syria.

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Trust Me, I’m a Christian and I’m Awesome – 1 Kings 3:28

TrustMe“And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.” (1 Kings 3:28, ESV).

I Kings 3 includes the story of King Solomon’s prayer for wisdom and then his first official act as king in applying the wisdom God gave him.

Two women brought a child before King Solomon each claiming he was her son. Solomon pronounced his judgment that the child should be divided in two and a half given to each woman.

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The Benefits of Humility – Zephaniah 3:12

humility3“Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.” (Zephaniah 3:12, NLT).

Zephaniah’s prophecy graphically describes the future day of God’s judgment.

On “the day of the Lord” God’s terrible judgment will be carried out against the rebellious people of Israel and all nations of the earth.

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Unstoppable! – Isaiah 40:28-31

energizer-bunny“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NLT).

Isaiah reminds us that God is the Creator and His Being is everlasting and immeasurable. So, God Himself never grows weak or weary; rather He gives His power and strength to those who are weak and powerless.

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Missing the Blessing – Numbers 14:31

Warning-Challenges“Well, I will bring them safely into the land, and they will enjoy what you have despised” (Numbers 14:31, NLT).

Moses sent twelve men on a reconnaissance mission to the land of Canaan. When they returned, ten of the twelve reported to Moses and the people of Israel that even though the land was rich and fertile, it was inhabited by potentially formidable foes.

The testimony of the faithful spies, Joshua and Caleb, which was to conquer the land immediately, was rejected and rebellion against Moses’ leadership and threats of violence against Joshua and Caleb spread through the entire Israelite community.

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Living Life from the Bottom – Psalm 42

“Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God” (vs. 5).

Do you ever think you’ve got it all figured out?

Life is treating you well so you must be in God’s will because you are so blessed.

Then the bottom falls out of your life and all that “blessedness” seems to go away.

Then you get all conflicted and begin to question everything you think you knew about what is God’s will.

In fact, it may even seem as though God is hardly speaking to you any more.

These are some of the emotions the psalmist is expressing in this Psalm. He asks himself why he is so depressed when God is his hope and his Savior? He knows God is there and yet he yearns for fellowship with God: “As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, God. I thirst for God, the living God” (vs. 1-2).

But life has him at a disadvantage; he is down and out and looking for a way up to God.

It’s as if he is living life from the bottom!

So, my fellow bottom-dwellers, when you live life from the bottom, what’s important to you is not so much that you get to the top, but simply that your cry for help is heard and heeded by God…to know that God hears you from the bottom!

There’s a passion (or desperation) for God that comes from being at the bottom that’s really not there when you’re at the top of your game.

You see, God’s Kingdom is the abode of desperate people: “The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:3).

We trust and hope in God the most when we have to, not when we want to.

It’s hope sustained by desperation!

God knows how we work and so this is the way He works on us, from the bottom up!

“We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4, NLT).