Isaiah 40:31 - Are You Soaring or Striving?
Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) But those who wait on
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.
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
Hectic work schedules, bad nutrition,
poor health, small children, or just plain old
age can make people weary. What makes you feel
tired or weak?
In Isaiah 40:1-48:22 you will read about
a tired people - Israel and Judah exiled in
Babylon. They've been away from home for a long time.
Isaiah brings them strong, energizing words.
The other sections in this passage all
relate to Israel's release from captivity - a
happy, joyous time. Here are words of encouragement
and hope from this servant of the Lord.
Isaiah had words of encouragement for
God's people: Their punishment wouldn't last
forever, deliverance would come, and God would
restore them. God didn't want them to despair, so he
reassured them of his power (Isaiah 40:12-31).
Just as Israel and Judah's punishment
overwhelmed them, so the pace of life overwhelms every
person at times, even those who are strong (40:30).
This may be because of our overzealous desire to
do more than we should. Or it may be that we
just don't trust in God and his power to help us
move the mountain of work set before us. But God
and his power should be our source of strength,
especially when we feel overwhelmed.
Whenever you feel tired and weary, take
time to rest - show your confidence in God's
control over the events in your life. Let him renew
your strength. Then wait for his timing before
reentering the marathon called life, or you may not be
able to finish the race at all. God will help you
finish in good time. [The One Year Through the
Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re vv. 40:1-5,
Preparation for Waiting
A friend called from Hawaii and told me
about an injured seagull she saw on the beach. The
poor bird couldn't walk at all but flutter-hopped
in its quest for food. On closer examination,
my friend saw that fishing line entangled the
bird's legs, hobbling it. She approached slowly,
extending her hand in the hope she could remove the
line and do something about the bird's wounds.
Frightened, the gull flew off, legs still hobbled and
Sometimes we are like that poor seagull.
We become entangled in bad habits or
addictions, in destructive relationships or all manner
of fears. We peck away at our daily tasks,
trying to forget the pain. All the while the
infection of sin is growing and going deeper until it
threatens to destroy us.
The seagull flew away from my friend, who
wanted to untangle the fishing line and wash the
wounds. We too often turn away from those who want
to help us - and even from God, who is the only
One who really can get rid of our sin. Sometimes
we turn away out of fear, other times out of
shame. More often, we turn our backs because of our
pride. We don't want others to see us at our ugly
worst, so we limp along, pretending we're just
The pain of removing what holds us
captive can be frightening. Yet if we lay aside all
those things that encumber our walk with God, if
we strip off the sin that slows us down, as
Hebrews 12:1 says, then we find the freedom and
healing that come from being reconciled to God. We
no longer have to hobble about in isolation,
like the injured seagull, but we can live in
communion with God the way we were created to. When we
trust fully in God to help us and refuse to let
our pride turn us away from His forgiveness,
then He will renew our strength, giving us joy
and energy for the tasks ahead. We will run and
not grow weary; we will soar high on wings like
Lord Jesus, so often I let myself become
constrained by sin. It trips me up, distracts me, and
keeps me from living well. May I never turn away
from You when I'm stuck in sin; instead, may I
turn to You in humility and trust You to save me.
Thank You for reaching out to heal me. [Earth
Psalms by Francine Rivers]
Waiting in Prayer
They all met together continually for
prayer. Mark uses the same Greek word here
translated continually to describe a boat
floating in the water, waiting on Jesus. The Master,
speaking on the beach of Galilee, told the disciples
to have a boat ready and waiting (Mark 3:9).
The boat was continually in the presence
of Christ. So are the Upper Room disciples. One
day passes. Then two. Then a week. For all they
know a hundred more will come and go. But they
arent leaving. They persist in the presence of
The followers were willing to do one
thing: wait in the right place for power.
Were so reluctant to do what they did.
Who has time to wait? We groan at such a
thought. But waiting doesnt mean
inactivity"rather in HIM activity. Waiting means watching for
him. If you are waiting on a bus, you are
watching for the bus. If you are waiting on God, you
are watching for God, searching for God, hoping
in God. Great promises come to those who do.
But those who wait on the LORD will find new
strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary. They will walk
and not faint (Isa. 40:31).
To those who still struggle, God says,
Wait on me. And wait in the right place. Jesus
doesnt tell us to stay in Jerusalem, but he does
tell us to stay honest, stay faithful, stay
Desire power for your life?
It will come as you pray. For ten days
the disciples prayed. Ten days of prayer plus a
few minutes of preaching led to three thousand
saved souls. Perhaps we invert the numbers.
Were prone to pray for a few minutes and preach
for ten days. Not the apostles. Like the boat
waiting for Christ, they lingered in his presence.
They never left the place of prayer. [Max Lucado
Daily Devotional at maxlucado.com]
Waiting on Gods Timetable
Waiting is an unavoidable part of life,
isnt it? This morning, I waited for the leak in
our brand-new air-conditioning unit to be fixed.
All week Id hoped to hear the results of my
grandsons MRI and news of my teenage granddaughters
first trip to camp. Meanwhile, my daughter sat in
the ER, waiting to learn if her foot was broken.
My husband and I have endured our share
of long waits. Weve waited for job offers
during times of unemployment. Weve waited for
homes to sell, and weve waited to hear if
offers on homes we wanted to buy were accepted.
Im still awaiting answers to prayers for some
of my deepest longings.
The Bible gives extreme examples of
waiting. Jacob waited seven years to marry Rachel,
the woman of his dreams. Abraham waited
twenty-five years for his promised son and heir. Due to
disobedience, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness
forty years before entering the Promised Land. The
world waited centuries for the promised Messiah.
Im sure that Jacob, Abraham, and the
Israelites felt like what they received was worth the
wait. But sometimes it doesnt happen that way.
Remembering that Jesus controls my life helps me be more
patient when I have to wait. Trusting that Hes
working everything out for ultimate good (Romans
8:28) makes it easier when I feel as though the
waiting ended in less than the desired results. by
Dianne Neal Matthews [Mornings With Jesus 2020
Devotional by Guideposts and Zondervan]
Waiting and Working with the Lord
At times you may feel so worn out and
stressed that you are not sure you can take another
step. You may seem to spend all your time running
from crisis to crisis and to be constantly giving
your time and energy to others. Your Lord wants
to renew your strength and enable you to enjoy
the abundant life He intends for you. The key is
to wait upon Him to do so.
Our generation does not enjoy waiting. We
are harried by all the commitments we have made
and the many responsibilities we hold. We rush
through our lives without stopping to evaluate our
activities. Sometimes in our haste to get on with our
work, we race ahead of God. Part of Gods
restorative process is to slow us down and make us
listen to Him. As we wait on Him, God will remind
us of our utter dependence upon His strength.
When we slow down and seek His will, He will
reveal His plans.
Biblically, waiting on the Lord is never
passive; it is always active. Waiting requires us to
cease our own pursuits and give God our complete
attention. We may have to give up some of the
activities we have allowed to inundate our lives. We
may need to take an entire day to sit quietly
before the Lord. If we ask Him, God will show us
the resources He has provided to help with the
work we have been attempting on our own. God may
address feelings of guilt that have motivated us to
do things that He has not asked us to do.
Jesus carried more responsibility than
you do. More people needed Him than will ever
need you. Yet He was never overwhelmed or
inadequate for the task. Now Christ offers to guide you
so that you will fulfill your heavenly
Fathers will and gain the strength necessary for
each day (Mt 11:28). [Experiencing God Day by Day
by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Isa. 40:31]
Waiting for the Lords Leading
The worst times of life exhaust and drain
you. When the roof of your life is falling in,
you might look up in despair and say, What
now? What next? I cant handle one more
In 2 Corinthians 1:8, Paul tells of
having similar thoughts. He says, We were really
crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never
live through it (TLB).
It sounds like Paul was about ready to
give up. But see what happens next: We felt we
were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were
to help ourselves; but that was good, for then
we put everything into the hands of God, who
alone could save us, for he can even raise the
dead. And he did help us and saved us from a
terrible death; yes, and we expect him to do it again
and again (2 Corinthians 1:9-10 TLB).
Paul knew that, since God can raise the
dead, he certainly could help him. And thats
true for you, too. That same power that raised
Jesus is available to you.
Jesus resurrection means no situation
is hopeless and no problem is too difficult. If
God can raise a dead man, he can resurrect your
health or a dead marriage. He can infuse new life
into your career.
How can you receive that kind of power?
You receive it when God fills your life with the
The Bible says, For the Spirit that
God has given us does not make us timid;
instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and
self-control (2 Timothy 1:7 GNT).
When Gods Spirit fills your life, you
have true self-control for the first time in your
life. You no longer are bashed back and forth by
circumstances. With Christ as your Master, you can master
your situation. Youre no longer relying on
your own power to hold all the strings of your
life together. Youre depending on Gods
He never grows tired or weary He
strengthens those who are weak and tired those who
trust in the LORD for help will find their
strength renewed (Isaiah 40:28-31).
God is faithful. No matter what youre
facing, he will carry you through it. [Daily
Devotional by Rick Warren:
Don't you love the way today's Scripture
describes eagles and the way they soar? Author Ben
Patterson once wrote, "As birds go, eagles' wings are
big, but the muscles that make them flap aren't.
Pound for pound, an eagle's strength is no match
for the strength of a hummingbird. The strength
of eagles is not in their flapping but in their
soaring." An eagle will perch on the edge of a canyon
and then cast itself down into the abyss. With
wings outstretched, it will then find the warm
updraft from the depths below - an updraft on which
it will circle and soar until it rises far
above the canyon's rim. In today's Scripture, the
prophet Isaiah says that those who trust in the Lord
will soar on eagles' wings. May we Christians be
known, not for all our frantic flapping, but for
casting ourselves into the unknown and soaring
upward on the wings of the Spirit.
Father God, I've done enough frantic
flapping for a lifetime - trying so hard to do Your
will and make things happen in my own strength
and energy. How foolish I have been! I know I
need to cast myself on You in faith before I will
find those beautiful updrafts that lift me higher
and higher. [A Spectacle of Glory by Joni
Eareckson Tada and Larry Libby]
Those who wait upon Me will gain new
strength. Spending time alone with Me is so good for
you, but it is increasingly countercultural.
Multitasking and staying busy have become the norm.
During the Advent season, there are even more
things to be done and places to go. So I encourage
you to break free from all the activity and
demands for a while. Seek My Face and enjoy My
Presence, remembering that Christmas is all about Me.
Waiting upon Me is an act of faith -
trusting that prayer really does make a difference.
Come to Me with your weariness and burdens, being
candid and real with Me. Rest in My Presence, and
tell Me about your concerns. Let Me lift the
burdens from your aching shoulders. Trust that I am
able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you
ask or think.
As you arise from these quiet moments,
hear Me whispering I am with you throughout
the day. Rejoice in the new strength you have
gained through spending time with Me. (Isa. 40:31;
Psa. 27:8; Mat. 11:28; Eph. 3:20) [Jesus Always
by Sarah Young]
How does this passage apply when you have
aging and have infirmities?
Less Constant Taxing Labor
I urge you not to work above that which
you are able to do. You should have less
constant, taxing labor, that you may be able to keep
yourself in a rested condition. You should take a
sleep in the daytime. You can then think more
readily, and your thoughts will be more clear and
your words more convincing. And be sure to bring
your whole being into connection with God. Accept
the Holy Spirit for your spiritual illumination,
and under its guidance follow on to know the
Lord. Go forth where the Lord directs, doing what
He commands. Wait on the Lord, and He will
renew your strength.
But it is not required of you or of me to
be on a continual strain. We should surrender
continually what He requires of us, and He will show us
His covenant. The secret of the Lord is with
them that fear him (Psalm 25:14). We shall be
instructed more deeply in the mystery of God the Father
and of Jesus Christ. We shall have visions of
the King in His beauty, and before us will be
opened the rest that remaineth for the people of
God. We will soon enter the city whose builder
and maker is God"the city we have long talked
of. Letter 78, 1906. 2SM230
Trust God - Lean Upon Him
Now when you can no longer be active, and
infirmities press upon you, all that God requires of you
is to trust Him. Commit the keeping of your
soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. His
mercies are sure, His covenant is everlasting. Happy
is the man whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who keepeth truth forever. Let your mind grasp
the promises and hold to them. If you cannot
call to mind readily the rich assurance contained
in the precious promises, listen to them from
the lips of another. What fullness, what love
and assurance are found in these words from the
lips of God Himself, proclaiming His love, His
pity and interest in the children of His care:
The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and
gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and
truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving
iniquity and transgression and sin (Exodus 34:6,
The Lord is full of compassion for His
suffering ones. What sins are too great for His
pardon? He is merciful, and as such is infinitely
more ready and more pleased to pardon than to
condemn. He is gracious, not looking for wrong in us;
He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we
are but dust. In His boundless compassion and
mercy He heals all our backslidings, loving us
freely while we are yet sinners, withdrawing not
His light, but shining on us for Christs
Will you, my sister, always trust in
Jesus, who is your righteousness? The love of God
is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost,
which is graciously given unto you. You are one
with Christ. He will give you grace to be
patient, He will give you grace to be trustful, He
will give you grace to overcome restlessness, He
will warm your heart with His own sweet Spirit,
He will revive your soul in its weakness. Only
a few days more to be as pilgrims and
strangers in this world, seeking for a better country,
even an heavenly. Our home is in heaven. Then
stay your soul in confidence upon God. Roll all
your burdens upon Him.
Oh, how many times has your heart been
touched with the beauty of the Saviours
countenance, charmed with the loveliness of His
character, and subdued with the thought of His
suffering. Now He wants you to lean your whole weight
upon Him. I will give you a chapter to comfort
you at all times. And in that day thou shalt
say, O Lord, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast
angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and
Thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord
Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is
become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye
draw water out of the wells of salvation
(Isaiah 12:1"3)."Letter 14b, 1891. 2SM230-231
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
Isaiah 40:31 - Are You Soaring Or Striving?
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio:
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: