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. 


   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 
Holy Spirit. 
   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 


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 


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