“ He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 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.”
In Isaiah 40:28 we’re reminded that God does “not grow tired or weary” but we do, even if we are young, fit and healthy. In 2018 a group of men from the church completed something called “The Way”; a 60-mile trek over three days around the Isle of Man carrying our food and shelter. Through the challenge, relationships were strengthened and we learnt a lot about ourselves. One thing we certainly shared (apart from smelling awful) was that when we reached Castletown, even the young among us were tired and weary!
Tiredness is inevitable in life. Family, church, job, school, fitness and suddenly an already busy diary becomes jam-packed. Strangely, the promise of renewed strength doesn’t involve sitting back and waiting for God to put strength back into us. This promise is far from passive; a farmer who waits for God to plough the field and sow the seed on his behalf is going to be sorely disappointed. In fact, he would be guilty of testing God. We have been given many ways to access God’s grace and He delights in us drawing on those things for renewed strength.
The Hebrew word for “renewing strength” commonly means, first, to “find margin”, “make a change” and then to “revive, renew and flourish again.” Like reviving a diseased tree: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars” Isaiah 9:10. The way we renew our strength is to put our trust in God to become strong in our faith, fit for the spiritual battle, living in victory over sin and able to face the trials of life. Strength returns when we look after our spiritual health as top priority. A renewed and strengthened Christian is someone who has eaten fresh bread from the Bible, been filled daily with the Holy Spirit and enjoyed the fellowship of the saints.
A tree is healthy when it is growing and producing fruit. Renewing our strength requires that margin to make a change. How can you ensure that you are accessing God’s grace today by making a marginal change to grow in Him? Ask your pastor or Life Group leader, “what small change can I make today to renew my strength?”
Previously, I worked as an auditor for six years. The norm was eight-hour days, however, during the busy seasons work hours were 12-15 hours (60-75 hours per week) on an average of three hours’ sleep.
Initially, busy season was for three months a year, however, it gradually became busy year, not just season. This continued from late 2015 to Summer 2019. Daily I would repeat Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. This encouraged me to keep on giving my best to my workplace and my accountancy studies.
During this period, my family, friends, and myself were engaged in constant prayers for my work condition to improve and for God to restore my strength. This stressful and unhealthy lifestyle led to my health collapse in 2019; I resigned from work due to my poor health and spent two months recovering. In those months I sought a closer relationship with God and prayed for restoration of health and energy. The below verses were so powerful and brought me peace, hope and assurance that God was in control and He will answer my prayers.
Psalm 119:28 “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”
Isaiah 40:31 “…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.”
1 Chronicles 16:11 “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always”
After my two months of recovery, I was blessed with a less stressful job with much better work hours. God restored my strength and health, and in addition, within the past 12 months I have completed my studies.
To God be the glory for answering all our prayers!!
What has God said to you through today’s promise?