Wait On The Lord

Wait on the Lord

Isaiah 40: 31

"But 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
."

The Jews were in exile in Babylon.

Now they are in the midst of strangers.

They have hung their harpers on the willow; they have lost their song.
They were filled with fear, and they wondered when and how they were going to get home.

Every day seemed like a thousand years.
The hours and days passed by so slowly.
They couldn't find comfort, even among their countrymen.
They knew that they had sinned, or else they would not have been in that pagan land.

They had rebelled against God's laws, and now the divine hand of God had fallen upon them.
They wept by day, and had nightmares at night.
They were reaping what they had sown, but they didn't like the harvest of their own making.

The prophet Isaiah came into the picture, and tried to inject a note of comfort
into the sad song that they were singing.

Prophets usually condemn and exhort the people for their sins and their lethargy.
Isaiah tried to lay a healing hand upon their broken spirits.
But the comfort that he offered was based upon the fact that their sins had been confessed and forgiven.

There is no comfort without confession.
They want peace of mind without pardon of soul.

So in Isaiah 40:1, Isaiah based comfort upon the forgiveness of iniquity.
Sin always separates God's people from the place He has designed for them.

But Isaiah had to take his eyes off of humanity in order to find a solution to the problem.
In verses 6-8, he wailed about the brevity of life.
Man is like grass and soon withers; man is like a flower and soon fades.

We cannot find the answer to the ills of man by looking within.
We must look above to the One whose power and love never dim or die.
His power and love never fade or fail.

There is change and decay in everything we see, but God who changes not,
can usher us out of the bondage provoked by our corruption and sin.
Our hope is in God, not in ourselves.
All of our sorrows, all of our problems, and all of our tears can find their resolution in God.

Many of us spend our days applying human solutions to human situations.
We must learn how to wait on the Lord!

Isaiah concludes the chapter by urging the people to wait on the Lord.

They had been so embittered by the captivity that they thought the Lord had abandoned them (vs. 27),
but this was not so.

You may think when you are burdened with heartache and defeat that God has forgotten you.

But Isaiah reminded them, in verse 28, that God is in control, that God is watching over His own.
God is not in a hurry, but He is never late.

We must learn how to wait on him.
The word, "wait," in the Hebrew encourages usto wait with eagerness.
God is going to do something about the situation.

Too often, we try to make God fit our schedule.
But God has His own timetable and His own way.
If we learn to wait on Him, He will reward us with the promises in our text.

He will give us power over temptation; "He shall renew our strength."
He will give us power over depression; "We shall mount up with wings as eagles."
He will give us power over emergencies; "We shall run and not be weary."
He will give us power over monotony; "We shall walk and not faint."

Power over Temptation

Isaiah informs us that the Lord will give us power over temptation.
"He shall renew our strength."

He is talking about a certain kind of strength a moral and an inner strength.
He is not talking about physical strength.

The people of Isaiah's day needed this kind of reinforcement.
In the midst of their captivity, they had to fight the temptation to become bitter,
and fight the many sins that accompany a discouraged spirit.

We are living in a dirty, wicked world.
The allurements of the present age are very enchanting.
The world, the flesh, and the devil are still operating.
The battle against evil within and without never ceases.

But we are not alone!
God has promised to give us a strength that will match the temptations that surround us.
The word, "renew," means that He will keep on doing it.
The attacks of this present world are unrelenting, and we cannot relax our vigil.

God has promised to keep on giving us strength,
which means that we need a daily infusion of power because the forces of sin never give up.

Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10: 13 that we would be tempted.
But with every temptation, God has made a way for our escape.
We cannot do it alone.
We cannot win the victory in the energy of the flesh.
So many believers are trying to resolve the problem of sin and failure by their own efforts.

The road of life is littered with failures because Christians were not willing to tap the resources
God has made available through His grace.
His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in weakness.

We must learn how to lean on the everlasting arms.
There is no need for defeat and failure, when God has made His strength available to us.
Christ is sufficient, and He wants to help us to win the victory,
and to be "more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8: 37b)

Power over Depression

God will give us power over depression.
The text says that "We shall mount up with wings as eagles."

There are many ups and downs in the life we live,
but God will give us the victory over the downs, if we learn how to wait upon Him.

Depression is common in our day, and it can happen to the best of us.
The competitive culture in which we live can cause us to be depressed.
The pressure caused by others in the home and how of it can cause us to be depressed.
The feeling of insecurity, and many other factors can cause us to feel low and blue.

Do not be surprised if this happens to you.
So many of us are baffled by these basement emotions, and we must learn how to deal with them effectively.
We cannot be a fulfilled person in the game of life, if we are morose and dejected all of the time.
From the pit of gloom and darkness, God can give us wings so that we can emerge
from these miserable moods that try to imprison our spirits.

Elijah became depressed.
After the stunning victory on Mount Carmel, Elijah went into a deep depression.
He ran from Jezebel, who had vowed that she would kill him.
So, we find him under a juniper tree pleading with God to let him die. (1 Kings 19: 4)

But God intervened, and ministered to the physical needs of the fatigue prophet.
Often, depressions are physical disorders.
Our bodies have a way of disturbing our emotional pattern.

The Lord did not condemn Elijah for his depression, but God sought to help him.
God will do the same for us!
We are a peculiar generation.

Our scientific progress is amazing, and yet simple problems elude our solutions.

We should be the most rested and the most joyful, but our prosperity and mobility
have not brought us the inner victory of a joyful spirit.
That is why we need God so very much.

Without Him we are a bundle of contradictions.
We need His grace to unscramble our confused emotions.
We need to wait on the Lord!
That is the answer to our depressions.

Power over Emergencies

God has promised power over emergencies "they shall run and not be weary."

The day is coming when we are going to run.
Desperate hours will come upon us sooner or later.
While life is made up mostly of dull and routine experiences, we know that it will not be long
before the dreadful hour of heartaches will descend upon us.

When such times come, we will need the presence and the power of God.
We are no match for these difficult times.
We need help from above!

God has promised to accompany us in "the valley of the shadow of death."
God can take every Calvary and turn it into Easter Sunday.

Difficult hours are the raw materials out of which we can weave a garment of praise for the glory of God.
We will never have a greater opportunity to glorify the Lord than when darkness
invades our experience, and the storm clouds form across the sky of our lives.

God will reveal Himself to us unforgettably during the sadness and grief
that accompany drastic emergencies.
Never will we learn more about God's power, patience, and closeness
than when our hearts have been broken.
Remember, God has promised special strength to those who learn how to trust in Him.

Power over Monotony

God will give us power over monotony "we shall walk and not faint."
Most of life is composed of the trivial and the trite.
The storms of life come and go at different times throughout our lifetime.

The humdrum is always with us.
The termites, not the tornadoes, are the basic problem of human existence.

We must learn how to handle the details of everyday living.
Our inability to do this can provoke some serious problems.

I have seen many people stand firm and courageous in the midst of trying hours,
and then collapse in the dull routine of life.

Many think that the Lord is with us only when the big problems arise,
but He is also concerned about the little things.

Many people live lives that lack luster, and perhaps, they think they do not matter in the sight of God.
But I believe that God is glorified by individuals who are able to walk and not faint.

Christian people who can do this compose the bulk of the kingdom of God.
I think there is something special about someone who is able to live life
in the midst of dullness with everyday faithfulness.

I believe God rewards those who fill every minute with 60 seconds worth of work well done.

So, do not think that you are not accomplishing much, simply because your service
does not make the headlines or because you're not the quarterback on God's team.
God glories in the patient labor of those who do their best in the quiet place.
God never ignores that kind of service.

Have you won the victory in this area of your life?

If you wait on the Lord, God has promised to strengthen you, not only for the difficult hour,
but also for the times that are monotonous and sluggish.

The Bible teaches that the kingdom of God is within us.
So if the kingdom is within us, then the King is also there.
Where the King is, life is not commonplace.

Many seem to thank that the Lord is only with us in emergencies,
but He is also with us when we are walking faithfully in our daily routines.
Many often feel discouraged when big things are not happening in their lives,
and they look at others, who are serving in prominent positions and getting a lot of attention.

We are like the little boy who was sitting on the bank of the river with the fishing pole in his hand,
and the fishhook was in the water, but nothing was happening.

He had been sitting there for hours -- without even a nibble.

An old man passed by and asked, "Son, what are you doing? Are you fishing?"

The little boy replied glumly, "I'm not fishing. I'm just drowning worms."

Many of us feel that way, but the Lord never does.
He rejoices in our consistency, and His joy should make our work worthwhile.

God glories in the small nothing is insignificant to Him.
God knows how we are composed.
He knows that we are dust.
He knows that we are going to have slow hours and dull seasons.
God has made provision for giving us the inner strength to cope with those times.

Many want to live lives like the display of fireworks, instead of the constant shining of the stars.
A fireworks show attracts attention for a few minutes and out dazzles the stars
for a few brief moments, but when the show is over the heavenly bodies continue
their faithful witness in the night sky.

The Lord wants us to be faithful, and He will give us grace to walk and not faint,
if we are willing to wait upon Him and trust His power.
We must not rely on our own weaknesses.

So, when we wait on the Lord:

Folks, it can't get any better than that!

Wait on the Lord!

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White