Rest for the Weary

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. 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 40:28-31 NLT

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In chapter 40 of the book of Isaiah, Isaiah gave the Jews comforting words from God.  The Jews have been living in exile now for 70 years and they were getting tired and restless.  They were at their breaking point in their faith.  They felt abandoned and as if they were reliving the wilderness that their ancestors were in back in Exodus.  Isaiah wanted them to know God had not given up on them, and God wants us to know today, that no matter what circumstances we are facing, He has not abandoned us, but He is with us all the time.

“Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength” (v. 28, 29).  Isaiah asked the Israelites if they remembered what they had learned from their forefathers about the providential hand of God, how He saved them from the evil hand of Pharaoh and brought them into the Promised Land and how He can save them from their current exile.  They just needed to trust in God.  He also reminded them of the attributes of God.  He is the Creator of all things, He is everlasting, and He is one that no one can fathom.  He knew everything about the Jews and what they were going through and God knows us in the same way. God never tires or grows weary.  He is always awake, He never slumbers.  Therefore, He can give us strength when we ask and wait upon Him for it.

My family and I used to go hiking every year to the mountain tops. The view is extraordinary.  You can see for miles and you can see the valleys below.  I loved being on the top of the mountains.  It is peaceful and breathtaking. It feels like being on top of the world.  Each of us has those mountain top experiences in our spiritual walk.  While we are on the top of the mountain, we receive God’s strength and we feel very close to God, like nothing wrong can happen.  We are usually told that we have to be up there to be close to God. Most of our mountain top experiences happen at retreats, some Sunday meetings, concerts, etc.

However, we cannot always be on the mountain top.  Most of the time God calls us to go through the valley to learn to trust Him more or to grow in our walk with him. During those times, we can get quite weary and feel like we may be in our own “exile.” When we do, remember that God says in His word that He will give power to the weak and He will increase strength to those who have no might to carry on.  All we have to do is trust Him. I know this is not easy to do. We often have many questions, mostly beginning with “Why?”. I have asked those questions many times during the past several years. I don’t understand the “why’s?” and I have tried to see things in a different perspective. God continues to teach me. He continues to speak to my heart.

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall” (v 30).  Weariness comes from being utterly exhausted.  I truly understand this from the physical point of view with living with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. We can get spiritually tired.   Praying and studying God’s word can feel like a chore instead of something we enjoy whilst we are in the valley experiences.   Sometimes, we are broken. When we are going through a process of being broken, we are being completely changed.  We are getting rid of our selfish desires and becoming more like Christ.  This is hard because of our human nature.  It is much easier staying in our sinful nature than to be dramatically transformed.  Maybe God is testing our faith.  The farther we walk with Him, the more He tests us.  He wants to know if we completely trust Him with every aspect of our lives.  He knows that we are going to get weary.  That is why He promises us His strength.  If we do not have our trust in God during the valleys and wildernesses of our lives, then, Satan can rob us of our joy and our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  He can also steal the fire that God has given us.  Don’t let Satan rob you of your blessings.  God has promised us the victory in Jesus Christ who will renew our strength if we but wait on Him!

Sometimes, we are broken. When we are going through a process of being broken, we are being completely changed.  We are getting rid of our selfish desires and becoming more like Christ.  This is hard because of our human nature.  It is much easier staying in our sinful nature than to be dramatically transformed.  Maybe God is testing our faith.  The farther we walk with Him, the more He tests us.  He wants to know if we completely trust Him with every aspect of our lives.  He knows that we are going to get weary.  That is why He promises us His strength.  If we do not have our trust in God during the valleys and wildernesses of our lives, then, Satan can rob us of our joy and our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  He can also steal the fire that God has given us.  Don’t let Satan rob you of your blessings.  God has promised us the victory in Jesus Christ who will renew our strength if we but wait on Him!

Maybe God is testing our faith.  The farther we walk with Him, the more He tests us.  He wants to know if we completely trust Him with every aspect of our lives.  He knows that we are going to get weary.  That is why He promises us His strength.  If we do not have our trust in God during the valleys and wildernesses of our lives, then, Satan can rob us of our joy and our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  He can also steal the fire that God has given us.  Don’t let Satan rob you of your blessings.  God has promised us the victory in Jesus Christ who will renew our strength if we but wait on Him!

We may never understand the reasons why God allows us to go through the darkest valleys. However, during these times we can ask him “What does he want us to learn from this experience?” or “How can God use this time in the valley for his glory?” God knows what it is best for us. It is up to us to trust.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…” (v 31 a).  To wait on the Lord means to hope in the Lord, to expect Him to do what He says.  He asks to look to Him for rest for our weariness.  He asks us to trust Him even in the dark times in our lives.  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”   When we are persistent, He answers our prayers and He renews us and gives us rest.  He also reminds us to “Be still and know that He is God.”  Remember that He is in control.  While we are resting, He protects us.  He will not give us more than we can bear, but he does give us strength to go through whatever life throws at us.  When we learn to rely on Him, He gives us security that we may come before Him boldly in any circumstance that we may face in the future.

“They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint” (v 31 b).  The eagle is a strong powerful bird.  He shows strength and nobility.  He is able to soar above the valleys and the mountains.  He is in control.  Just like the eagle, God is in control.  He already knows what we are going through.  I may not know your struggles, but God does.  Our God is bigger than anything that we may face.  He is bigger than the valley that we may be in.  When we stop looking at our circumstances that surround us and place our trust and our lives in the Master’s hands, we can mount up on wings as eagles and soar!  Once we realise that God is in control, we can move on.  We can start the climb again.  We can run and not grow weary!  We can walk and not grow faint!  God will give you exactly what you need when you need it.  He will give you the amount of rest that you need.

Rest in God, renew your strength, mount up on wings as eagles, soar above the circumstances, soar above the valley and know that you are going to get through it with God’s help.  Ask your brothers or sisters in Christ to pray for you during this tough time. Allow God to hold, renew and strengthen you.

If you are in the valley and you feel weary and you need to find rest, take time to be still in His presence.  Come to your Father.  Be persistent with Him.  Receive your rest and strength today.

“There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.  A place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God.  O Jesus blest redeemer, sent from the heart of God, hold us, who wait before thee, near to the heart of God.  There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God.  A place where we, our Saviour meet, near to the heart of God.   O Jesus blest redeemer, sent from the heart of God.  Hold us, who wait before thee, near to the heart of God.  There is a place of full release, near to the heart of God.  A place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God.  O Jesus, blest redeemer, sent from the heart of God.  Hold us, who wait before thee, near to the heart of God.”539742_10151703263498976_1794194277_n

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