God, I’m tired. Now what?

Isaiah 36-40 Focus: Isaiah 40:29-31, He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy. Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.

Sometimes life just isn’t fun. The beatings that life can bring are exhausting, and they are even worse when they are self inflicted. When fatigue sets in emotionally and spiritually, it is difficult to go on. Today I came across a beautiful passage that the prophet Isaiah proclaimed to God’s people thousands of years ago. It was very encouraging.

Israel was a nation that was going to be raped and looted by the Babylonian army. There was going to be mass destruction and thousands of people were going to be murdered or taken into captivity as slaves. Through the nation of Babylon, God was punishing His people for breaking the Covenant. It is exhausting to think about. So what did God say to those who suffered?

Isaiah 40:29-31 are the words spoken to Israel. God did not leave his people high and dry. Isaiah was reminding Israel that Yahweh is the eternal source of strength who is unable to be compared to any other god. He is the sovereign Creator who rules the kingdoms of this world. There is no one like Him! Therefore, the God of Israel should be feared more than life because He is the giver of life itself. Therefore, wait on the Lord who is the giver of strength.

Not much has changed today. While none of us do not have to suffer the fait of the blows of Babylon, we all suffer in some way. Our world is broken and people are afflicted with the pain of hurts, habits and hang-ups. Injustice and unrighteousness plague every country on earth. We all are affected in some way. The world is not as it should be. The world is not as it was created to be.

The reality is that we live in a fulcrum between ages, and we are waiting for God to restore and refashion his creation back to its original created state. Because of the work of Christ on the cross we can be saved from the penalty of our own sins. Not only that, but we can also have hope that we will one day be saved from the bondage that has captivated all of creation. Heaven and earth will be destroyed, and there will be a New Jerusalem, a heavenly city, built by God.

God’s message to those who are trusting in Jesus Christ is to “wait on the Lord for renewed strength.” Do not give up the battle for faith in God. Do not give up fighting the battles in life. Find renewed strength in the promises of the Lord as he is working in your life, even during the most difficult times. There is a heavenly city waiting for you! Keep walking towards that city!

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Unfailing Love

1/26/2008 1:00pm

Genesis 22-27

Recently I was flying back to Dallas after driving up to Denver. The woman who sat next to me on the plane shared that she had spent the weekend together with her boyfriend skiing. From the conversation, she gave me the impression that her relationship with her boyfriend was much more than platonic- i.e. physically intimate. I was not at all surprised since physical intimacy before marriage seems to be the norm for our culture today. After she finished, I was able to share the blessing of having a wonderful wife and a beautiful baby boy. My wife and I have been married for 3 years. There have been times when it has been difficult, but the hard work has been worth it all. There is nothing more freeing and satisfying than sharing a commitment that is mutual.

This morning as I read through Genesis 22-27, I became grateful for the security that I have in the love of Christ. Because of his love, I enjoy both heavenly riches by being in right relationship with the Father, and I enjoy earthly riches by being blessed with a beautiful wife who is faithful to me. The love that God has for us is much richer than our love toward him or even our love toward the one we love most.

When Abraham’s servant was searching for the wife of Isaac, he recognized this faithful love God had toward Abraham. It is called Checed (Kesed) love, or faithful love. This love is not only an endearing love, but much more than that. It is a love that is continually faithful to uphold its commitments. In the case of Abraham, God was firmly committed to the Covenant whereby God would bring redemption and blessing to all mankind.

I am thankful for being in Community with Christ. He is the ultimate fulfillment of Chesed love. God does not want us to spin isolated in the fleeting pleasures of one night stands, cheap sex, or pornography. They all seem intoxicating at the moment, but such moments are quickly fleeting and leave one feeling unsatisfied. Instead, God is delivering us from a world of hurts, habits, and hangups that are less than a cheap imitation of love. Love without commitment is dangerous and hurtful- it really is no love at all. True love is committed. If your life is caught up in isolation and uncertainty, and you are looking for a way out, that way has been provided through the unfailing love of Christ.