The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of October 19
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 40:31)
Have you ever known someone who remained full of faith, hope and joy, even amid the most challenging circumstances? As I write this, a friend is walking through a terminal cancer diagnosis, and I stand in awe of her unwavering faith, hope and even joy, despite her dire prognosis. She is encouraging those of us around her who are faltering. She is offering strength and hope to those of us who are feeling angry, saddened and hopeless by the news of her untimely illness. She is living her remaining time on Earth with gratitude and grace.
This kind of confidence and fortitude does not grow out of earthly pursuits or accomplishments. You can’t earn it by simply working hard or by striving to attain it. Rather, the root of steadfast strength grows out of our relationship with God and out of our conviction that He is always loving and always good, no matter what.
The truth is, we cannot do life well all on our own. Life throws far too many curve balls to expect or hope that we will come out unscathed by loss or hardship. As Isaiah warns in these verses, even the most youthful and vigorous of us will stumble and grow weary if we insist on going it alone.
True strength, on the other hand, grows not out of self-reliance but out of our reliance on God. I know, from what I am witnessing in my friend’s steadfast faith, that Isaiah’s claim is true: those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
Gracious God, too often when I am faced with difficulty, I turn toward myself and am tempted to rely on my own strength. Thank You for reminding me that true strength is not found in me, but in You. Amen.