Isaiah 40:28-31

I. Definitions. A. renew: To make new, or as new, again; to restore to the same condition as when new, young or fresh. B. wait on (or upon): To observe, watch; to fix one's eyes upon, gaze at. In Bible phrases, to place one's hope in God.

II. For the person whose hope, trust or confidence is in God, there is a promise of reinvigoration in the face of adversity or weakness. ISA 40:28-31. A. The man of faith accepts that the Lord is his strength. PSA 6:2 c/w PSA 28:7. B. The man of flesh looks to flesh for strength and so invites a curse. JER 17:5-6.

III. Adversity can enervate or energize, depending on one's trust. NUM 13:32-33; NUM 14:6-9. A. Adversity should teach us humility and drive us to spiritual concerns. DEU 8:2-3; PSA 119:71. B. God is pleased to magnify Himself through human weakness, thus teaching us not to rely upon ourselves. 2CO 1:8-10; 2CO 12:9-10. C. For the person who waits on the Lord, his weakness is an opportunity to flee to Christ and His strength. 1SAM 30:6 c/w EPH 6:10. D. If our eyes are upon God and His promises, our weaknesses or inadequacies are illusory hindrances. ROM 4:19-21; HEB 11:11, 34. E. Heavy burdens and temptations may be more easily borne by fixing our eyes upon the good end of the Lord. JAM 5:11; 1PE 5:8-10.

IV. Our passage in Isaiah is found in a chapter which opens with the announcement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. ISA 40:1-5 c/w MAR 1:1-4. A. The gospel announces man's weakness but Christ's strength and power to save. ROM 3:20; ROM 5:6; JOH 10:11, 18; 17:2. B. There is rest in ceasing from relying upon our own righteousness to earn God. ROM 10:3-4. C. There is renewal and refreshing in heeding the gospel's message. ISA 28:11-12 c/w 1CO 14:21. D. The word of the gospel is, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people...” (ISA 40:1). 1. Comfort is “Strengthening, encouragement, incitement...” 2. Glad tidings of completed salvation, of warfare accomplished, of iniquities pardoned: these are strength (comfort) for the burdened soul. ISA 61:1-3. 3. Glad tidings of resurrection power are likewise strength for the soul. HEB 2:14-15 c/w 1TH 4:13-18. a. It gives a lively hope of a better inheritance. 1PE 1:3-4. b. In baptism one identifies with Christ’s resurrection to victorious new life. ROM 6:3-14. c. There is great comfort in no longer being under the dominion of sin.

V. Sin drains away our strength. PSA 31:10. A. The penitent soul finds renewal in confession of sin. PSA 51:10-13. B. Personal sanctification tends to increase strength. JAM 4:7-10 c/w JOB 17:9. C. The soul that walks in the light has also an uncondemned heart which yields confidence which accords with strength. 1JO 1:7 c/w 1JO 3:21 c/w ISA 30:15.

VI. “They that wait upon the LORD” will of necessity have their eyes fixed on Christ, “the Lord from heaven” (1CO 15:47), “Who is gone into heaven...” (1PE 3:20). A. They need not stand gazing with the natural eye into heaven (ACT 1:11), for the eye of faith sees the unseen Savior in heavenly glory. 1PE 1:8 c/w HEB 2:9. B. Their gaze of faith directs their affections. COL 3:1-2. C. They see themselves by grace positionally risen there in Him. EPH 2:6. D. Their real treasure cannot be sullied by the strength-sapping corruption of this world. MAT 6:20-21. E. With eyes heavenwards, they faint not even though their outward man perish. 2CO 4:16-18. F. They believe that their God is the living God (1TI 3:15) and God of the living (MAT 22:32) Whose goodness they shall see in the land of the living and without that hope they would faint. PSA 27:13-14. G. In short, they rejoice not in the flesh but in the Lord Jesus Christ (ROM 5:11; PHIL 3:3) and thus “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (NEH 8:10). H. Regardless of their natural state or of circumstances, they are “I can do” types through Christ. PHIL4:12-13. I. They know there is a good reward in doing well and resolve to not weary in that pursuit. GAL 6:9.

VII. The promise of ISA 40:28-31 obviously accrues especially to the believer. 1TI 4:10. A. This world will weary us, sap our strength and make us faint. B. Faith is the victory that overcomes it. 1JO 5:4.

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