Renew: "To make new, or as new, again; to restore to the same condition as when new, young or fresh."
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."
I. 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.
II. Adversity can enervate or energize, depending on one's trust. NUM 13:32-33; NUM 14:6-8.
A. Adversity is designed to teach us humility and remind us to look 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 1:8-9; 2CO 12:9-10.
C. For the person who waits on the Lord, his weakness is but an opportunity to fly to Christ
and His strength. 1SA 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; HEB 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.
III. 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; 1CO 1:23-24 c/w JOH 17:2 c/w ROM 5:6.
B. There is rest in ceasing from relying upon our own works for eternal justification.
ROM 9:31-32 c/w 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: are such not 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.
IV. Unconfessed and unforsaken sin drains away our strength. PSA 31:10.
A. The penitent soul finds renewal in confession of sin. PSA 51:10-12.
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 PHIL 1:14 c/w ISA 30:15.
V. "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 is into heaven where Christ is seated. HEB 12:1-2; 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.
E. With eyes heavenwards, they faint not even though their outward man perish.
F. They believe that their God is the 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 so "the joy of the LORD is [their] strength" (NEH 8:10).
H. Regardless of their natural state or of circumstances, they are "can do" types through
Christ. PHIL 4:12-13.
VI. The promise of ISA 40:28-31 obviously accrues especially to the believer.
A. This world will weary us, sap our strength and make us faint.
B. Faith is the victory that overcomes it. 1JO 5:4.