“…those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength” – Isaiah 40:31From Dave Atkinson:
Yesterday was a significant life event for me when, after 44 years, I retired from employment as a Civil Servant. For the last five of those years, I have had the great privilege to be involved in giving hope to families that have fled the devastating conflict in Syria, by working on a scheme to provide those refugees with an opportunity to start a new life in the UK.
It has been a great privilege but, at times, it has been a great burden and, particularly in 2015/2016, I often felt close to collapsing under the weight of physical and mental exhaustion. Every day during that period, and often since, I started my day reading and praying chapter 40 of the Old Testament book of Isaiah. As I daily put my hope in the Lord he, in his faithfulness, gave me the strength to get through the day.
The prophet Isaiah wrote this book to God’s people, the Old Testament people of Israel, warning them of the devastation that they faced in the future but, from chapter 40, promising that God would bring comfort and hope. That hope ultimately came with the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus – and Jesus remains our hope today.
Verse 28 reminds us that God, in Jesus, is the everlasting God, that he is the creator and sustainer of everything, that he is constant, that his understanding is unfathomable. Jesus knows everything that is going on in our lives and he is in control. If we put our hope in him, he will renew our strength, he will equip us to get through each day, and we will feel that we are like powerful eagles soaring high.
Yesterday was a big day for me and I don’t know what retirement will look like. But one thing I know is that Jesus is the same today as he was yesterday. I know that my eternal future is secure in his hands and that if I continue to put my hope in what he accomplished on the cross and through his resurrection, he will renew my strength so that I can worship and serve him.
Can I invite you to read Isaiah 40 today? Bring your weaknesses, fears, doubts, frustrations to the Lord Jesus. Put your hope in him and he will renew your strength.