Renew Your Strength—Life Application for September 18, 2016

September 11, 2016 No Comments »
Renew Your Strength—Life Application for September 18, 2016

By David Faust

faustGod’s capacity to get things done far surpasses ours. We use preexisting items to construct buildings and generate works of art, but he created the universe out of nothing. We spend years and thousands of dollars getting an education, while the Lord remains calmly all-knowing. We rush around in cars and planes, but he is omnipresent, unlimited by time and space. We spend roughly one-third of our lives sleeping, but the Lord never grows tired. “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4).

Isaiah 40:29 reminds us, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

Practically speaking, what does this mean to us? How can weary human beings experience God’s renewing power?

A Choice

For one thing, strength must be intentionally embraced; choose it. “Those who hope in the Lord”—who deliberately decide to place their trust in God—“will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). It doesn’t happen by accident.

We can lean on our own understanding and experience frustration, or we can trust in the Lord and let him direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6). We can be like Martha, “worried and upset about many things,” or we can be like Mary and choose a better path (Luke 10:41, 42).

According to a Swahili proverb, “There are three things which, if a man does not know, he cannot live long in the world: what is too much for him, what is too little for him, and what is just right for him.” God renews our strength by helping us recognize what is right for us.

A Habit

Strength must be continually replenished; cultivate it. God built the Sabbath principle into the law of Moses so his people would learn healthy habits of worship and rest. Jesus pointed out, “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). We’re wired by our Creator to benefit physically and spiritually from a day off from work, a quiet evening without TV or social media, a weeklong vacation, a retreat to spend time in prayer. Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

Are we building regular habits of renewal into the rhythms of daily life? If not, our souls will dry up like parched ground during a drought. A car that never stops for fuel eventually will run out of gas.

A Gift

Weariness is a fact of life on this side of Heaven, but for the faithful, exhaustion eventually will yield to exhilaration. Strength will be eternally given; accept it. Isaiah pictured the faithful free as birds, unencumbered and uninhibited, rising above their troubles, buoyed by God’s supernatural strength. “They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Tombstones say “Rest in Peace,” but why wait till we’re dead? Revelation 14:13 pronounces a blessing on those who die in the Lord: “They will rest from their labor.” If we cultivate habits that support spiritual renewal and receive it as God’s gift, we can experience rest and peace right now. The Father in Heaven wants to strengthen us “with power through his Spirit” in our inner being (Ephesians 3:16). He stays awake 24 hours a day. We can rest assured he will be there in the morning.

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2012, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

For evaluation questions that coordinate with today’s article, go to Evaluation Questions in our Bible Study Tools menu.

Daily Readings

Sept. 12

M.

Luke 3:2-6

See God’s Saving Power

Sept. 13

T.

Isaiah 38:9-20

Power to Overcome Illness

Sept. 14

W.

Isaiah 40:1-8

God’s Word Stands Forever

Sept. 15

T.

Isaiah 40:9-11

God Leads like a Shepherd

Sept. 16

F.

Isaiah 40:12-14

God’s Wisdom Is Unmatched

Sept. 17

S.

Isaiah 40:15-20

God Unlike the Nations and Idols

Sept. 18

S.

Isaiah 40:21-31

Our Powerful and Everlasting God

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