“Let the nations renew their strength” Isaiah 41:1 (NIV)
In life we all hit spots where we are exhausted. Whether it is after a race, at the close of a busy week, or the exhaustion that comes with mental and physical pain, we all have been exhausted. Those who have suffered for a long time with migraine headaches, or have watched as their health has deteriorated, or seen a loved one gradually fade away, those people can feel exhausted even if they have not done much, if any, physical exercise.
Those who are blessed with an easy life have no idea of how wasting the pain of such suffering can be. The mental torment of these and other such situations can make the sufferer want to go away and hide. Depression can set in and compound the problem. Sometimes the person seeks refuge in the bottle, or in wild parties, anything to distract and get the mind off the matters at hand.
In Scripture we are directed to Jesus when we find life too much for us. It is said of Him that He “has been tempted in every way, just as we are” and the logical deduction from this fact is “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV). Jesus has walked among us. He had sorrows and problems of every imaginable sort. By experience He knows what we may be facing in life. Therefore we are invited to come to One who knows what our problems are all about.
Have you ever discovered the worth of talking to someone who has gone through what you are facing in life? These people can sympathize like others cannot. They have survived their ordeal and thus offer encouragement simply by being a survivor. They can also speak about what helps in such situations and what does not help. Certainly you need to seek out a person or group of people who have walked in your shoes and discuss with them strategies for coping.
However there is another source of help that is much more helpful than even talking to survivors. Isaiah mentions the source just before writing out our verse. In Isaiah 40:28-31 the prophet describes our Creator God several ways. God sits outside of time, He created everything, His strength is inexhaustible, and God fully understands everything. In other words, God is everything we are not. There is no way God can be caught off guard nor can issues exhaust His resources. Everything He does is right because He understands completely the alternatives and their consequences.
Then Isaiah says that God comes to the weary and lifts them up and renews their strength. So many times in Scripture the Lord is seen as One who comes alongside the suffering person and causes things to happen to enable them to persist through the trial. They gain a new strength that sustains them. This strength that God gives is constant and never fades away. The child of God taps into infinite resources to cope and to become victorious in their pilgrimage in this world.
Isaiah uses the imagery of an eagle. When an eagle takes flight it seems to effortlessly lift its wings and soar every higher into the sky. Those who seek help from their Creator are people who are wise. They have a hope and a patient waiting on God for all they need to be sustained in life. The Psalmist says in 84:7, “They go from strength to strength till each appears before God” (NIV). Here we read that God’s people constantly get fresh supplies of strength as they journey on to the final goal of God’s eternal presence.
Is this your hope today? Do you seek the Lord to sustain you and guide you through life? Are you simply exhausted with life and cannot find the strength to go on? Jesus invites you to come to Him and get refreshed, reoriented, and enabled to deal with life head on. You must come in humility and confess your sins which have alienated you from Him. Listen to His words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)
Why would you refuse such a kind and gracious invitation? There is indeed a spiritual 911 and Jesus waits for us to call out to Him and admit we cannot cope, that we have gone away from His path. Will you return to God today? You are invited to come. Come and come now.