During August we’re focusing on finding strength in God. Please see the Monthly Prayer Focus page to read our strategic prayer request for this month.
By Jim Bliffen
Often I find my strength to be insufficient for the great tasks I feel called to undertake. I am tired, weak, overwhelmed, and feel overworked. I look around me and see that I lack the ability, strength, resources, and time to get a job done. It’s at times like these I wonder what I am doing wrong, for the Bible says: “Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40: 30-31, The Holman Christian Standard Version). I think I am trusting in the Lord so why am I so tired? But am I really trusting Him or trying to run ahead of Him to meet some deadline on a self-imposed schedule? I trust what the Bible says is true, so am I doing something wrong if I get tired?
Isaiah is telling us that we will get tired. Youths tire, even those who are selected especially to run will stumble and fall. Those who trust, hope, or wait upon the Lord (as various Bibles translate this passage) “renew” their strength. If strength isn’t lost initially, how is it to be renewed? Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:7 that God gave Him a thorn in the flesh to keep Him weak so that he and the world would know that his strength came from the Lord.
In the fourth chapter of the book of Zechariah, Zechariah is given a vision of a seven pronged golden lamp stand that is constantly fed oil from branches of two olive trees to keep it burning continuously. An angel asks Zechariah, “What is this?” Zechariah didn’t understand the vision and asks the angel to explain it. Before he explains it the angel says, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of Hosts” (Zechariah 4, The Holman Christian Standard Version). The meaning of the vision is this: God was going to rebuild His temple through the efforts of Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the High Priest, and the light of His glory would again be shown among the nations. It would be a difficult task with plenty of obstacles. People laughed because of its small beginning and Zerubbabel’s lack of manpower and the resources Solomon had at his disposal when building the first temple. Nevertheless, the temple would be rebuilt by the power of God. Military strength (might) and human manpower (power) could not accomplish the task, but Spirit-empowered workers under the direction and leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua would complete it because God would provide all the resources needed. God would rejoice in the completed project though it lacked the grandeur of Solomon’s Temple.
So it is with us today. God still provides all that is needed to get His desires accomplished. I am still learning to trust Him for the strength, but my weariness serves a good reminder that it is His strength and not mine that produces great results. It is when I realize that I have no strength that the supernatural strength of God is revealed and He is glorified. I have found I can trust Him. He still gives all that is needed. I am not doing anything wrong when I get tired unless that weariness doesn’t drive me to Him to find His strength. The wrong is if I trudge on in my own weakness trying to get His work done without Him. The passage in Isaiah begins by saying, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless” (Isaiah 40:28–29 The Holman Christian Standard Version.) Don’t forget who He is and what He can do with people who trust Him, wait on Him, and find their hope in Him.
Jim serves in the area of Scripture Use.