Listen to this devotional:
Isaiah 40:31 – But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV)
The ten-kilometre Sun Run is being advertised on our local television station as I write this. To run for a cause seems to give one enough energy to finish, even with muscles screaming and lungs straining for air. The runners all need to run and not be weary to cross the finish line.
Some mornings, although I awake thanking the Lord for a good sleep, what I need now is some energy. "I have a busy day, so please help me, Lord" is my prayer. Then what happens? It is not instant energy, not exactly, but a strange stirring within me. It feels a bit like the shivers, as energy runs down my legs. Yes! I will be able to run through this day fast enough to get it all done, and I will not be weary. In turning to the Lord and waiting on His blessing, I am filled with His Spirit — it affects me like a bolt of energy. This is not a daily occurrence, but when it happens, something special is bound to occur that day, and I need the energy.
If I am short of energy, what happened? Maybe I have been running too fast, not pausing long enough to pay attention to the Lord's inner suggestions. "I have tried to keep going, Lord. Where is this help You promised me?" My prayer is deeply felt, yet the answer stares me in my face: when did I last wait on the Lord? Usually in my prayers, I am telling the Lord what I need. "Help me run, please, Lord. Give me this and do that, please, Lord." I have my needs all figured out. But this approach to prayer is all wrong. My prayers are focused on me instead of on Him. I now realize that I must literally wait on the Lord, and He will give me all I need to be able to run quickly, or walk safely through this day without getting weary or faint.
When something takes a lot of care, there is endurance available for the long haul for those who wait on the Lord — long-term endurance. This is worth another careful look. My faith indicates that I can and will endure for Jesus' sake.
Isaiah 57:10 – You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, "It is hopeless." You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint. (NIV)
We will find renewal of our strength and enthusiasm with Jesus' Spirit within us. All we need do is ask Him to come with us, and we will endure whatever life throws at us. We will not drag our feet through this day, for walking with the Lord beside us gives us wonderful endurance. We are also full of enthusiasm. Rejoicing, we continue to "wait" on Him. We will walk, not run carelessly! Carefully, taking each step prayerfully, we go forward with Him through this day, and have the endurance to see it through.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, our Saviour, we are running, running after so many things, when all we really need is You. Forgive us, Lord, as we let all these other things, of which we think we have great need, drop by the wayside. Show us today, Lord, what we really need. With Your Spirit filling us with enthusiasm, this day will not make us weary, but will fill us with joy. With You, we have the endurance to face everything in faith and thanksgiving. In Your name, we pray. Amen.