This is my 21st verse (or passage) of the week, Isaiah 40:29-31. I’m following the order of Seeds Family Worship’s “The Power of Encouragement,” and this one is track 9. Here is the verse from the NIV translation:
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope 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 be faint.
There is encouragement in this passage, to be sure. But I don’t want to forget that these are also words of correction for God’s people who had turned away from his path to pursue their own ways (and the ways of those around them). Here we see a just and loving God reminding his people that he will sustain and strengthen them if they will only place their hope in him again.
Because this verse in very familiar to me, I poked around a bit for some deeper meaning. What I came away with was the meaning of the word “hope.” Apparently this Hebrew word carries the meaning of anticipation and excitement, like when we are looking forward to an exciting event.
My prayer as I meditate on this passage during the week is this: Father, help me to walk in your ways, with strength from your Spirit, in anticipation of your Son’s return which will bring true communion with you and your church. Transform my mind and heart so that this hope is more exciting to me than any earthly thing. Amen.