January 11, 2015

Something Old, Something New

Isaiah 40:21-31

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

—  Isaiah 40:29

For the past several days we have reviewed some of the ways in which sin introduces challenges into our lives. It is understandable, when faced with these challenges, to wonder where God is. Is God listening? Does he care?

The prophet Isaiah spoke to a people facing conquest and exile. They constantly faced new challenges and new fears that could lead them to anxiety and despair. Over time, people grew hopeless, saying, "My cause is disregarded by my God."

The Bible answers the question of human sin and misery by pointing to the eternal God. In response to our problems, it reminds us of something we have known from the beginning but often forget in the midst of our struggles: the eternal faithfulness of God, revealed most fully in Jesus. Our God, the prophet says, will not forget the world he made. Sin and brokenness may have their moment in our lives. But these things remain within the control of the Lord.

God exerts his power not in distant and impersonal ways. Instead, he extends the promise of strength to his people. The Christian faith does not deny the reality of our weariness but offers hope to weary souls. Our need to trust God never grows old. God's strength remains ever new.

Lord, so often we grow weary. Pick us up and renew our strength, we pray, so that we may put our hope in you, with whom there is no equal. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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