I was driven by my approaching birthday to focus on Isaiah 40:25–31 for two weeks, and will pick up today where I left off last week. These verses are very familiar to me because God used them to encourage me over and over—ever since my teenage years when he gave me the yet-to-be-fulfilled promise. My 40-year wait has not only made me tired and weary, but has also tested my faith.
In his wisdom, God first gave me this Scripture passage in the King James Version. God wanted to sustain me as I waited for the fulfillment of his promise. He knew how long it would be! In this episode, I read from the New International Version. In the NIV, Isaiah 40:31 says, “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…” However, as a teenager, throughout college, and well into my 20s, God kept bringing the verse to me in the KJV, which translates Is. 40:31 this way: “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Forty years of hoping is enough to make your heart sick. I learned early on from the Promise Keeper that both waiting on the Lord and hoping in the Lord would renew my strength.
Last week we declared “My God does not ignore me” and it’s true. He knows what makes our hearts sick. He knows deferred hope makes us tired and weary, and that’s why he promises to renew our strength when we place our trust in him. He is faithful to all of his promises, that’s why we can also declare “My hope in the Lord renews my strength.”
Longing to Belong: Discovering the Joy of Acceptance is now available for purchase on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Walmart.com, Booksamillion.com and Christianbook.com. It’s also available for download to your Kindle or from the Apple store for your iBooks app. Or visit my website to purchase a copy at shawnamariebryant.com
This week’s scripture: Isaiah 40: 29-31