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June 29, 2023

Renew Your Hope Again


I think I can speak for all of us when I say that 2021 was a tough year.

We all have experienced loss, fear, heartache, pain, fatigue, anger, and hopelessness in one way or another. The older I get, the more I have a tendency to become cynical when the new year comes around: What’s going to be any different? Why even try? There’s no hope.
Yet when I turn to the Word of the Lord, there is a very different message declared over us:

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 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.” Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

This passage of scripture reminds us that the God we serve is an everlasting God who never grows tired or weary. He is omniscient and omnipotent; he is all-knowing and all-powerful. Even when we feel weak, tired, overwhelmed, and at our wits end, we can put our hope and trust in Him. He knows what He is doing. He is not thrown off by the world or what is going on in our nation. He has a plan, and He is faithful and just to finish what He started.

There is a sweet promise attached to these verses. However, it is attached to a condition: The Lord will give strength to the weary IF we put our hope in the Lord. Not in our bank accounts. Not in our significant other. Not in our jobs. Not in our political leaders. Not in our own talents or giftings. Not in anything else but the Lord. No one or nothing else can ever give us the strength, validation, joy, peace, and love our souls crave. Only Jesus.

For years, I have tried to do things in my own strength. And for a while, it worked. God has given me really great talents and abilities to do great things – but in the end it only led to fatigue, frustration, and burnout. I was working from a place of performance instead of being. I felt like I had to prove myself not just to others, but to myself. My worth was wrapped up in what I was doing instead of who God created me to be. It wasn’t until I put my hope in Jesus that things started to change. I realized that I have nothing to lose. Jesus already paid it all. He has already won. We don’t fight for victory, we fight from a place of victory. Everything I do in this life is not about trying to make God be proud of me. And the same is true for you. No matter what you do or don’t do in this life, there is nothing that can come between God’s love for you.

And that is why I needed you to know this.

Trying to do things in our own strength is a reflection of our own insecurities and belief in God. Until you realize that you don’t have to carry the world on your shoulders, you will never put all your hope and trust in the Lord.

So let go. You can’t control everything. Let the God who never grows weary and never leaves you be your portion. Give it to Him. He can handle it. Put your hope in Him, and let Him renew your strength.

The beautiful metaphor of “soaring on wings like eagles” tells us that when we put our hope in the Lord, we are no longer striving. We aren’t constantly flapping our wings and getting exhausted by the storms of life. We learn to catch the wind and ride it. Life is all about catching what God is already doing and letting Him carry you through.

Just spread your wings, take a leap, and let Him take you higher than you have never gone before.

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