“Those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. ” (Isaiah 40:31 NLT)
These famous words paint a picture of life when we place our unreserved trust in the faithful care of God. These words offer hope in what seems to be impossible. After all, no one can fly on high like an eagle. No one can run and not get weary. No one can even walk and not, eventually, faint from exhaustion.
Yet, the prophet is describing the kind of life that IS the life of those who believe in the personal faithfulness of God. What is more, he is not describing the extraordinary life of the few who trust in God – he is defining the “normal” life of anyone whose hope rests in the abilities of God. Amazing!
The context of these words is a comparison – those who are youthful (and supposedly full of life; v. 30), compared to those who trust in God (no matter their age or ability!). We have humanity, at the peak of their potential, compared to anyone, whose only attribute is a stalwart hope in God.
The prophet Isaiah’s conclusion… there is no comparison!
The youthful (imagined to be full of hope, vision, and expectation) will get weary and faint. The young (at the peak of human energy and ability) will fall exhausted. The vibrancy of the hope of youthful vigor cannot remotely compare with the vibrancy and vigor of someone who is energized by a steadfast hope in God.
It is human nature to trust in one’s self – to place our hopes in our ingenuity, our intellect, our abilities. Only to find that the best we have, is just not enough. Some will run farther than others. Some will walk a greater distance on the path to “success.” But all who place their hope in human strength and energy will, eventually, find that human strength and energy falter and fail. But it is deeply imbedded in human nature to try. It is hardwired into every human being to “believe” that they will be the one to beat the odds – to succeed where all others have failed.
But the picture of Scripture is dynamically different. Those who trust in (and expectantly wait on) the LORD find that their spirits can soar up above their difficulties and troubles. They can rise effortlessly, on an endless supply of energy. They are like the eagle.
The eagle, in Scripture, is a picture of majesty, vibrancy, vision, dignity, and strength.
And all these qualities are the true definition of the person who has an activated trust in God. They are inner qualities that become outward qualities, as we fully trust in God’s abilities. These qualities are unlimited because God is unlimited. They are constantly renewed because God is a God of constant renewal.
This is promised through the Psalmist: “(God) satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” (Psalm 103:5 NAS) And it is verified by the apostle Paul: “We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV)
This is all possible, for those who believe in Jesus, because our spirits have been made alive (Romans 6:11; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:5) and the “alive” human spirit does not age – it does not get weary, worn out, or exhausted.
This IS the new you. Alive to God. Full of hope – soaring with divine energy…
Prayer focus: God, help me to see myself as soaring high like the eagle, rising above the dust of this life.