“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”—Isaiah 40:31
What Israel wanted in captivity, the church of Christ now needs in its present situation—power! We seem to lack the power to do that which we were created to accomplish. Potentially, the church has within itself all that is required to complete the great mission that was handed to her by the Master Himself, but the simple fact is, it seems that either we have failed, or at best we are struggling to carry out our duty. Every church should be a great force for the Gospel and good in the community where she is planted, and every Christian should be a great power for virtue and righteousness in the circle where he moves. We ought to be able to make “the good confession” (1 Tim.6:12-13) for Christ and display power to live an influential and godly life. We ought to have the power to execute a useful and effective ministry for the Lord—but can we say this is the case? Let’s be honest—where is the power?
What is the condition on which this power is given?
Notice the first revelation that we are given is that this secret to the soul’s renewal is open to all. Who are “those that wait”?—all who fulfill this condition. The words “will gain” in the Hebrew mean “to change.” What this means is that experiences like these alter our character and change our convictions.
What does it mean to wait for the Lord? Three facts are involved in waiting:
- A patience for the exercise of God’s power on our behalf.
- An earnest appeal to Him in believing prayer to fulfill His Word. (Ps.38:15)
- A steadfast attention to His Word and His grace (Ps.39:17).
To expect without seeking is presumption; to seek without expecting is unbelief. Both expecting and seeking form the happy ingredients of the Christian who is growing in grace.
What is the result? “They will mount up with wings like eagles” (v.31).
The eagle is the biblical metaphor for strength (Ex.19:4; Deut.32:11). The proper translation of this phrase is “they cause their wings to rise, or lift their wings high, like the eagles.” In other words, those whose course of life is focused on Jehovah are, as it were, “possessed of wings.” We will grow from strength-to-strength and from glory-to-glory (Ps.84:7; 2 Cor.3:18). Running the way of His commandments will not tire us (Ps.119:32). Here is the promise to those who wait upon the Lord:
- Progress is made.
- Power is felt.
- Perseverance is granted.