I think you’ll agree with me when I say that I believe we’re going through interesting times! The news has reported it all this week: flood, war, earthquake, poverty, coronavirus! Let’s never be accused of burying our heads in the sand; we need to be prayerful about our world! We also need to be careful how we respond. Do we live in the place of despair or live out of the place of hope? The passage from Isaiah 40:31, that highlights the benefits of hope, is very well known. It comes on the back of Isaiah’s proclamation that God is still sovereign and he still declares, ‘Comfort, comfort my people.’ (Isaiah:40:1) Maybe a modern paraphrase might be, ‘Don’t panic!’ Isaiah concludes the chapter by declaring the benefits of hope.
The passage is a picture of hoping and soaring above in the strength of the Lord. Firstly, we are encouraged to ‘hope in the Lord’; first things first! Secondly, he says that hope kindles a ‘renewal of strength’; a lack of hope depletes and robs us of spiritual strength and can even affect us physically and cause weariness. Thirdly, hope helps us to soar! The analogy of the eagle gaining altitude is powerful. It gains height and then it rests; held in position and guided by the wind.
Hope is depleted when we try to operate in our own strength and when we do this we are so easily worried and panicked. Today your hope can be in Jesus Christ rather than in the systems of the world. Let’s soar as we worship him together!