By: Tim Sader
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.
In the past year I have felt so blessed by the Lord and what he’s doing in my life. I have been diligent to these bible studies and as I’m putting them to work in my own life and doing the Lords will he has brought much good in my life. I’ve had great news from doctors, been having dreams and revelations, opportunities to give Godly council to others and an ability to let Him use my hand to spread His word. He also has crossed my paths and helped me start a relationship with an awesome woman who loves the Lord and loves me unconditionally. Life as the Lord gives it is good and I’m enjoying every minute of it. When writing this study I was having a struggle writing not because the Lord wasn’t using me but my stomach was really bothering me. I’m not one to say the devil’s attacking me because he has no power to attack me since I am a child of God and Christ paid for sickness and disease on the cross. This was a test of my faith. I wasn’t going to let a temporary setback stop me from being used by God and doing it despite how my body feels. The right choice and my only choice was to write it anyways and trust Him to guide my hands. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Since this stomachache was temporary I did not dwell on it but looked to God who is unseen and he seen to it that my health was restored and this bible study would be written.
Today I want to focus on having our hope in the Lord so he can greatly bless us. That is where I am putting my hope today as I write this despite my flesh wanting to hold myself and focus on the circumstance of how I feel. So let me ask, where is your hope today? Certainly it should not be in the economy, our jobs, the stock market or our bank accounts. We should not put our hopes in doctors, lawyers, scientists, political leaders or the media. If we believe in Christ our hope should be in Him because only He can make a difference in our lives. Jeremiah 14:22 says, “Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.” The Lord not only controls the rain but he controls all things so this verse could say, for you are the one who does it all, not just sending rain. This verse to me also is saying whatever we put our hope in besides God are “idols” not that we are outright worshipping them but if we trust in them more then we hope in God we are focused on what is temporary not on him. Today’s scripture says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” If we put our hope in him he says he will renew our strength and most people read this and assume it means physical strength. When I started thinking about this and digging into the scripture I noticed three kinds of strength represented by three statements. Just as we are a three part being we can receive strength on all three of these identities; spirit, soul (emotions) and body.
The scripture goes on and says, “They will soar on wings like eagles.” Now yes anything is possible with God but humans in this earthly body without mechanical equipment do not soar on wings like eagles it is not likely a human will fly on their own. I then saw the metaphor in this section. Eagles fly far higher than any other bird, above it all; kind of like the human spirit soars high above all living things. As the Lord strengthens us our spirit becomes strong and soars high over all other circumstances in our lives. Psalm 31:24 says, “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” This tells us to take heart which the heart often another word for spirit. The spirit is the part of the man that is closest to God and is our true identity that is in fellowship with Christ. Psalm 130:7 says, “O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” Our spirit is the part of us that can receive redemption and if we hope in the Lord his unfailing love will bring us redemption. Then in Romans 15:13 we read, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” This lets us know we serve a God of hope and when we hook our hope up with his hope his spirit will fill us with power and strengthen our spirit.
Next our scripture reads, “They will run and not grow weary.” This one was a bit harder to see because running is a physical activity and takes much endurance and physical strength. However when running we are usually doing so to reach a specific goal, get away from something or are after a prize. This kind of activity is difficult and our minds can be our worse enemy telling us we can’t, we’re to slow or we’ll never make it. We grow weary in our minds and emotions, the soul of man, not in the physical body. Psalm 33:22 says, “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.” Love is an emotion man feels in his soul, Gods love is unfailing so if we put hope in him we will feel his love. Remember also his unfailing love brings about full redemption. Psalm 39:6 says, “Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.” This says man is like a phantom they just come and do their thing but really only in vain because there is no real reward in what man does. If we do hope in the lord as did David in Psalm 39:8 and pray, “Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools.” Proof of this can be found in Jeremiah 29:11,12 it tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” When we hope in the Lord he will prosper us and give us hope for the future. Also by hoping in the Lord the prayer in the Psalms was heard and he will listen to our prayers to through our hope in him.
The final part of today’s scripture is the most common way of looking at strength in the physical sense. This last phrase of scripture says, “They will walk and not be faint.” Walking is being less active then running and maybe the simplest form of moving from place to place but to become faint from it could only be due to physical exhaustion. This can be the hardest time to hope in the Lord when we plain just don’t feel like doing anything. When we become faint we want to be inactive not looking to God for our current lack of strength to move on. Psalm 33:18-20 says, “But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” If we put our hope in Gods unfailing love he will physically bless us delivering us from death and famine. It then tells us the Lord is our help and shield he keeps bad things from happening when our hope is in him. Later in Psalm 37:9 it says, “For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.” Here we see how those who put their hope in evil will be dealt with, they will be cut off. If we do hope in him however, we will inherit the land. We will physically receive whatever God has promised to us or given us because we asked, hoping in him.
We can see this strength in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 it says, “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” The people in spite of severe suffering welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. They hoped in the Lord and he made them strong enough with his joy to overcome their obstacles by the power of the Holy Spirit. Later in 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14 not to be ignorant or without hope for those who die knowing Christ. If we believe Christ died and rose again we can have the hope they to will be raised when Christ returns. This is just one more reason to put our hope in the Lord. 1 Peter 1:3 tells us, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” As believers we are no longer hoping in a God we have little or no access to. We have a living hope in Christ’s resurrection because he made a way for us to reconnect with God on a personal level. Later in 1 Peter 3:15 it says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” If we have Christ in our hearts we should always be prepared to share this hope with others. If they ask why your hope is in the Lord what will you say? Whatever you say remember sharing hope must be done with respect or they will see no hope only hypocrisy.
If we hope in Christ we will receive strength at all levels spirit, soul and body. He will preserve us and protect us from the hand of the enemy. I put my hope in him while starting this bible study that he restored my health and helped me finish this bible study. He strengthened me and answered my prayers when I hoped in him and my stomach was cured and the bible study is written. Isaiah 49:23 says, “I am the LORD those who hope in me will not be disappointed” and Lamentations 3:25 tells us, “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him.” Let us put our hope in him so we can be strengthened and receive every good thing he wants to bless us with.