April 22 | Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
READ ISAIAH 40:27–31
At the age of fifty-four I entered the Milwaukee marathon with two goals—to finish the race and to do it under five hours. My time would have been amazing if the second 13.1 miles went as well as the first. But the race was grueling, and the second-wind strength I’d hoped for never came. By the time I made it to the finish line, my steady stride had morphed into a painful walk.
Footraces aren’t the only things that require second-wind strength—life’s race does too. To endure, tired, weary people need God’s help. Isaiah 40:27-31 beautifully weds poetry and prophecy to comfort and motivate people who need strength to keep going. Timeless words remind fatigued and discouraged people that the Lord isn’t detached or uncaring (v. 27), that our plight doesn’t escape His notice. These words breathe comfort and assurance, and remind us of God’s limitless power and bottomless knowledge (v. 28).
The second-wind strength described in verses 29-31 is just right for us—whether we’re in the throes of raising and providing for our families, struggling through life under the weight of physical or financial burdens, or discouraged by relational tensions or spiritual challenges. Such is the strength that awaits those who—through meditating on the Scriptures and prayer—wait upon the Lord.
By Arthur Jackson
REFLECT & PRAY
Lord, I come to You in my weakness and tiredness; please grant me renewed strength.
When have life circumstances taken the wind out of you? In what particular area do you need God’s strength today?
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Isaiah, whose name means “The LORD saves,” warns an unrepentant Judah that God will use two foreign pagan superpowers, the Assyrians and the Babylonians, to discipline them for their idolatrous unfaithfulness (Isaiah 1-39). Isaiah also comforts Judah with the promise that God will restore and bless them once the punishment is complete (chs. 40-66). In chapter 40, Isaiah draws their attention to God’s authority, sovereignty, majesty, and glory (vv. 1-26) and tenderly speaks of God’s loving, providential care (vv. 11, 27-31). Addressing their sense of abandonment (v. 27), Isaiah assures them that God is not only resolute in blessing them, but also has the absolute power to do so (v. 28). As the everlasting, omnipotent Creator God, He is the source of their strength (v. 29). Isaiah calls on these despondent Jews to rise to a new level of commitment as they trust God to carry out His promises (vv. 30-31). K. T. Sim
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