Isa 40:27-31 ESV Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? (28) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (29) He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (30) Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; (31) but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
For all their rhetoric, the Jews didn’t hold God in high regard. Though they witnessed wonders of salvation and restoration, they thought God didn’t notice them. The same is true of me, as I descend into discouragement and depression. I call out to Him, but all I hear is my own pathetic voice, telling me, “You should be ashamed of yourself. You’re not good enough for God to answer your prayers. What kind of Christian can’t even get God to answer intercessory prayers. Sure, God loves you, but he has to. That’s just who he is.”
But I say, “Cow piles! Take a hike, Satan!”
2Ti 1:12 ESV which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.
What has been entrusted to me? The Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus, the very Word of God who spoke the universe into existence, and sonship in His name. As a son, the Eternal One loves me with a fanatical affection, placing my ultimate wellbeing above all else.
I don’t know why He chose me, but He did, and I am forever humbled and grateful for that. Whenever I get down in the mouth, my duty to my God and Savior is to remember these things, and to meditate on them until I cry for gratitude, rather than for self-pity.
God sent Isaiah 40:29 especially for me.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
(Isa 40:29 ESV)
There could be no better test case for God’s faithfulness and infusion of strength than “Po me,” as I have a resistant strain of spiritual impotence and self-pity. For years, I regarded my weakness stronger than His power to change me. In that belief, I was a blasphemer, as I made the Almighty, Eternal One out to be weaker than I. Then, a few years ago, I began changing my prayer from, “Fix me or I can’t serve you,” to, “Use me somehow, just as I am.”
Well, that didn’t change a thing … for a while … but God showed me that slow change is just as good as overnight change, and that I must persevere in what He gave me to do until I’ve proven myself worthy of more.
“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
(Luk 19:26 ESV)
Though God has not called me to suffer as yet for His gospel, or at least certainly not on the scale of faithful martyrs today and throughout history, Apostle Paul’s testimony is an apt last word.
2Ti 1:8-12 ESV Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, (9) who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, (10) and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, (11) for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, (12) which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.