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GRACE FOR ALL THE GEARS OF LIFE
Intro: This passage, and especially verse 31, has been a favorite of the Lords people for thousands of years. All of these verses are a blessing because they speak to us about Who God is and about that He does for His people.
In verse 28a Isaiah writes about the Names of God:
Everlasting God - This is the name Elohim Olam. This name identifies God as the eternal God. There has never been a time when He wasnt, and there will never be a time when He isnt. He is not a johnny come lately in spiritual matters. He existed when there was nothing but Him, and He will always exist.
Lord - This is the name Jehovah. This name identifies the Lords as the Self-Existent One. Every other being in the universe depends upon some other being for its existence. God depends upon no one. He exists within Himself, by Himself and for Himself.
This name identifies Him as The Covenant Keeper; as the God Who stands by His Word; as the God Who can be trusted.
This is the name that appears so many times in the Old Testament in the compound names of God that reveal so much about Who He is.
Jehovah-Rohi – The LORD My Shepherd
Jehovah-Jireh – The LORD Will Provider
Jehovah-Shalom – The LORD My Peace
Jehovah-Raphi – The LORD My Healer
Jehovah-Tsidkenu – The LORD My Righteousness
Jehovah-Shammah – The LORD Is There
Jehovah-Nissi – The LORD Our Banner
Jehovah-MKaddesh – The LORD My Sanctifier
Jehovah-El Elyon – The LORD Most High
Creator - This name identifies Him as the One Who made everything out of nothing. The God Who has the power to create worlds with just His Word. That is the God we serve! That is our Father! That is the God Who takes our part through all the tumultuous ways of life.
In verses 28b-29 Isaiah writes about the Nature of God:
He does not faint - God never becomes fatigues, despite the fact that He is upholding all things by the word of his power, Heb. 1:3.
He does not grow weary - He never grows tired from His labors. We do not have to worry about our Lord ever reaching the end of His strength. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand, Psa. 121:3-5.
He possesses all knowledge - What He knows is limited only by His Own limitations, which are limitless. He knowledge is beyond our human comprehension.
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows, Luke 12:6-7.
Then consider this:
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good, Pro. 15:3.
For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings, Job 34:21.
He shares His power, strength and help will all those who depend on Him! What an encouragement that should be to the people of God today!
Verse 30 reminds us that even the strongest of humans is prone to weakness and failure. We all have the potential to experience times of physical, emotional and spiritual weakness. Regardless of how well you may have handled situations in the past, there is always the possibility that you will grow weak under the various loads of life you are called on to endure.
However, verse 31a makes it clear that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. The word wait has the idea of looking to, or hoping in. In other words, those who do not look to their own power, but who rest in His unfailing strength will have their own strength renewed our of His abundant, unending recourses. The word renew means to sprout again like the grass.
The strength the Lords people enjoy as they move through the various changing vistas of life is an amazing provision from the Lord. Just as the grass appears upon the earth in the spring as if by magic, turning the brown, dreary landscape into a carpet of brilliant green, so the vitality of the believer is renewed from the vast supplies of the Lord. His gracious provision of strength for all the days of our lives, promises us that there will be grace regardless of where the path of life might lead us.
I want to spend the rest of our time in verse 31b. In that short, but powerful verse, the Lord makes a promise to His people. In this verse we see people who are operating in different gears. Some are Soaring, some are Sprinting and some are Strolling. What I want you to see today is that whatever gear thou might find yourself operating in, there is Grace For All The Gears Of Life.
I. THERE IS GRACE TO HELP YOU SOAR
There are times when it seems there is little energy left in our spiritual sails. There are times when we feel defeated and deflated and unable to rise above our circumstances. I just want you to know that regardless of how low you may feel today spiritually, there is help in the Lord for you!
He promises here to help you mount up with wings as eagles. The words mount up mean to ascend. When a eagle flaps its wings and heads into the sky, it is a wonderful thing to behold. This great bird, held to the ground by the same gravity that binds us to the earth, stretches out those massive wings and with on great flap, it is airborne. It quickly rises, breaking the grip of gravity, rising higher until it is able to soar high above this world with its dangers, its strife and its problems.
Those who learn to hope in the Lord find that same kind of liberty in Him. He has a way of helping us break free from the things that bind us. He has a way of helping us to get above our problems, other people, sins, valleys, emotions, etc. He has a way of allowing us to soar above the difficulties of this life.
Have you ever experienced such a time in your life? Has there been a time when it seems like there was no hope and no way out, and the Lord gave you the strength to rise above it all?
When an eagle in the sky encounters a storm, it does not have to land. It does not have to fly through that storm. The eagle turns its eyes toward the heavens and it rises above the approaching storm. While the storm lashes the earth beneath with its wind and rain, the mighty eagle flies above the clouds with its face toward the sun.
My friends, that is possible for us as well. The Lord here promises to give you the strength you need to be able to surmount your storms and fly high above them through His grace.
He did this for the disciples. When Jesus died on the cross, the disciples were divided, discouraged and defeated. They were ready to quit. They believed that all their efforts to serve God had been wasted, and that their faith in Jesus Christ had been misplaced.
Now, fast-forward to after the resurrection. They become fearless in their proclamation of the Gospel. Over 3,000 are saved on the Day of Pentecost. 5,000 are saved a short time later. Millions are saved by the end of the first century. Why? It all happened because God gave grace to His people and they were made to soar by His power!
Consider Paul, He was an enemy of the church and of the Gospel. But, after he was saved by grace, he was empowered to soar high for the glory of God. God took Paul and transformed him into a dynamic missionary for Christ. Ill. Phil. 3:13-14, 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. When Paul penned those words, he was in a Roman prison. But, that was merely his physical location. Spiritually, Paul was flying high in Jesus Christ, making a difference in his world. When most others would have given up, Paul was enabled to mount up with wings as eagles and touch his generation for God.
Paul discovered that There Is Grace To Help You Soar. I pray that you will make that same discovery and that you will soar high in Jesus, above your storms, for His glory.
I. There Is Grace To Help You Soar
II. THERE IS GRACE TO HELP YOU SPRINT
Not only is there grace for those who soar in life, but there is also grace for those who sprint. The word run means, to dart, or to move swiftly.
This word reminds us that the Christian life is classified as a race.
Paul saw his own life as a race:
1 Cor. 9:26-27, 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
2 Tim. 4:7, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Phil. 3:13-14, 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Where did Paul get this strength? He got it from looking to the Lord. He got it from waiting before he Lord. He got it from the only dependable, reliable, unfailing source. He got it from the Lord. Paul tells us that his strength was renewed day by day. Ill. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day, 2 Cor. 4:16. Paul was able to tap into this vast resource of spiritual strength because he was a man of prayer, he was a man of the Word, and he was a man of faith. He trusted the Lord to give Him strength for the battles of life, andy the Lord dod not fail Him.
He will not fail you either. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that our life is also a race, Ill. Heb. 12:1-2, 1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. The secret to successfully running this race day by day is in verse 2. We must always be looking unto Jesus. When we look to Him in prayer, in His Word, in waiting before Him for guidance and help, He will enable us to run our race without growing weary.
I cant speak for you, but I want to end well. I do not want to drop out along the way. I do not want to become weary and drop out of the race. I would like to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ, and sprint to the finish for His glory. It is possible, but only as long as I lean on Him.
I. There Is Grace To Help You Soar
II. There Is Grace To Help You Sprint
III. THERE IS GRACE TO HELP YOU STROLL
I think this last gear of life describes most of life. Not every day of our lives is filled with excitement and adventure. Most of the time, our day to day lives are just spent walking with the Lord.
There are days when you are flying high and it seems like blessings are coming up all around. Then, there are days spent in a run, sprinting from one thing to the other. Those kind of days are exciting, but they are only a small part of our existence. Most of the days we live will just be spent strolling along with the Lord.
That was how Adam spent his days. According to Gen. 3:8-9, the Lord showed up in the Garden of Eden, walking in the cool of the day, looking for Adam.
Micah 6:8 says, He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
1 John 2:6 says, He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
There is something to be said for a consistent daily walk that never varies. There is something special about the saint of God who is steady. There is something special about that believer who is just always walking with the Lord. If you meet them today, they are still walking with Him like they were last year. If you meet them next year, they will still be the same. That is just an indication that they are spending time with the Lord day by day.
He gives grace to those who are just walking through the mundane events of their daily existence. We think that we are only serving the Lord when something big is happening in us and through us. The fact is, there is nothing bigger than a Christian who simply walks with the Lord day by day. There is something to be said for finding yourself in His Word every day. There is something to be said for spending time with Him in prayer every day. There is something to be said for simply walking with Him every day. There is grace for that!
There is grace to get up in the morning.
There is grace to bow your head in prayer.
There is grace to open the Bible and read.
There is grace to honor the Lord throughout your daily walk.
There is grace to do it day after day!
When the Lord told Paul, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness , 2 Cor. 12:9, He was saying, Paul, I am going to give you the support you need to make it through this day and all the days that lie ahead. We have that same promise! He is with us to help us be faithful day in and day out. Here is His promise: 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you, John 14:16-18.
As we faithfully walk with God day by day, with His help and His grace, we are ready when those times of sprinting and soaring come. Our success in those special times always comes from our faithfulness to stroll with the Lord every day.
Ill. David - There can be little doubt that day blended into day as David went about the monotony of keeping his Fathers sheep. Countless days, endless routines, the same things day in and day out. This is what marked the life of David.
Yet, it was in the monotonous routines of his life that David learned to be a man of God. It was there, alone on those mountains, doing the same things day after day that David learned the priceless lessons of faithfulness.
David applied himself to the task of giving his best during the mundane times of life. Then, when God promoted him, he did not have to learn to be faithful; he already knew how. He did not have to learn responsibility; he had already learned that lesson. God used the unending monotony of the routine to shape David for greater things.
When it came time for David to face Goliath, he was ready to run, because he had been faithful in his walk. When it came time for David to be the king of Israel, he was ready to fly, because he had been faithful in his walk.
What I am saying is this:
Keep on praying, even when it appears that He isnt hearing.
Keep on going to church, even when it seems nothing much is happening.
Keep on preaching preacher even when it seems that God is not moving and the people arent listening.
Keep on witnessing even when no one gets saved.
Keep on giving, even when it gets tight financially.
Keep on living for Jesus, day in and day out, even when others around you fall away. Refuse to turn back or waiver from following him.
In His time, He will bless you and reward you for being faithful during the routine times of life. And, when He does, you will be ready to soar or sprint, because you have been faithful in your daily stroll!
Gods promise is this: as thy days, so shall thy strength be, Deut. 33:25. Here is His requirement: 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths, Pro. 3:5-6.
Conc: Have you determined what gear you are in today? Some of you want to soar. He has grace for that! Some of you are caught up in the daily sprint of life. He has grace for that! Most of us are just trying to be faithful in our daily walk. There is grace for that too.
If He has spoken to you about your own walk with Him, and you need to seek His face for grace for your race, well, theres grace for that too!
The word renew in verse 31 carries the idea of exchange. When we trust in Him, we exchange our weakness, for His strength. We exchange our inability for His ability. We exchange our shortcomings for His completeness. As Dr. Warren W. Weirsbe said, The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. The greatest heroes of faith are not always those who seem to be soaring; often it is they who are patiently plodding. As we wait on the Lord, He enables us not only to fly higher and run faster, but also to walk longer. Blessed are the plodders, for they eventually arrive at their destination!
 Bible Exposition Commentary (Be Series) - Old Testament - The Bible Exposition Commentary - The Prophets.