Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Yesterday I promised that I would teach you the way you can experience an abundant life. Here it is:
Isaiah 40:28-31 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 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.”
I think these verses give us a picture of how to get and maintain an abundant life in Christ. They describe a comparison between our lives and the everlasting God. The facts of our weakness are stated – we grow tired and weary to the point of stumbling and falling. The pressures of the world bring discontent and devaluation so that we turn to the world’s deceptive solutions for relief. We try hard for a while to remain holy and pure, but at some point our best efforts bring us to a point of weariness and we fall down into sinful responses and selfish relief efforts. The only way out is to break the cycle of self-dependence.
Therefore, the first step in achieving an abundant life is to realize that we are not personally capable of accomplishing it: it is not found in our strength. To find abundant life we must admit our weaknesses, because, as the Apostle Paul states in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The next step is to put our hope in the LORD. The King James Version uses the words “They that wait upon the LORD.” The original Hebrew word used here is qavah, and literally means “to bind together.” It is used to describe the making of a rope by taking two stands and twisting them together so they become one. What an incredible picture of our spiritual lives. When we allow ourselves to be twisted together with Almighty God we become His strength. The Omnipotent (all-powerful) God joins Himself with us and makes us strong. To find abundant life is to become wrapped up in God rather than wrapped up in self and its sinful relief efforts. Turn from the twisted ways the world offers of seeking fulfillment and instead get twisted up with Jesus Christ. There you will find abundance.
Once we have done that, our Scripture verses teach us that the abundant life is guaranteed in 3 ways. First, we will be able to soar on the wings of eagles above the problems of life. It is not a guarantee of having no problems – it is a guarantee of rising above those problems and seeing them from the heavenly perspective that God is shaping, molding, and strengthening our faith. Second, we will run the race that is marked out for us by God and we will not grow weary in running. The word weary means “to gasp in exhaustion.” I have had a very difficult week so far, but each morning I awaken with a renewed strength because my life is twisted up with God and I can’t wait to run the next lap of the race. When we are doing the will of the Father in the strength of the Father we will not get exhausted while serving the Father. And third, we will walk and not faint. This word here for faint means to tire and be fatigued. Walking represents the mundane, everyday activities of life that get boring. But in the strength of the LORD we see all such duties as opportunities to serve Him and we do them without growing weary.
There is one more implication from this passage that is an essential part of the abundant life: when we are twisted up with God we will not stumble and fall back into continual sin. Nothing is mentioned about ongoing sin for the person whose hope is in the LORD. The abundant life guarantees victory! Paul said it this way in Romans 8:37 after he has just told us all of the ways that this world will seek to defeat and destroy us – “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Are you tired of living the roller coaster of a self-centered and self-satisfying life? Then untwist yourself from the world and get tightly twisted up in Jesus. He came that we might have life, and that life will be abundant.