isaiah 40:31 sermon central

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There are divers things which we are liable to faint at, which yet the Scripture takes us off from fainting at. Indeed I think we poor walkers sometimes make the most progress, for we lean more entirely on God and draw more constant supplies of His grace.(C. Hidden in that secret pavilion we see things as they really are. )Waiting upon the LordT. His Cross. But, for the most part, these exhaustive pleasures rapidly fret away that on which they depend. The Bible speaks about waiting patiently, and also about waiting quietly. He has powers adapted to this exercise — powers with which he can glorify his Maker; and he must not point those eagle faculties to the dust, but let them take wing and rise. A change from one kind of strength to another. What cares the eagle, as he bathes his wings in the translucent gold of the upper sky, for all the turmoil, the dust, or even the murky clouds that drift far beneath him? . I said "Oh yes, my brother, as long as we think it is our activity that must do it, then passivity robs us of time and strength. That is your great need. In untiring activity in the direct service of God. Maybe life has become a burden too heavy to bear. We know how it is with children. The men who led the remnant back were God-fearing men like Ezra and Zerubbabel, men who waited on God. It mentions the strength of an eagle’s wings that lift it high above the earth. I turn now to dwell on THE NATURAL EFFECTS OF WAITING ON THE LORD, as stated by the prophet, and vouched for by myriads of the faithful and devout in all ages. He points us also to the condition on which this Divine energy is to be recovered: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."1. The Bible speaks about waiting patiently, and also about waiting quietly. But waiting on the Lord implies much more than this. Horton, D. D.)The strength of a ChristianT. Thomas, D. D.)The highest strength derived from the highest serviceD. 1. You have learnt that to your sorrow by the bitter teaching of experience. But the ordinary homely duty of the work-day world — the monotonous path which must be daily trod, this indeed requires the most abiding patience. Steady attachment to the ways of God. A. THE HOPES THAT ARE BASED ON FAITH GIVE STRENGTH TO LIVE FOR GOD. By that renovation and increase of spiritual strength which is the effect of waiting on the Lord, His people acquire greater alacrity and perseverance in doing His will. What did your man of the natural order stop running for? In so far as the spiritual life is one, it is a life in God. Let me translate that last word again, translate it by a word that is about as wide in its English significance as the word used by the prophet in his own time, "They shall mount up, they shall run, they shall go." Forgetting the things that are behind, etc.2. Let us notice: THIS WAITING UPON THE LORD. When a soul has its inner life hid with Christ and lives a life of true consecration it is enabled to take wing, and its "citizenship is in heaven." I turn now to dwell on THE NATURAL EFFECTS OF WAITING ON THE LORD, as stated by the prophet, and vouched for by myriads of the faithful and devout in all ages.1. )Exhaustion and recoverySunday School Chronicle.1. A. But while we cannot pass over such times and such experiences, it would be unhealthy to be dwelling upon them as if they were the whole of life. "Keep mercy and judgment," says the prophet Hosea, "and wait on thy God continually." And I am bound to say that those who find the least pleasure and the least benefit from public worship are those who do not wait on the Lord in private. As long as you rest, in the place of power and blessing the stream will flow through you unceasingly.II. To wait upon God. Horton, D. D.This it nearly concerns us to do upon these considerations.1. )The Christian's walkJ. (1) The delay of answering our prayers (Luke 18:1). We traverse the solid unromantic ground of principle, while the ghost of many a shattered illusion haunts our path. If then those who run are not weary, the same when they walk shall not faint. I can strive no more, says the tired heart. B. )Strength of soul made perfect by hope in GodW. So there is no word of truth, but it hath a season and time in which it is beautiful. Horton, D. D.)Strength for strengthT. The highest strength is not physical nor intellectual, but moral. Some who like to trace the analogy between the works of nature and the works of grace, may perhaps have seen a flower which the storms of night have severely shaken, towards the morning turn wistfully to the dawn, and seem to be waiting for the coming day. If you are to wait aright upon the Lord, you must learn to know Him, you must turn away your thoughts and eyes and heart and trust from everything, and set them upon God alone, My conduct in waiting for a man, or waiting on him, will depend entirely upon what I think of him. This is a pace which is very requisite for the Christian. A. Let us notice: THIS WAITING UPON THE LORD. By continually waiting upon God. HOW SHOULD SPIRITUAL STRENGTH BE EXHIBITED?1. There is the strength of temper, and natural constitution, and a man may be able both to do and suffer very much by it. As we read his words the image they call up is of three modes of motion, three rates of progression — the flight of the eagle, the swift foot of the deer, and the ordinary pace of man. In vain all my lonely musing, in vain all my bustle in the kingdom of Christ, if consistency of daily life does not accompany the whole. THE SUPPORT OF LIFE'S JOURNEY. Presently a new appetite for food was awakened, and a new life crept into my ten fingers; walking became a delight, and preaching as easy as for a lark to sing. Thank God, too, for the running stage. It is when all the romance is past, when all the effervescence of youth has subsided, when all incitements from without and all excitements from within are over, when life has settled into its groove, and, surrounded by the monotonous and the sordid, we find our horizon limited by "the daily round" and "the common task" — it is then that faith rises to its true heroism, enabling us to maintain our spiritual level and hold our ground against the deadening inroads of formality and in. (2) While only the few can thus fly, many can only run. Spiritual strength especially consists in that exercise of faith called trust or confidence. So a heaven-bound soul flies in company with God.(T. Because they are human.2. 6. The inertness of the despondent continually deepens their despondency, increases their weakness, and aggravates their misery. By a sudden impetus or effort. The men who led the remnant back were God-fearing men like Ezra and Zerubbabel, men who waited on God. The highest strength is not physical nor intellectual, but moral. But in time the eye becomes dim, and the subtle beauties of a fine painting cannot be seen; the ear becomes dull, and the sweetest music charms no more. By waiting upon the Lord. When you go into your closet for your morning devotions, do not, as is very often done, read the Bible and think about it and pray about it, and then get up and go. The period of fresh, wild enthusiasms; the season of zeal without discretion, when all sorts of impossibilities are dreamed, all sorts of vain things attempted. There are conflicts to be endured with our spiritual foes, within our own hearts; we live in a world that is lying in wickedness; we have to do with matters concerning the present life that are often very trying and perplexing in their nature, and often is our courage likely to fail. Good Christians shall through God's grace grow stronger and stronger. It is a power that is not your own, a power that comes from no earthly source, a supernatural power, power from on high which the prophet is here offering.(F. If we trust and obey, obey and trust, we rise into a purer atmosphere, and have a clearer vision — we live in the very presence of God. It was his religious observance of the laws of the Nazarite which occasioned his extraordinary power. "I can do all things," said Paul, "through Christ which strengtheneth me." Who can bring strength out of weakness? "I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in His word do I hope. Beyond a doubt, faith, prayer; or, if you will, humility and confidence in a beautiful equipoise, balancing one another on either side, so that the soul sustains itself in mid-air and flies upward. Dickson, D. D.As it is the same God who works in nature and in grace, so a most interesting analogy may be traced between His operations in both. And away went those weary, dilatory carriages as fast as the rest. It is better not to seek to produce ecstatic experiences in anticipation of the normal methods. But how does God reveal Himself when He calls upon us to wait upon Him? Dickson, D. D.As it is the same God who works in nature and in grace, so a most interesting analogy may be traced between His operations in both. WE SEE WHAT THE LORD'S WAITING PEOPLE NEED. It promoteth that humility which is our greatest security, and restrains that pride which goeth before a fall. Even when He hides His face (Isaiah 8:17). Renewal often comes to men in their extremity like this.3. General Epistles The order, then, may be the correct one, after all — not so good as a rhetorical finish, but true to life. Hope and strength rapidly grow when faith clearly sees and steadfastly rests on the firm ground of forgiveness in the death of Christ.3. The highest point in his destiny is to be conformed to the image of the Son of God. A weak Christian will be an uncomfortable Christian.(T. So it is in the spiritual life: we can make no provision of grace for the future; we are called to depend upon God day by day. Howells.I. L. Cuyler, D. D.)Waiting on the LordC. "Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly. They will run nimbly enough after pleasure, wealth and fame, but not after the things which God bids them run after. And when He Calls us home, He who sits upon the circle of the heavens, and sees all the sorrow of this world as you and I can never see it, bids us "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." And for them, too, the promise holds good, "They shall renew their strength, they shall walk and not faint." Howells. To "walk worthy of his high vocation" is the supreme exploit of the Christian's faith. Without warmth in our desires and feelings we shall be found sickly. You are to wait for supplies. His understanding is infinite; there is no searching it. I. ( C. H. It is better not to seek to produce ecstatic experiences in anticipation of the normal methods.3. If you are to wait aright upon the Lord, you must learn to know Him, you must turn away your thoughts and eyes and heart and trust from everything, and set them upon God alone, My conduct in waiting for a man, or waiting on him, will depend entirely upon what I think of him. Good Christians shall through God's grace grow stronger and stronger. We have not far to search for the answer.1. Endeavour in every possible way to cultivate this holy, humble, dependent spirit.(H. All strength apart from God is derived strength, and is consequently measurable, and must come to an end. For this we need power. There are some kinds of people in the world who all on a sudden will amend their lives. It is not only an act, but a gracious habit of mind (Psalm 25:5).4. There may he a vigour which is the effect of a disordered state of the corporeal system — a feverish or spasmodic action which is much more violent than the strength of a healthy man. The Church is a very powerful instrument, and will be indispensable through ages. Heavenly-mindedness. He who has only seen the sorrow, the grief, the sin of the world has not penetrated to the depth of the problem. Truth and holiness and right abide for ever. It is painful to be in that condition in which we feel that we can, and yet cannot; that we have faculty, yet lack inspiration; that we have wings of heavenward desire, with but little power to use them. "Renew" means to "change your strength."1. Never failing to seek and obtain fellowship with God in the highest, always daring to attempt great actions, this heavenly minded man has thoughts and yearnings which raise his mode of life above the level of common things. But there are other thoughts that come to us in the quietude of the Divine fellowship. This is not the strength spoken of here. The expression "wait upon" is a most felicitous one, because while it includes prayer it means and covers so much more.1. There could be little doubt but that from childhood he had often looked upon some of those carved tablets on which men with wings of eagles fastened to their shoulders were common, that he had often looked on those colossal images of winged bulls and lions and men such as may be seen in our British Museum to-day. The soul of fallen man naturally grovels on the earth; his face instead of being raised to heaven, is prone toward the ground. In quantity and degree. Study and love your Bible, but remember it is God who must give the orders, and you will fail if you take them from a book. )Waiting upon the LordT. )The strong in danger of exhaustionT. Is not that the history in a nutshell of what is called the progress of nearly every society or opinion that you know? The brighter the light before them, the more eagerly and steadfastly they rise upwards to greet it and to bathe in its splendour. To "look off" unto the eternal, to get behind the veil into the realm of true being is the need of the fevered and exhausted soul. Not so; for the religion of the Bible is this: mounting up with wings of eagles, running and not wearying, walking and not fainting. You must get deeper and deeper yet, and when you touch the Rock — the pillars of the earth — you will come to the fact that under all there is the eternal blessedness. 1. Elasticity of heart is felt. This is not the strength spoken of here. They do not know by experience the blessings of communion, and therefore these outward aids in public worship are of little use to them. God never expects more from us than He has already given. "They shall run," etc.III. There are many things for which we can only ask and then wait in quiet stillness, things which we cannot help God to give us, things which God Himself bestows without our aid, if we are ever to possess them. To walk we want something like continuous, sustained evenness of conduct, progressing quietly and steadily day by day in the common round of life; not impulsive, not capricious, not changeable; without show, humble, and always the same. Another sense in which the word "waiting" occurs in Scripture is, a willingness to be directed by the person waited upon. Did he not in his impatience lift up the standard of freedom forty years too soon? It is well to rise up on wings of eagles, but now and then we must come to the level of our fellow-creatures, and in their service we are to run and not be weary. What has the Lord Jesus Christ to leave? And God, in His omnipotence and faithfulness, is willing to work in my heart every moment of the day.2. But it is possible to rise by another kind of power. All the men and women of power are men and women of prayer. If you want the flash of a new inspiration the man of God will receive it; if you want swift progress the man of God is equal to it; if you want steady perseverance you shall find it in the man of God also. Ramsay.Nothing can give a better conception of the strength and the weakness of human nature, than by comparing what man has done in subduing the material powers by which God has surrounded him, and in providing for his own temporal comfort, and his utter helplessness in those things which relate to the life of the soul. We are shown the infinite powers that He concealed in the heart of a solitary man of faith. "Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. By that renovation and increase of spiritual strength which is the effect of waiting on the Lord, His people acquire greater alacrity and perseverance in doing His will. THE HAPPY RESULT OF THIS RENEWAL OF STRENGTH.(J. THE RENEWAL OF STRENGTH IS TO BE OBTAINED BY WAITING UPON THE LORD. To one who thus heroically soars towards God and His light, the things of time and earth seem trivial and contemptible. Who, of all men who ever lived upon the earth, was the One who had the sorrow of the world nearest to His heart? THE INTERESTING EFFECTS OF ITS BRING SO RENOVATED OR INCREASED. "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." Becoming weak as water, he shall not excel (Genesis 49:4).2. A good Christian performs good duties with some life and fervour in them. That is the way to finish. Becoming weak as water, he shall not excel (Genesis 49:4).2. Thank God, too, for the running stage. This leads us to notice the three degrees of moral and spiritual activity presented to us in the figurative language of the prophet:. God has provided hours for rest and refreshment.I. All men are influenced and governed by some kind of faith; but worldly men have no true faith in things spiritual and invisible. Wesley fashioned modern England by faith. Then wait continually — not one or two days, not one moment, but all the day (Psalm 25:5). These are the great seers of the human race whose absorbing love and adoration of God has filled them with light and knowledge of Him little dreamed of by the many who have feebler and lower aspiration. 1. He never is weary. C. Holy love is a wing that will bear the soul upward to its object.3. We are not to devote all our lives to lonely musing. Nothing looks less like effort.2. Some carriages standing on the middle line of rails were to be attached to our train. That is the teaching of the prophet. In short, it is a grace, just as much as the grace of faith, or love, or humility. Truth and holiness and right abide for ever. Nor can you force things in a normal and healthy child. So a heaven-bound soul flies in company with God.(T. "THEY SHALL MOUNT UP WITH WINGS AS EAGLES." It is like a river or a stream — always passing away, and yet the power is always present; the power moving the mill-wheel, not by jerks, but by a continuous stream, always passing away, and yet ever flowing in; one measure of strength succeeding that which has been expended. The highest point in his destiny is to be conformed to the image of the Son of God. , or love, isaiah 40:31 sermon central have been foiled, God with his great omnipotence ’! Gives us another part of the spiritual nature seem to denote dependence would fire round after round into mire... 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