Strength For The Weary
Have you ever felt incredibly tired? So exhausted that you wonder whether you can continue to do anything productive? Facing such deep fatigue that it is hard to keep going? Maybe this is the way you feel right now. Or, maybe you have experienced this depth of weariness at some point in the past. Possibly you know someone currently dealing with this kind of fatigue. Regardless of whether it is you or someone else, the promises from the Word of God are true and reliable. The Lord’s strength is available to anyone who needs it. My hope is that the thoughts shared in this letter will encourage you greatly. Here is the bottom line: If you are tired, God promises to provide strength for the weary.
A Promise to Apply
I tend to be a fairly energetic person, and I like to stay busy. But every person has limits—and during a recent intense season, I hit mine. One day I found myself standing beside my desk completely exhausted—more tired than I had felt in years. Along with this overwhelming weariness, I was also fighting off the attending discouragement that comes with that kind of exhaustion. As I sagged over my desk, suddenly this phrase came to my mind: “He gives strength to the weary.” I was almost sure it was a verse of Scripture, so I searched the concordance for the citation in the New American Standard version. There it was—Isaiah 40:29—word for word, exactly as I had remembered it: “He [the Lord] gives strength to the weary.” At that point, I made a rather basic, practical transaction. I said, “Lord, I am really weary right now. As I understand it, Your Word promises that You give strength to a person in my condition. I believe it, Lord. So, at this very moment, I appropriate Your strength, receiving Your promise to give strength to the weary. Thank You, Lord. Amen.”
A Wonderful Process
In one sense, that was the end of the matter. I had read and understood the promise: “He gives strength to the weary.” I had affirmed that I believed it to be true, and prayed to receive the benefits of the promise for myself. But actually, a much fuller outworking of this important principle began with that initial prayer. Admittedly, there was no immediate surge of energy that miraculously remedied my situation—although it could have happened that way, and I would have welcomed it. Instead, I embarked upon a gradual process where, over the next few days, I steadily gained in strength—His strength. During that same period, I took some time to explore the principle more fully, looking at other passages from Scripture on the same theme. For example, I gave close attention to Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden (some commentaries translate this, ‘who have worked to the point of exhaustion’), and I will give you rest.” In the next verse, there is additional assurance from Jesus for those who come to Him in their weariness: “…and you will find rest for your souls.” What wonderful promises!
Doing Our Part
Next, I broadened my study to other passages—some which clearly indicate that you and I have a part to play in this strengthening process. (Usually, this is the prescribed way for us to receive God’s promises—we must take practical steps to appropriate them.) For example, the passage in Hebrews 12 where, after a discussion of the benefits of discipline, the writer encourages: “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down [can you relate?], and the feeble knees” (v.12). The Amplified version of verse 12 is too good to pass up: “So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees.” The writer leaves no doubt of the type of person he is addressing with this passage—someone who is extremely tired! Isaiah 35:3–4 gives a similar exhortation—but this one involves an amazing promise. First comes the instruction from the prophet: “Strengthen the weak [sinking] hands, and make firm the feeble [tottering or stumbling] knees. “ But then, you and I are commanded to encourage our tired friends with a huge promise: “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with a vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.’” Based on these promises, we can confidently do our part—knowing for certain that the Lord will do His part as well. He will come! He will save!
Exchanging Our Strength
So let me ask you again: are you feeling really tired? Are you looking for a solution to your personal exhaustion? How wonderful to know there are answers in God’s Word! Derek Prince adds helpful perspective to the Scriptures we have cited so far. In fact, he shared some powerful insights on Isaiah 40:29–31 in a message entitled, The Eternal, Unchanging Word. Included in that teaching is the very subject of this letter: “He gives strength to the weary.”
I believe [Isaiah 40:29–31] really has a message we all need to take to heart today—that natural strength is not sufficient. When you are young, vigorous and active, your mind is keen and life is in front of you. It’s pretty difficult to absorb that truth. But even that kind of arrogant, youthful strength—self-confidence, self-reliance, cleverness, wisdom and technology—are not enough. What does verse 30 say? “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.” What is the alternative? “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength.” The word renew in Hebrew is “change.” Or “exchange.” They shall exchange their strength. In what way? They give up their own; they receive God’s. When you come to the end of your own, you’re able to receive God’s. Let’s look again at that 29th verse: “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” I have quoted that to my wife [Lydia] because she has literally no might. I have said to her, “There you are. You’re a candidate for that verse. That’s for you. You’ve come to the end of your own. You’ve lived a very full, long, active, rewarding life. Now, if you are to have any strength, it will have to be supernatural. It will have to come from God.” And that is in God’s hands. I’m not testifying to make God do something, let me tell you that. I don’t believe God has an arm that can be twisted. I’m just transmitting to you what I believe the Lord has been teaching me. I believe this is the true, eternal, unchanging Word of God. The only anchor that we have in a shifting, stormy world: the truth—the eternal truth—of God’s Word.
Receiving His Strength
How important it is for us to realize what Derek pointed out—that it is God’s strength we are receiving! Certainly, as his teaching confirms, we have a part to play in the process. There is an exchange to be made. We trade our paltry resources for the revitalizing power of God’s Holy Spirit as He flows through us. Are you ready for this kind of revitalization? Do you want to ask the Lord to start the process today? Let’s do so together with the following prayer:
Lord, I admit that I am tired. I am exhausted by the circumstances of life and the situations I have been facing. I need Your strength, and I call out to You for help. I am asking You now to provide Your energy and power for my life. You are the One Who never grows weary. You are “the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth. You neither faint nor grow weary.” Your resources are eternal and inexhaustible. So I come to you, Lord. In addition, I want to obey the instruction You issued, Lord Jesus, for me to come to You. Truly, I am weary and heavy-laden, and I need Your rest. As You said, I will take the step to put on Your yoke and learn from You. Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light; and I will find the rest I need for my soul in You. In my weak and weary condition, I look to You for strength. I exchange my weakness for Your power. I place myself in Your hands, for You are the One who gives strength to the weary. Amen.
Growing Strong Together
Now that we have prayed together, why not take just a few minutes to wait in the presence of the Lord? Drink in His Spirit—pouring over you at this very moment. The restoration process has begun, refreshing some of those weary places in your heart. You may wish to thank the Lord in advance for the new life He will bring to the parched regions of your heart by His Spirit. If you are in a place where you can do so, why not lift up your arms as the Scriptures instruct and flex your knees to get strength back into them? Actions like these are physical declarations that you believe the truth of His Word and desire to see it fulfilled in your life. You have established a pattern just now that will serve you well in the years ahead. Whenever you face weariness or exhaustion in the future, you know exactly what to do. Hopefully, in the days ahead, you will not only increase in physical strength, but spiritual vitality as well. We would love to help in every aspect of your spiritual renewal—and one sure way is by offering you the full message, The Eternal, Unchanging Word, from which we took Derek’s excerpt. You can download the MP3 by using the link below.
Walking in the Promises
I hope you are feeling a renewed sense of inspiration right now. Our prayer for you is that the strength God is bringing to you—both physically and spiritually—will continue to grow and deepen. Please feel free to let us know what the Lord is accomplishing in your life—the many ways He is helping you and encouraging you. Our prayers will continue for you—that He will use you in a mighty way through the renewed strength you receive. Certainly, there may be times when weariness may set in again. But in those moments, let’s proclaim the truth we have learned so well in this letter: He gives strength to the weary!