March 16 – Find New Strength

I said last week that we would start 1 John today, but after watching the news over the past few days, I decided we need some reassurance that God is in control. We’ll start 1 John later this week.

These are scary times with the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). I went to a couple of grocery stores on Friday looking for a few things and was amazed at the huge number of people in the stores. I chatted with a cashier who I see frequently, and he said the stores have been full since Thursday morning. Some areas of the shelves are cleaned out. On Saturday morning I read an article in The Windsor Star about the huge line-ups at Costco – the hour or more it took to check out. I am an organizer and I like things to be planned well ahead, so I understand why people are panicking, and in the coming week or so, I will make sure I have basic things on hand. But as Christ followers we need to take a step back and take a deep breath.

God wants us to know that we can trust Him. The verses today speak of God’s incredible power and ability to do things. When we get caught up with our worries and nervousness about what lies ahead for us, these words from God’s Word are so reassuring. We can stop trying to control everything and turn to a God who can do something and cares for us. So read these verses slowly, and even read them out loud, to impress on your mind and soul just who God is.

Isaiah 40: 12 – 31 (NLT)

“Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?

Who else knows the weight of the earth
or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?

13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD?[c]
Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?

14 Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice?

15 No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth
as though it were a grain of sand.

16 All the wood in Lebanon’s forests
and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough to make a burnt offering worthy of our God.

17 The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing— mere emptiness and froth.

18 To whom can you compare God?
What image can you find to resemble him?

19 Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains?

20 Or if people are too poor for that,
they might at least choose wood that won’t decay and a skilled craftsman
to carve an image that won’t fall down!

21 Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God— the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant?

22 God sits above the circle of the earth.
The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them.

23 He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing.

24 They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and they wither. The wind carries them off like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?
Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

26 Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” I’m stopping you right here so you can take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Is God able to deal with my problems?” But then, you might say to yourself, “But does He care enough to help me out?” Well, let’s keep going with verses 27 – 31.

27 O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?

The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

30 Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.

31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that enough? If you are in a place right now where you find your mind returning to the same problem, turning it over and over, trying to understand what you should do, how you should react – read those verses over again. Soak them in. We are human; we are not God. It’s not a surprise that we worry about things over and over again. But God understands that – “No one can measure the depths of his understanding” (v. 28) So if you have to stop many times a day to remind yourself that God cares and can give you the strength to deal with whatever is bothering you, God understands. It doesn’t mean you are pathetically weak and beyond God’s compassion. He cares and He will give you strength.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *