30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 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.
Isaiah 40:30 - 31
ESV - 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted. 31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
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Besides "hope in the Lord", other translations of this verse render the thought expressed as "wait upon the Lord" and "trust in the Lord". Immediately prior to the verses cited in the question, God (speaking through the prophet) indicated His knowledge of Israel perceiving itself as having been abandoned and forsaken by Him because of having been exiled in judgment for its idolatry and sin. The verses cited in the question were meant as encouragement to the people of Israel that God had not forgotten them, and that they would be rewarded for maintaining their faith in Him, and waiting for the deliverance that God had planned for them, even if the timing of that deliverance might not have the immediacy that Israel desired. The same assurance applies to Christians today when they face difficult circumstances, exhorting them to maintain their faith and trust in God and in His perfect timing, even when it may seem that He is not aware of their situation.
Brown-Driver-Briggs (a Hebrew lexicon of the Old Testament) says this: I. [קָוָה] verb wait for (probably originally twist, stretch, then of tension of enduring, waiting: Assyrian ‡ûû II, I. wait, ‡û, cord; Arabic be strong, strength, also strand of rope; Syriac endure, remain, await, threads, so ᵑ7 קַוִּין spider's threads, web); — Qal Participle plural those waiting for (׳י): construct ׳קוֵי י Psalm 37:9; so Isaiah 40:31 van d. H., and Kt Baer Gi (Qr קוֺיֵי); suffix קִוָ֑י Isaiah 49:23, קֹוֶיךָ Psalm 25:3; Psalm 69:7. We can deduce from this lexicon entry that “hope” is a participle (a type of verb form, a gerund, or an “ing” ending of a verb).—Those who are hoping (present participle). I know Hebrew so I will transliterate the verb: it comes from kavah, which means to trust or hope. The Hebrew word “tikvah” comes from the same root. Originally, “kavah” meant to “twist” or “weave,” as strands of a rope, making a tool capable of holding a heaven load securely. Another way of saying this is: “In Hebrew, hope is the word "tikvah" (teek-VAH). Strong’s defines it as a cord, expectation, and hope. It comes from the Hebrew root "kavah" meaning to bind together, collect; to expect: – tarry, wait (for, on, upon). Did you notice the concrete idea of a woven cord?” Compare the American Sign Language/ASL word for “trust”—it looks like you are hanging onto a rope for dear life! The promise in Isaiah 40:29-31 for Israel (and for Christians) is this: If they ask, God will renew their strength, allowing them to mount up with wings like eagles! Christian swimmer in the 2021 summer Olympics in Tokyo, Caeleb Dressel, gets his inspiration from Isaiah 40:31. Dressel usually has a Scripture reference written across his face. The reference changes, but a favorite one for him is Isaiah 40:31: "But those who trust [hope] in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles...." That verse was the inspiration for the large eagle tattoo on Dressel's left shoulder.
This verse 31 concludes an entire chapter where God is comforting and reassuring his people. But it is also declaring the truth that when we "put our hope in the Lord" we are demonstrating and living out our "faith in God". Whenever we live by faith, God is pleased to fill us with his Holy Spirit. Then we can renew our strength, soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not faint. Our hope in the Lord is demonstrated by our words and deeds as described in this chapter. v1 - we comfort one another, speaking tenderly to each other v2 - we remind one another that our suffering in this world will soon end v2 - we remind one another that all our sins have been forgiven because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross v3 - we encourage one another to make a way for God's kingdom to come into the world around us so the glory of God will be revealed v8 - we remind one another of the eternal life we have received through the gospel of Jesus v9 - we proclaim the good news of Jesus to one another and the whole world around us, excited for Jesus coming again v11 - we tenderly care for one another, carrying each others' burdens, and gently lead those who are struggling v13 - we can see the Spirit at work through us but we don't know how it happens v21-26 - we declare the sovereignty of our God in heaven as we worship together v28-31 we remind one another that God is always with us, to sustain us, to enable us to accomplish his plan and purpose for our lives As we hope in the Lord, God fulfills his plan and purpose for our lives, so that his kingdom grows and his name is glorified.
Hope always points to the future. Thus hopeful living is a non-verbal expression of faith. In trials we rejoice, not because they are pleasant, but because we know God will work the trials out for His glory. This will be shown through a 'meek and quiet spirit', through faithfulness, through a consistent joy, and especially through praise to our God. We are called to 'walk by faith not by sight'. Also 'faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen'.
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