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.
For those people who trust in the lord and have beliefs in the Lord
Will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run with speed and not become weak or grow weary. They will walk with pride and not faint.
What Does Isaiah 40:31 Mean?
January 25, 2021
by: Drew Hunter
This article is part of the What Does It Mean? series.
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. —Isaiah 40:31
Isaiah 40:31 contains a great promise of strength for the weary: “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.” This promises a supernaturally renewed strength—a strength that would compare to mounting up as an eagle or running without fatigue. But what does this mean and how do we receive it? The context of this verse helps us.
The Israelites who first received this promise were worn out from their hardship. They had lived in exile in Babylon for several decades. Their perspective was darkened by despairing thoughts: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God” (Isa. 40:27). They thought God either couldn’t help or didn’t care. Isaiah uses a pair of words—faint and weary—three times in the span of a few verses here (Isa. 40:27-31). They were exhausted and burdened from the circumstances of life. They weren’t just weak in body, but weak in spirit. How could they endure the hard circumstances of life any longer?
Pastor Drew Hunter helps readers grasp the message of Isaiah, a prophetic book about the God who saves his people from their sins.
Isaiah responded to these questions with his own: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow faint or grow weary” (Isa. 40:28). This is a good word for the weary: You may grow faint, but God doesn’t. God is an endless source of strength, and he gives it generously—“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Isa. 40:29). This is who he is. The ever-strong and never-weary One loves to help weak and weary people.
Here’s what this shows us: If we think that God is too great to be concerned about us, we actually don’t believe he’s great enough. God’s greatness is not just that he is strong, but that he is strong for us. God’s glory is not just that he has power, but that he loves to use it to help those who need it. God is not too great to care, he’s too great not to care.
In all our weariness, then, how do we get this strength? We may expect Isaiah to share the wisdom of physical rest, exercise, diet, and so forth. But while those are all God-given sources of strength, they cannot give us the deepest strength we need when we come to the end of ourselves. Isaiah acknowledges this—“even youths shall faint and be weary; and young men shall fall exhausted” (Isa. 40:30). In other words, even those in their prime with perfect health have limits. We need a stronger strength to match our deep discouragements.
So, how do we get it? There is only one answer, and here we come to the great promise of this text: “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.” Not, those who work for the Lord, but those who wait for him. This isn’t about doing our part and asking God to do the rest.
God’s greatness is not just that he is strong, but that he is strong for us.
This isn’t about showing God how strong we are and asking him to give us a bit more. No, here we admit that we don’t have the strength we need. We acknowledge that we need the strength only he can give. And we wait for him, which is more than just passing time. In Hebrew, this word carries with it a sense of hopeful expectation. In the midst of hardship, we look to him as the one who works all things together for our good.
As Christians, we look to Jesus, who came to us and said: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). He carried the burden of our sin and judgment upon himself on the cross. He rose again and sent his Spirit to empower us and strengthen us in all our weakness. And we now look to him and wait for him to work—ultimately looking to the day when Jesus returns to set all things right and make all things new.
Drew Hunter is the author of Isaiah: A 12-Week Study.
Drew Hunter (MA, Wheaton College) is the teaching pastor at Zionsville Fellowship in Zionsville, Indiana. He is the author of Made for Friendship and the Isaiah and Matthew volumes in the Knowing the Bible series. Drew and his wife, Christina, live in Zionsville, Indiana, and have four children.
What Does Isaiah 40:31 Mean? ►
But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Whether the promises of God are for Israel or given to the Church, God’s Word is true. His judgements are just, and His promises are “yes” and “amen”, for those that believe His Word, wait on Him, abide in Him – and He in us.
At the end of Isaiah Chapter 40, we read some well-loved verses that have encouraged generations of Jews and Gentiles, through many centuries of time, “Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall BUT those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will rise up high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
There are difficulties in life that overwhelm the strongest of people, fears that gnaw at the stoutest of human hearts, and young men who grow faint and weary. They stumble and fall because they rely on their own, inner strength and human resources, which are not a sufficient shield in the storms of life. Only power from above is sufficient to sustain us. Only His protective hand can shelter us from the storms of life and not our own limited, human abilities.
These words of comfort were given to Israel after Isaiah’s repeated warning of approaching punishment if they did not repent of their evil ways, nevertheless… the Lord is a God of comfort and grace. He never goes back on His Word nor does He grow weary – and in His loving-kindness He gives grace to the humble and renews the strength of those that wait upon Him, by faith.
Although these words were addressed to Israel they have an application in the lives of ALL God’s people. They are a call to us all to turn from any wrongdoing in our lives and live by faith and not by sight – to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not lean on our own understanding.
It is faith in His Word that is needed to soar with wings as eagles. It is trusting God to bring to pass all He has promised, even when our senses and logic seem to suggest the opposite or appear to contradict His promised truth. Those who wait on the Lord are those who have the assurance and inner confidence that the promises He has made to His people, and the things for which we hope, are a matter of fact and a present reality… that cannot be contradicted by senses, emotions, reason or fear.
The Lord our God is faithful and true to His Word and He satisfies our years with good things so that our youth is renewed like that of an eagle. He is good to those who wait for Him and seek Him – trust Him and love Him. And He has promised that His grace is sufficient for us, no matter how weary we may become, for His power is perfected in our weakness.
God’s grace is sufficient for every circumstance of life. It is sufficient for every difficulty we may face or any challenge life throws at us. His grace is enough for all who place their entire trust and confidence in His mighty strength. His grace is enough for every eventuality in life and His provision comes through faith in His beloved Son. It is the strength of the Lord Jesus Who sustains those who do not rely upon their own abilities. He will provide strength to those who can admit to their own disability – for His grace is sufficient in all situations of life.
Those who confidently manage their Christian walk by relying on their own personal talents, skills, capacities, and capabilities, eventually discover that their strength is insufficient for their needs. In time they are brought to the very end of themselves until they can admit that the refreshment they desperately need has been drawn from the broken cistern of the old, Adamic-life and will eventually run dry, for the energy-source that is powered through the fleshly self-life, will in time be drained of all its self-induced efforts.
When a believer truly identifies with his Saviour and trusts in Christ’s capacities alone for his journey through life, it is then that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, it is then that the wind of God will lift us up on eagles’ wings and carry us through life’s stresses and strains, in the