Text: “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Good morning, Christian ready to faint! Do you feel that you are just about to faint this morning? Do you, too often, consider yourself useless in the service of King Jesus? Are you ready to crawl into some dark corner and give up any semblance of Christian witness and testimony today? Well, if you are I have something to say to your soul. Join the club! I too can get into this moribund state far too often, and so can many other serving Christians. It is said that Charles Haddon Spurgeon, ’the prince of preachers’, had a continual struggle with personal depression all of his life! Wait, therefore, upon the Lord right away. He is waiting to hear your cry and mine, and will increase our flagging strength. Hallelujah! We have God’s own Word on this matter.
Verse 13. “I had fainted…” If the Scripture verse had ended with this phrase, perhaps we could all immediately relate to what has been said.
Faint? This morning, on this new Lord’s Day, I feel like I am about as much use to the Lord as a wet piece of cardboard; I feel uninspired; unused of the Lord; unable to shake off what seems to be a dark Spiritual depression which is threatening to engulf my entire being and pull me down into some very dark place of utter despair.
Had the Scripture verse ended with ‘I had fainted…’, I believe I could almost say, ‘Amen’, and crawl away and die. But the Scripture does not end there, praise God it continues, and this Holy continuation brings you and me new and much needed hope.
Here is what David Clarkson had to say on this subject: “You may well doubt that all the waters of the ocean cannot fill a spoon as that Divine fullness cannot be enough to you, if you should have nothing left in this world. One drop of Divine sweetness is enough to make one in the very agony of the cruelest death to cry out with joy. ‘The bitterness of death is past.’ His goodness makes Him willing to do. His goodness sets His mighty power a-work for His suffering saints.” (David Clarkson 1622-1686)
In the Christian life - the darkest hour often comes just before a bright new dawn; the blasting of Hell, before the blessing of the Lord God. Wait for it!
Verse 13. “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord. Many would faint away and want to die, like Elijah under that juniper tree (1 Kings 19:1-8). However, faith, and true belief in Christ Jesus, waits on with expectancy for a fresh filling of ‘…the goodness of the Lord’. The Lord never fails us; His mercy endures forever; we are graven on the very palms of His nail-pierced hands.
Verse 13. “…In the land of the living.” Nor is this promise of Divine help and goodness merely pledged to us for the time of our glorification, after we die and go to be in the very Presence of the Living Lord God. No. This pledge of Divine goodness to us is promised to us while we are yet ‘…in the land of the living.’! In the here and now life that we live; today, for you and for me - at the very point of our present need. Wow! Hallelujah! The very thought of this Spiritual fact from God’s Word, begins to lift my unworthy and depressed soul. What a Saviour we serve in Christ Jesus! Glory to the One Who always comes to faithfully deliver us from our depressions and fears!
“…they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
However, note also that this great Divine pledge is conditional to those who are prepared to ‘wait on the Lord’ - not merely sitting on our hands, but waiting, as a waiter waits upon tables at a restaurant; serving the Lord God as a waiter serves diners. This promise of Divine help is not for the sluggard, nor the luke-warm professing Christian. This promise is exclusively for those who WAIT in service to Christ Jesus.
Verse 14. “Wait on the Lord. Wait at His door with prayer; wait at His foot with humility; wait at His table with service; wait at His window with expectancy.” (Charles H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 138)
Let us all who are weary this day, find refreshment in this poem by Thomas Ken, 1637-1710)
Stand but your ground, your ghostly foes will fly;
Hell trembles at a Heaven-directed eye;
Choose rather to defend that to assail;
Self-confidence will in the conflict fail:
When you are challenged, you may dangers meet;
True courage is a fixed, not sudden heat;
Is always humble, lives in self-distrust;
And will itself into no danger thrust.
Devote yourself to God, and you will find
God fights the battles of a will resigned.
Love Jesus! Love will no base fear endure;
Love Jesus! And of conquest rest secure.