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Food For Your Soul
The Expository Teaching Ministry of Dr. D. Richard Ferguson 

Spreading & deepening delight in Christ

Running and Resting

One of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible is Isaiah 40. The last verse in that chapter is really interesting.
Isaiah 40:31 Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles they will run and not be weary.
How could you run and not be weary? How's that even possible? Running is by definition a wearying activity—literally or metaphorically. How can you run and not be weary? What does that even mean?
What are some areas in your life where you're running? Think about that for a minute? There are some areas where you're not you're not running at all, right? You're just relaxed. Maybe it when it comes to being a world-class athlete. You're not running hard after that. You're not up at night thinking about it. You're not breaking your back trying to figure out how to be the best athlete in the world.
Or maybe you're not breaking your back trying to become the best chef in the world or whatever. Most things you're not running after, but there are some areas in your life where you're really running. I mean you are running flat out and it's exhausting. Maybe it's just trying to make a living. You're trying to get the bills paid and you're scrambling. You're doing everything you can to get that shored up. You can't stay on top of it and it's exhausting. Or maybe it's a relationship—your marriage or some other relationship where you're running hard. You're trying everything you can to get to be the way it should be and you can't.
There's all kinds of possibilities, but there's probably an areas in your life where you really running and you're really tired. So what does it mean when God says you'll run and not be weary?. How can you do that? It seems like the only solution, if you're exhausted in some are your life is to back off and not run so hard. How can you run hard in some area of life and not grow weary?
Well, the answer is in the beginning of the verse. Who is it that runs and isn't weary? Those who hope in the Lord.
So in the areas where you're becoming exhausted and overrun, the solution isn't necessarily to back off (unless it's some area where God hasn't called you to run). The solution in this verse is to hope in the Lord.
Probably the reason why you're so exhausted is because you're running in a way that is not reflecting hope in God. It's reflecting hope in the thing you're running after. Your hope is in getting those bills paid. Your hope is in getting that marriage fixed up. Your hope is in whatever it is that you think you need in order to be happy. You're struggling and running hard after that instead of running hard after the Lord and your hope is in that instead of hoping in the Lord.
So what this passage is teaching us to do is to put your hope in the Lord. Run hard after the thing you're running hard after, but don't put your hope in it. Put your hope in the Lord, and then you'll be able to run without exhausting yourself. If my hope is in the Lord alone and I have the attitude that says, “If I don't get these bills paid and I lose my house and I end up on the street and I starve to death, worst case scenario, even then, if I still have the Lord, I'm okay. That's enough for me. If I lose everything and all I've got left is just the Lord, that's okay. If I lose my marriage, if I lose this I lose that, whatever I’m running hard after, if I lose it, I'll still be okay. If all I've got left is the Lord and his favor”—once you have that attitude; once your hope is in the Lord, you won't weary yourself even when you run hard after what you're seeking.