Rising on Wings Like Eagles

“…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 40:31 (NIV)

I loved wearing my school uniform. Every morning I would make sure that it would look neat and crisp before I went to classes. What I loved Google+Photomost about it however was that emblazoned on my tie and vest was an eagle with an outstretched wing. Written underneath were the words “Isaiah 40:31”. Whenever I was going through anxious times in school, I would always find hope in the promise that was written on my uniform. As long as I placed my hope and faith in the Lord, He would never fail to renew my strength. He will raise my spirit above the concerns and cares of this world on the sure assurance that He will be the one to carry me through the dark times I face.

Why do we give into excessive worry and fear? When the clouds of misery and grief darken our skies, it is a natural response. We feel as if the burdens of our circumstances are meant to be borne solely on our own shoulders. In our limited human perception, we see no other alternative. But humanity was not meant to bear such a burden. We were meant to live in the peace and joy that comes from knowing and relying on our Heavenly Father. Once sin entered the world through our deliberate choice to disobey, not only did suffering enter as well; but the blissful relationship we shared with God was severed because of our wickedness. Yet God is the restorer of all things. Through His loving sacrifice on the cross and His glorious resurrection from the grave, we are all given the hope of being redeemed from our sin and our relationship with God restored if we allow Him to carry out His restorative work in our hearts. As Christ’s children who bear His presence, we must never forget that we do not live this life on our own. We will always have Christ who, if we allow Him to, will strengthen us when we feel weak, revive our spirits when they are crushed, and comfort us in our darkest hour. When we place our hope in Him, His peace will overflow through us; bearing witness to all who see us that there is a God who can and will lift them up if they call upon His name.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Being Renewed in Strength

“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” -Psalm 34:10 (NIV)

I am unable to count the number of times I have seen nature documentaries featuring lions. But every time I happen to watch such documentaries, I am always amazed by how they portray the lion’s power and might. With the way they hunt and chase down their prey, it is no wonder they are often associated with the label, “king of the jungle.” In fact, it should come as no surprise that with its regal appearance and strength, the lion has been adopted as a symbol for many kings and empires. However, even lions can grow hungry and lose their vigor. A weakened lion may not even pursue a nearby gazelle if he is sapped of his energy and his legs cannot give chase.

Sometimes we may feel as if we are in the same position. Weary of everything around us we sink into fatalistic hopelessness. Though we reminisce of those days where everything seemed to be going our way, we resign ourselves to a false view that we are powerless and have been defeated. But the wonderful truth is that in our weakness, Christ is able to make us strong. When we have allowed His Spirit to enter our hearts and seek after Him, He will renew and restore us. When our situations wear us down, we are able to take hope in the promise that we are able to surrender our burdens to the One who holds the universe in place, and whose grace is more than sufficient for us. By entrusting ourselves into His hands, He will prove Himself to be faithful; giving us His strength so that we may find total fulfillment in His provision. In Christ we have victory, a victory that can never be taken away nor can ever be eclipsed, for nothing will be able to stand against Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Love That Protects

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects…” -1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV)

Every day there is a Christian somewhere in the world undergoing persecution or hardship for their stand in Christ. Living in countries where corruption and tyranny are rampant, they must endure unspeakable torment and everyday is a fight against injustice and oppression. Some of their cases are reported by the mainstream media, but countless others are never brought into the light. However, there are organizations which fight to make sure that the stories and voices of these persecuted Christians are not silenced by the iron fist of their governments. Out of their love for the truth of Christ, and for those who stand up for it, these organizations risk much to bring awareness to the plight of the persecuted church. They assure them through tangible action that they have a voice and are supported by those who are praying for them and care about defending their right to exist and follow Jesus.

By the definition Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 13:6-7, love is not some passive feeling that keeps silent when trouble is brewing. Rather it will get itself involved and take the side of truth. When we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and seek to know Him, He will give us a love for Him, which will then lead us to love His truth and to love those who speak His truth. What are we doing to defend our brothers and sisters when they encounter opposition for their stand in Christ? Do we remain silent, content with preserving our own reputation in the eyes of the crowd? Or will we join our voices with those who will do anything to speak life into the lives of others. Granted, it can be a hard decision at times for our instinctive human reaction is to lean toward the former. But when we lean on Christ and allow Him to strengthen us, He will give us the confidence to speak the truth in love so that we may be an encouragement and blessing not only to those who are thirsty to hear, but to those who are working towards the same goal as well.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.