October 8 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“…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

OLD TESTAMENT

Think of this world in all of its grandeur—soaring mountains, deep oceans, and vast deserts. What is more, there is a universe grander than any eye can see. To God this beautiful world is like a miniature workshop bringing delight to its Keeper. He measures the ocean waters in the palm of His hand; He weighs the mountains in the scales sitting atop His workbench; He puts all the dust of the earth in a measuring cup; and He takes out His tape measurer to see how far the earth is from the parts of the universe yet undiscovered (Is. 40:12). He looks down on the great nations and civilizations of the world and they are like “a drop in a bucket” to Him, which is the origin of the English idiom (Is. 40:15). What vivid imagery of the greatness of God!

And yet, God’s people—the Israelites—have turned their backs on Him. How much they are missing! If they will run back to the God they have abandoned, they will be blessed. “Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall; 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 (40:38-41).”  God does not want to enact judgment upon His people, but He will if He must. What He would rather do is lift them up and strengthen their faith. Think on the words of His promise today.

NEW TESTAMENT

Joy is something that we are commanded to pursue, to make part of our lives. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). And there is so much to rejoice over, isn’t there? Even when we have failed, there is mercy, forgiveness, and restoration to rejoice in. Even when we are going through trials, there is grace, strength, and purpose to rejoice in. The life of a Christian is to be a life of joy. It may take some effort on our part. We will need to pray. We will need to control our thought life. We, like Paul, will need learn to be content in any circumstance. Yes indeed, we will need God’s help to pursue joy. But we can do this—and all things—through Christ. As Augustine taught us to pray, “God, command what you will, but give what you command.”


Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.