North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

One of the premiere spectacles in nature is to watch an eagle soar with strength and power over a landscape, particularly through a mountainous region. This scene is so elegantly captured in the Scripture of Isaiah 40:31: “Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings as eagles, they will run and not be weary; and they will walk and not faint.” This is a beautiful picture from nature of what it feels like to be renewed by the Lord. “They will mount up with wings as eagles”. Who wouldn’t like to soar above the world’s problems like the majestic, powerful eagle?

Perhaps you’ve known this feeling in an airplane, which can give you a temporary isolation from the turmoil below. It’s like the astronauts who tell of the exhilaration of spirit that comes from leaving the world behind. The words of Isaiah 40 have made such a powerful impression on me, that I asked my artistic wife to paint a portrait depicting an eagle soaring through the valleys and mountaintops of the great Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s my favorite!

Possibly the hardest concept for a non-Christian to accept is how strength can come out of weakness. From a secular viewpoint, strength and power stand for what they are, there’s no substitute for them. The world expects us to act out our positions of strength to achieve goals and to be winners in life. You can’t do anything if you’re weak and powerless, right?

That’s just one reason the Cross of Jesus Christ is a stumbling block to the world. The Cross, for some, is a symbol of weakness. Yet out of that seeming weakness and defeat God unleashed the greatest power the world has ever seen: power over sin and death. The power of sin is stronger than any human. And no one can defeat death—except God! Jesus willingly suffered at the hands of human power; but has made available to all of us the full resources of “divine power”. If we accept Christ as our Savior, we can know this power through the Holy Spirit.

The key to unlocking this power in your life is to admit that you’re defeated by sin and death. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My (God’s) grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Christ established the pattern whereby God’s power could come to rest in human lives. Spiritual victory can be yours and power comes to those who have no power in themselves.

There’s coming a day when the strong will be humbled and the weak will be exalted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Is there an adequate, alternative resource for power other than God? A great many people search for it. Some even claim to have found it; only to resign themselves to fate, chance, and an anchor that doesn’t hold when the storms of life get rough. There’s a greater tragedy than being a defeated Christian. It’s being defeated and not using God’s way to victory.

A familiar excuse given by non-Christians is that God doesn’t know about us and He doesn’t care about what we’re going through. These thoughts often come to believers as well when they’re facing difficult and trying times. God asks us: “Why do you say my way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God?” (Isaiah 40:27).

It’s helpful for you to know why you’re troubled in your spirit. If you’re going through a rough patch in life, write down on paper why you feel this way. Identify the problem and the source if possible. Ask and answer how it originated. What outward circumstance has led you to feel God is not helping you? For the Christian, self-examination can allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you so you can understand. For the non-Christian, self-examination can lead to your awareness that you need God to control your life and to help you.

It may seem that God has neglected you, but it’s not true. If it seems He is allowing you to walk in darkness, there’s a reason for it known only to God. God doesn’t have to explain Himself. We could save ourselves inner turmoil if we questioned less and accepted more. This is what faith is about. The practical test of Christian living is to know God and to place our complete trust in Him and His ways.

Isaiah 40:29-31 are among the most wonderful promises in the Bible. “He gives power to the faint, strength to the weak; you will run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.” You may need spiritual strength because you’re suffering physically. God can give strength of Spirit, even though He may not heal the body. But even doctors know a strong spirit is helpful in physical healing. Our needs are tremendous, but God’s provisions are even greater.

Remember these four things: 1) God has promised you His strength, 2) Develop stronger faith by believing God’s promises, 3) Weaknesses and failures are not the end of your story, but opportunities to partake of God’s promises, 4) God’s power is on-going and available at all times.

  • This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the newly released books: “Soldiers of God: A Bible Study guide for Spiritual Warfare” and “The Authentic Teenager: A Bible Study Guide to Truth and Positive Living”. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.


Posted by on May 3 2015. Filed under Churches, Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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