Looking at this New Year, one of the first significant events on the national calendar is the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, I have often wondered, how can one person shoulder the heavy burden of the presidency? Especially when, instead of being supported and encouraged, he is attacked and vilified even before he holds the office! What about you? Do you find yourself overwhelmed with the prospect of 2017? Do you now have added to the list of unfinished tasks of 2016, a new list of more goals and tasks to be completed? Are you facing a new year that possibly holds not only joys and blessings, but heartaches and hardships? Problems and pressures? Illness and loneliness? And on the perimeter of your life, do you have detractors? Critics? Those who hope you fail? With all that’s facing us, how can you and I live out 2017? Not just somehow, but triumphantly? Where is strength to be found for a triumphant New Year and all that it holds? So, where is strength to be found in 2017?
- In God’s Person. Isaiah 40:27-28. What were the feelings of God’s people in Isaiah 40:27? “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgement is passed over from my God?” Can you describe them in your own words, related to your feelings as you look back on 2016 and forward in 2017?
Where did Isaiah direct the people’s attention in Isaiah 40:28? (His Names) “Has thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding.” What two names of God are given in Isaiah 40:28? 1) Everlasting God, and 2) The LORD. What two attributes of God does Isaiah focus on here in verse 28? (His Nature) 1) God is eternal – an everlasting God, and 2) God is Omnipotent – He fainteth not, neither is weary. He’s all-powerful. So, where is strength for the New Year?
- In God’s Provision. Isaiah 40:29-30. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” What does God promise to do for the weary? 1) He giveth them power, and 2) He increaseth their strength. Also, you find strength in…
- In God’s Power Isaiah 40:31. “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.” Now, what did God promise us if we wait upon the Lord? 1) He shall renew our strength, 2) We shall mount up with wings as eagles, 3) We shall run and not be weary, and 4) We shall walk and not faint.
Remember the shepherd boy, David, and how he fought and defeated the giants in his life. I Samuel 12:45, 47, 50. “He shall renew our strength.” So, I ask what giants will you face in 2017? Remember; be not afraid of its size—if it’s only one giant or multitudes. For we shall mount up with wings as eagles…fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them. For the Lord will be with you. If God be for us who can be against us! Now what was the third promise that we find in Isaiah 40:31? “That we shall run and not be weary.” So, how are we instructed to run? God warns us to lay aside every weight of sin that will slow us down—just like the track runner today. He wears ankle weights for practice. He takes them off and he feels light as a feather—which will make him run faster. So let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. So, how are you going to run this year? You are in a Christian race. If you are truly saved then you are on God’s team. I don’t care if you are a long jumper or a high jumper. You are still a part of God’s team. So run the race that is set before us. You see, God can’t use us if our lives are saturated with sin. There’s a lost world out there and many are on their ways to a devil’s Hell. Matthew 7:13-14. So, who’s going to tell them that there is eternal life after death? That it’s through the person of Jesus Christ. Romans 6:23; John 14:6. False teachers, the liberals, and the politicians are having a field day because we failed to be what we ought to be for the cause of Christ. How can we prove there’s a God when we are living like the world? If you’re truly saved, you walk worthy of your calling, don’t faint and don’t be ashamed (Romans 1:16). Don’t be discouraged. Don’t drift off back to the pollution of the world. Don’t be a castaway. God wants us to stay true to our calling and stay true to the Lord. Forbear one another’s burdens. You and I had been saved to bear one another’s burdens with all lowliness and meekness and long-suffering — forgiving one another as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. So, as we journey through 2017, join me in claiming the promises of God for this New Year. Then drive the stake of your faith down deep into Ephesians 3:20-21—applying it to your experience of God’s Person, God’s Provision, and God’s Power to see you through 2017….Triumphantly!