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Isaiah 40:27-31 1
27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? 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. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 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.

Background

Chapter 40 begins what is believed to be the second book of Isaiah.  Written by his students, the results of Isaiah’s teachings in the first 39 chapters. The verses point out that it is silly to worship false gods like the stars.  Just as silly  is to think that God can forget you!

The people of God receive a reprimand for their unbelief and distrust of God.  They are reminded that they took the names Jacob and Israel, from one who found God faithful to him  and then made a covenant with God.  The people are told that while they may have many troubles and fears, these would all go away  before they even have time to find out what they are and why they have occured. God is so great that we will never understand His mind.

It is bad to have evil thoughts rise in our minds, but worse to turn them into evil words.  The people are reminded that what they know and have heard is sufficient to silence all of these fears and distrusts.

Through the strength of God’s Divine grace the people can be above the problems of the world. They will run in the way of God’s commandments and do so cheerfully. The Scripture tells us to guard against unbelief, pride, and self-confidence. If we try to go ahead with only our own strength, we will faint, and fall completely.  Yet if our our hearts and our hopes are in heaven, we will be carried above all difficulties and be able to capture the prize of our highest calling in Christ Jesus. Where God had begun the work of grace, He will perfect it. God will help those who, in humble dependence on Him, help themselves.

Items for Discussion

  • Why is the question in Verse 28 such a good and powerful question?
  • Is there a difference, do you think, in God’s perspective for those who do not know God and those who know Him but choose to ignore Him?
  • What is it that God promises to us that allows us to move forward and do great things?
  • Why is God uniquely qualified to give humanity assistance in this world?
  • What is our role to receive the strength that God promises?

Romans 8:9-11
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[a] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Background

True Christians do not need to worry about their human nature. God has sent the Holy Spirit to live in their lives. It is as if their human nature is no longer alive. Instead, their spirits, human spirits, are now alive in God. And God’s Holy Spirit will guide and direct their lives. In the end, the human body will die. But the death of the body will not be important, because the body’s spirit will remain alive. God raised Jesus from death. Those who share Christ’s life by the Holy Spirit will rise again too. They will have a new body that will never die again.

Items for Discussion

  • What is human nature?
  • Is human nature controllable? How?
  • How does the “World” affect human nature?
  • What does Christian Fellowship do to the human spirit?
  • What does regular time spend with God’s Word do to the human spirit?

Discussion Challenge

  • How can the body of a church be used to strengthen and recharge the human spirit?

 

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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