A Study of Isaiah 40:29
“He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength.”
The Lord’s people are often in the state that they have no might. All their power seems exhausted, and their strength completely drained away — sin appears to have gotten the mastery over them — and they feel as if they had neither will nor ability to run the race set before them, or persevere in the way of the Lord.
Now what has kept us to this day?
Some of you have made a profession ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years.
What has kept us?
When powerful temptations were spread for our feet, what preserved us from falling headlong into them?
When we felt the workings of strong lusts, what kept us from being altogether carried captive by them?
When we look at the difficulties of the way, the perplexities which our souls have had to grapple with, the persecutions and hard blows from sinners and saints that we have had to encounter — what has still kept in us a desire to fear God, and a heart in some measure tender before Him?
When we view the infidelity, unbelief, carnality, worldly-mindedness, hypocrisy, pride, and presumption of our fallen nature — what has kept us still believing, hoping, loving, longing, and looking to the Lord?
When we think of our deadness, coldness, torpidity, rebelliousness, perverseness, love to evil, aversion to good, and all the abounding corruptions of our nature — what has kept us from giving up the very profession of religion, and swimming down the powerful current that has so long and so often threatened to sweep us utterly from the Lord?
Is it not the putting forth of the Lord’s secret power in our souls?
Can we not look back, and recall to mind our first religious companions — those with whom we started in the race — those whom we perhaps envied for their greater piety, zeal, holiness, and earnestness — and with which we painfully contrasted our own sluggishness and carnality — admiring them, and condemning ourselves?
Where are they all, or the greater part of them?
Some have embraced soul-destroying errors — others are buried in a worldly religious system — and others are wrapped up in delusion and fleshly confidence.
Thus, while most have fallen into the snares of the devil, God, by putting forth His secret power in the hearts of His fainting ones, keeps His fear alive in their souls — holds up their goings in His paths that their footsteps slip not — brings them out of all their temptations and troubles — delivers them from every evil work — and preserves them unto His heavenly kingdom. He thus secures the salvation of His people by His own free grace.
How sweet and precious it is to have our strength renewed — to have fresh grace brought into the heart — to feel the mysterious sensations of renovated life — to feel the everlasting arms supporting the soul — fighting our battles for us, subduing our enemies, overcoming our lusts, breaking our snares, and delivering us out of our temptations!
By J.C. Philpot