Friday Morning Devotion (TGIF)

30Even young men get tired and faint,
those who are physically fit can still stumble.
31But those who wait on YHWH will renew their strength.
They will rise on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint. — Isaiah 40:30-31

Thank God it’s Friday! How many of you have said this already in your offices or homes this morning? Well, I have been feeling that way. You can see that the devotional is late. Jody had to start work at 7:00 AM, and I needed the car today to do the grocery shopping, thus I got started doing things early, but practically all of my days activities are running late. I should have written the devotional last night, but it didn’t happen.

All of us get tired, and all of us need new strength. There are two very encouraging things in our passage today, I think. First, we’re reminded that getting tired, even so weary that we faint, is not something that only the weak do. Everyone gets tired. Everyone needs to be renewed. Everyone has the possibility of stumbling and falling.

Second, God is there to renew those who wait for him. It’s a simple response to a simple problem. We need renewed strength, and God is there to renew it.

We’re coming up on the weekend. This evening, many people will be even happier than they were this morning. They can thank God that Friday is over. But what will happen with your weekend? Will you meet Monday renewed? I know that some of you will be working over the weekend, so you can apply this when you come up on your days off.

I took a Sunday School group to visit a synagogue, and the Rabbi there told us that the Sabbath prayers included only thanks to God, not requests for other things. Members of my group were astonished. Why wouldn’t you ask God for things when you pray on the Sabbath?

The Rabbi explained. Supposing a rich friend or relative came along and gave you a new motor home as a gift. You wouldn’t turn around and say, “Now please give me a boat as well,” would you?

That is what it would be like to ask for things in your Sabbath prayer. God has given you a wonderful gift of the Sabbath rest. You can’t possibly be so greedy that you’re going to ask for something else at the same time, are you?

As Christians we look to more than just a day of rest. Hebrews says that “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). I believe that this rest can come at many times. If you are unable to get your “sabbath” when you would prefer, dedicate some time when you are actually off work to spend time with God and be renewed.

It’s a gift of God throughout the year.

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