I’ve learned that one part of true faith-filled “waiting” is quietness. “In quietness and trust shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Quietness is the opposite of striving and panic. It speaks of peaceful rest, a calm while at the storm’s center. As the psalmist put it, when mountains tremble, waters roar, nations rage and kingdoms totter, the trusting weary remain “still,” knowing that God is God (Psalm 46:1–11).
I’ve mentioned before that life is a waiting room. I’ve lost count how many big needs my wife Gayline and I have been praying for—and waiting for—for years! A headache healing. Cancer healing. Children that need the Lord. Unconverted family and friends that still don’t believe. Racial healing in our church local and the Church. Fruitfulness in certain gospel endeavors. Spiritual revival in the Church. We’re still sitting in the waiting room for these and so many others.
And I’m sure we’re not alone. All God’s children have needs and grieve losses. We all believe. We all pray. We all weep. We all wait.
If I had one more sermon to preach, it’d be on this text: “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:30–31).
I’ve preached the whole chapter of Isaiah 40 many times, and my most frequent sermon summary of it is this: “God over all, because of Christ, gives strength to the trusting weary, in his time, according to their need, to do the remarkable for his glory.” That’s all in the Isaiah 40 text. And as I say—for a lot of reasons—if God ever gives me strength to preach one more time, that would be the text and summary that I herald.
One point in Isaiah 40 that I notice this morning is the word “wait.” It implies a period of delay in the meeting of our needs or wants, which is why I say: “God gives strength . . . in his time.” There is almost always a time-gap between when we become aware of a need and when God meets it. We have to wait because his clock moves slower than ours, and he’s never in our kind of hurry. So we sit in the waiting room of life.