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Isaiah 40:31 KJV, NIV & ESV: Origins, Context & Importance

November 01, 2021

The meaning of Isaiah 40:31 KJV, NIV & ESV

This is one of God’s exhortation verses in the bible. It promises strength for the exhausted. God knows that as humans, we take matters into our hands and follow our human strategy which tends to fail or disappoint us. And here, is a call to an exhortation to wait upon Him, have faith in Him and we will be victorious. ‘Waiting’ is seen as a difficult task for most people during their challenging times.

They see it as God is too slow or doesn’t care about them. Otherwise, He wouldn’t ask them to wait. Waiting in this context means to trust or have faith in God despite the situation or circumstances you are faced with. Having confidence in God that whatever He has said in His word concerning you or the challenge, He will surely bring them to pass. For God is a way maker, promise keeper, and light in the darkness. Weeping may endure for the night, joy or happiness will come in the morning.

He has promised that those who trust or have faith in Him will not be overwhelmed by the storms of life but rather, He will lift up their heads and they will be victorious. God is with us in all aspects and tough situations of life, and He wants us to trust Him in every phase of it because He will bring us out through His unlimited power.

Who wrote Isaiah 40:31 and when was it written?

Isaiah 40:31 was written by Prophet Isaiah during the eighth century BC.

What is the context of Isaiah 40?

The context of Isaiah Chapter 40 is about gospel and the coming of Christ, comfort for God’s people and the sovereign power of God.

Life is warfare and not fun fare, but the warfare will not last. Our sins are pardoned in love through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s mercy was exercised.

The gospel and the coming of Christ can be seen in Isaiah 40:1-11. John the Baptist was the pathfinder, preparing the way before the coming of Christ. The good news of the coming of the Lord is to be proclaimed across the ends of the earth. Where the glory of the Lord shall be revealed for all to see. Verse 12- 17 of the same chapter talks about the sovereign power and strength of God. God made heaven His dwelling place and the earth His footstool.

The world as a whole is like a drop of water in a bucket. This increases God’s love for the world with such value with Him, yet He gave His only Son. Otherwise, we all would have perished forever.

The foolishness of idolatry was seen in Verse 18-26. Whatever we adore, love, fear, or make equal with or above God, such things have become the idols that we worship. Resources, time, and energy are spent on these things yet we complain about what is spent in the service of our God.

To demonstrate the greatness of God, Prophet Isaiah pleaded with all nations. God commands all creatures and the things created. God advises us to pay homage to the host of heavens because He created them. Whatever He says, He can perform.

Verse 27-31 talks about unbelief and distrust in God. We must guard against pride and unbelief. If we proceed in our own understanding, we shall utterly fall and fail but if we trust completely in God, we will rise above difficulties and be empowered to win the prize that is set before us.

What is the meaning of Isaiah 40:31?

Isaiah 40:31 is about trusting in the inexhaustible strength and power of God. God’s promises are irreversible. They are “yea and amen”. It has been tried seven times in fire, they will surely deliver. Sometimes in life, the strongest of people are faced with challenges that make them become faint and weary because they depend on their abilities.

It is only the power from above that can deliver us. The challenges of life do not have a timetable, it can show up at any time.

This is the more reason we must trust and have confidence in God. John 3:31 says “He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.” We have no power of our own nor can our strength save us.

II Chronicles 32:8 “With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.”

No one can be victorious in their own knowledge without patiently waiting on the Lord for their deliverance, breakthrough, provision, healing, etc.

What does ‘those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength’ mean?

This means resting in God by allowing Him to take charge, believing that He is sufficient and powerful. Those who trust in Him must be strong in faith to contend with their foes or trials to triumph. When we wait and trust in God, He will grant us the courage to overcome obstacles and He will give us His strength in place of our weakness.

God will grant all we need at His appointed time and we will be lifted up in His strength to receive peace in this world and that which is to come.

To become what God wants you to be, you must go through the waiting process. God’s timing is not like ours. He is not limited by time but the creator of time. The scripture says in II Peter 3:8-9 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

If we don’t wait on God and run ahead, our energy will be exhausted and we will become weary. We will also be signing up for frustration and failure. However, waiting on the Lord sometimes might be tiring because we feel others have left us behind. This should not be thought of. Instead, our focus must be on the One who holds our future and we must be sensitive to His voice to hear what He will say to us.

Whenever we wait upon Him, our strength will be renewed according to His word. God restores and replenishes us when we wait on Him. It’s like recharging our low battery phones.

Psalm 121:4 states that “behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” This is the God we serve, He neither faints neither is He weary. This is the reason He will renew our strength without fail. Wait faithfully on God and don’t lose hope and your strength will be renewed day by day.

What does it mean to mount up with wings like eagles?

What does it mean to ‘mount up with wings like eagles’ means every child of God will be lifted and sustained by His Spirit. They will be high flyers like an eagle. This is what we ought to be. We are to fly above every mountain, obstacle, and challenge just like an eagle. An eagle is a bird that can go above 30,000 feet above sea level.

It travels as far as an airplane. When an eagle is chased by an enemy, it heads towards the sun. As it does this, whatever enemy pursuing it runs back. In the same way, when we mount up with wings like an eagle, whatever is chasing us will be destroyed.

An eagle’s eyes is eight times sharper than that of a man, when you put your confidence in God, your spiritual eyes will be sharp as you mount up wings as an eagle. The eagle does not run from the storm, it uses the storm to lift itself higher. When we are faced with trials or temptations, we must rise above them by positioning our beliefs and minds above them.

What does it mean they shall run and not be weary?

‘They shall run and not be weary’ means those who wait on the Lord will enjoy renewed strength in difficult times. They will be strong and elevated. The Lord will sustain and uphold them. Isaiah 12: 2 says, Behold, God is my salvation,

I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song;He also has become my salvation.” They will not be drowned or overcome by their challenges but will be energized to walk through them and come out triumphantly.

God will always provide courage, power, and strength to the weary when they are prepared to wait patiently on Him. Do not lose hope!

What does it mean ‘they shall walk and not faint’ mean?

‘They shall walk and not faint’ is about the promise of supernatural strength to God’s people whenever required. No matter what we might be passing through, we must be reminded of God’s promises to us. God is a covenant-keeping God, He will not go back on His words.

Isaiah 40:29 mentions that “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.” His grace is sufficient for us and our strength is renewed when we trust in Him.

What is the difference in biblical translations of Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV, NIV & ESV)

Isaiah 40:31 NKJV biblical translation says:

But those who wait on 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.”

Isaiah 40:31 NIV biblical translation says:

“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.”

Isaiah 40:31 ESV biblical translation says:

“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.”

There is no difference between translations in NKJV and ESV. The difference in translations is between (NKJV and ESV) compared with NIV.

NKJV mentions “they shall mount up with wings like eagles,” while NIV states “They will soar on wings like eagles;” These two translations are still saying the same thing.

How does Isaiah 40:31 give me encouragement?

Isaiah 40:31 encourages me that I am not alone in whatever difficult situation I find myself or that may come my way. God is with me and in me all the way, and not only that, He will give me supernatural strength to be able to overcome the stress and circumstances surrounding me when I trust in Him.

For His words says He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). When we feel anxious, weary, or tired, God has promised to be there for us because He is a covenant-keeping God who will surely bring His words to pass.

How can I apply Isaiah 40:31 to my life?

Isaiah 40:31 can be applied to your life during difficult times by waiting on the Lord in faith in spite of the hardship, during pestilence or time of war. This might not be easy but it’s surely the best way. God who is our creator knows that we will pass through difficult times so He has promised that He will be with us and knows exactly what to do.

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

When you wait on the Lord, you will struggle less and watch how God will lift you upward above every situation effortlessly. You will walk and not be weary, run and not faint because your strength is renewed by Him. As your strength is been renewed, you will excel on every side.

Have faith in God and watch Him honouring His word in your life. If you are weary or fainting in difficult times, trust Him, believe in Him, and be of good courage.

In your waiting period, you must be patient and quiet for God to deliver His promises. Sometimes, when you don’t get an answer immediately, you tend to say God is slow or there is no God.

This eagerness makes one be frustrated looking for miracles or solutions elsewhere. Forgetting that our spiritual fathers in the bible like Job, David, and Abraham. These great servants of God waited and held on until their desires came even though they had problems. They held on to their faith even when it seemed impossible and pointless.

Psalm 84:11 tells us that For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” If your desire is good, God will surely give it to you at the set time. He will not withhold any blessing from you.

For instance, it was good for Abraham to be a father and have a son but He and Sarah were barren. It will also be a wonderful thing when Christ returns but people must first be saved. Until then, we are admonished to wait patiently.

Another way we can also survive waiting on the Lord is to be fully dependent on God. We must be totally dependent on Him. Just like Paul in II Corinthians 12:7-10 which says, “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Paul was almost killed. He was almost stoned to death, put in prison, suffered shipwreck all for the sake of the Gospel. He entreated God three times that all the sufferings be taken away but God never removed them. However, while Paul was waiting for his liberty, he depended on the manifold grace of God.

He threw the entire weight of his sufferings on God’s grace and strength. We should do the same by throwing ourselves on God, waiting dependently on Him. We will end up frustrated, dejected, and hopeless if we don’t. We must rely on His power and strength and not our own understanding.

What is an Isaiah 40:31 prayer?

Gracious Father, I magnify Your Holy name and exalt Your majesty. I pray that my faith in You increases from day to day. I stand before You so that my strength, heart, soul, and mind will be renewed. Give me the strength to walk the difficult and narrow paths of life because I can’t do it alone. By Your Spirit, help me to run the race that is set before me with endurance and absolute dependency on You so that I can win the prize. This I pray in Christ's name. AMEN

Conclusion

When we rely on our strength and capabilities, we will be setting ourselves up for failure, frustration, and disappointment. God’s strength will sustain those who do not depend on their own abilities. As believers or servants of God, we must trust in God’s abilities all through the journey of life because His strength is made perfect in our weakness. It is through His strength we can be relieved of our burdens and soar on eagle's wings.

The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand forever. When trying times comes, it takes those who depend and trust in Him to keep walking and not faint. Brethren, believe and hold on to God, you will never be weary nor forgotten because He is nigh you.


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