The Road to Faithfulness

The Road to Faithfulness

The Road to Faithfulness sermon teaches that it takes faith to become a Christian and it takes faithfulness to live the Christian life. We ought to be the most faithful person somebody knows.

Key Verses:
Isaiah 40:25-31

Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Priorities in Life

I want to talk to you this morning on the road to faithfulness. There are many things in your life that are important. I do not think you would debate that and if we were to talk to each other we would find that each of us has different priorities. That is not bad, that is normal. We are going to have different priorities in our life.

But there is nothing more important or more urgent than for you to know where you are going when you leave this life and go out into eternity. People have no guarantee of how long we are going to live. You may know someone who lives to be 120 and that is great and wonderful.

I have shared this with you many times. I heard a statistic many years ago and I am sure it has changed by now. I heard that in the continental United States, there are over one million people over the age of 100. That is a lot of people; that would make a big city. But there are over 300 million people in the country. So, if there are a million people over the age of 100, That is only one-three-hundredths of the population. Percentage-wise it is not that big.

What am I telling you? That most people do not make it that far. Our Bible tells us of three-score-and-ten and four-score, and some are there, and some are getting there. Some of us are getting closer all the time. But the fact of the matter is, there is no guarantee.

In my years of ministry, I have done many funerals and I have shared some of this before with you. The first funeral I ever did was for a three-month-old baby. He was born with a heart condition, lasted three months, and that was it. The second funeral I did was for a young man, twenty-one years old. I will never forget that. Since then, people of all ages. People late in their age, children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged folks, all of them. Two people, I did their wedding and also did their funeral. Not the same two that got married by the way. My point is we do not know how long we have.

Many preachers have said things like this. It could be somebody’s last service, somebody’s last invitation. Years ago, we had an evangelist and he stood right there and was talking to the congregation. It was a Wednesday night, and he said those things, “This could be somebody’s last service. This could be somebody’s last invitation.”

There was a lady seated right over there. She was forty-eight years old, had not been ill. On her way out that evening, she said, “Well preacher, I will see you on Sunday.” She went to work the next morning and passed away at her desk. Saturday, I did her funeral. That was her last service. That was her last invitation. Who knew that was going to happen? She did not and we certainly did not. I am not here telling you gloomy stories; all I am saying to you is this: None of us knows how long we have.

Stepping into Eternity

So, the most important thing, the most urgent thing we need to take care of is where we are going to be when we leave this world and step out into eternity. You will either step out in the presence of God and live forever in that place where God lives, or you will always be separated from God in a place of unending darkness.

A question came up a day or so ago and someone asked if there was a fire in Hell. Jesus said there was. I think that is all the evidence we need. I could give you other supporting evidence, but Jesus said there was and that’s that.

But why do we end up there? Jesus also said that Hell was created for the devil and his angels. But why do people go there? Dr. Monroe Parker said that they are intruders there. But they go. Why do they go? Because of sin. What is sin? Sin is disrespect of God and disobedience to God. It is rebellion toward all we know that is good and right. It is a selfish act of placing what I want above that which I know to be true, what I know to be honest, and what I know to be just. That is what sin is.

But God does not want you to go to Hell. The Bible says in several places, God wants everyone to be saved. You may say that you are glad to hear that and think everyone is saved. No, that is not what I said. I said that God wants everyone to be saved. Where is that in the Bible? In a number of places, how about:

II Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

That is pretty clear, isn’t it? And then:

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The verse says “the world” – that does not mean the planet, it means the people. Anyone who believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. We will come back to that verse in a little bit.

God paid for every sin that you and I and everyone else have ever committed in the past. Anything anyone committed right now and anything in the future has all been paid for at the cross by the blood of the Lamb.

Romans 5:8: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

I Corinthians 15:3: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”

Jesus said that we must believe in Him to be saved from our sins and to have everlasting life.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:17: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Do you understand that? Jesus did not come “into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” – the world, all the people of the world through Him might be saved.

John 3:18: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

We sang in our hymn this morning “No condemnation now I dread. I am my Lord’s, and He is mine. Alive in Him my living head.” – that is the beautiful truth. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” That was John chapter three verses sixteen to eighteen.

Being Born Again

Earlier in that chapter, we looked at not long ago, Jesus used the term “born again” to describe what it means to be saved from your sins. It is by faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved. It is by faith in Jesus Christ that we are born again, born spiritually. Paul tells us in Ephesians chapter two, “We are dead in trespasses and sins,” but Jesus tells us in John chapter three that you can be born again. Peter echoes that in his writings. Paul wrote in the same chapter, where he wrote we are dead in trespasses and sins, at the beginning of the chapter:

Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

Ephesians 2:9: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

In verse eight, “grace” is the love and kindness of God our Savior toward man. Next it says, “and that not of yourselves” meaning you did not conjure it up, and then “it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

I was listening to a preacher as I was driving in this morning as I normally do, and he was talking about legalism. That is a term used in the nineteen-eighties that got perverted and turned into all kinds of things that it does not mean. What it means is this: either working in order to be saved (working to earn your salvation) or working to maintain your salvation. In other words, my salvation is based on some effort that I put forth. Do you know what that is? It is the theology of Cain. Cain brought forth his fruits, the fruits of his own labors and God rejected it. His brother, Abel, brought the blood of a sacrificed lamb and was accepted. The works salvation is the theology of Cain. So, that is why Paul writes:

Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

Ephesians 2:9: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Nobody gets to Heaven and brags about it. Nobody gets to Heaven and says, “I am so good, see I made it here. My next-door neighbor, you don’t see him here. My brother-in-law doesn’t have a home here. But I do because I was that good.” Nobody is going to say that and nobody talks that way in Heaven. Do you know what they are going to say? “I am here by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul and Silas were in jail in Philippi, and the jailor asked:

Acts 16:30: “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

It is one of the greatest questions ever asked.

Acts 16:31: “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Once you have believed, once you have trusted Jesus, once He has forgiven your sins to save your soul, and at the same time, you have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit, then and only then, do you begin to live a life following Jesus Christ.

Living a Christian Life

Dr. Richard Schermerhorn, who led me to the Lord over fifty years ago, said it takes about thirty seconds to become a Christian and takes a lifetime to live a Christian life. He is right about that. He is absolutely right about that.

Living the Christian life means following Jesus. It is not being saved; you do not follow the Lord in order to be saved. You follow the Lord because you have been saved. So, living the Christian life means following Jesus and that means doing what He would have you to do, going where He would have you to go, saying what He would have you to say.

But how do you know? How do you know where He wants you to go? How do you know what He wants you to do? How do you know what He wants you to say? He wrote it down for you so you would know. Here it is, the Bible. Do you want to know what Jesus’ will is? Here it is. Do you want to know what He wants you to do? Here it is. Where He wants you to go? Here it is. What He wants you to say? Here it is. How He wants you to be? This is it. You find it in the Bible.

You may say, “Well, preacher, I’ve heard you say before that not everything that is God’s will is found in the Bible.” That is true. Let’s suppose that you are living in a house and your family is growing and you want to buy a new house. The Bible does not tell to buy this house on 33rd Street. No, it is not going to tell you that. But you follow the principles that are in the Word of God. You follow what it does tell you. Do your best to follow the Word of God and you will be doing the Lord’s will. You will pray and He will guide you. He will. “You mean that house on 33rd Street is the one for me?” Have you prayed about it?

There was a fellow here years ago, a good man and I mean that sincerely, and three or four families from the church, we got together, and we went up to North Carolina to go snow skiing because you do not go snow skiing around here. That fella had never been in that part of the country before, and he absolutely fell in love with it. He came back and said that he was going to sell his business, sell everything, and move to North Carolina. I asked him if he was sure that it was God’s will for his life. He said, “I will tell you how I know. I am going to put my house of for sale and if I get my price then I will know it is God’s will.” This is him talking.

One day he came and said that he sold the house, sold the business, and he was going to North Carolina. I asked if he got his price. He did not. Folks, is that how God leads? That is not how God leads. So, what did he do? He moved to North Carolina. He did it anyway. Am I saying that he was out of God’s will? What I am saying is, he did not take the time to discern properly and submit himself to God’s will, that is what I am saying. I am not saying he did wrong. I do not have proof that he did wrong. I am saying that the basis that he set for determining God’s will did not happen and he did what he wanted to do anyway. Why did I tell you that story? Because that is what most people do. They do what they want to do. There is nothing wrong with saying, “Lord, what would you have me to do? Would you direct me, would you show me?”

I can tell you some things that God just does. I will tell you one that happened very recently. We had my daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter who came up here and sang. I am sure you enjoyed her part the most. They were coming into town, and they have two other daughters, so it makes five of them. We were thinking about how they would get around while they were here. I was thinking I would rent a car for them to drive while they were here because our car will not fit that many people. This is a true story, it happened just a couple of weeks ago. I was on the Internet, and I was looking at a car rental agency that I am supposed to have gold member status with and get discounts, points, and all that. Their prices were pretty high.

I got off that and looked somewhere else but before I went to another website the telephone rang. I answered the phone, a fellow I knew spoke. He was here once years ago and they do faithfully attend another church. He said that he was buying a truck for his wife, and he wanted to give me her car. I was looking to rent a car and he calls me up while I am looking to rent a car and says, “I want to give you, her car.” Problem solved. Do you see what I am saying? Is that how God works? Yes, that is how God works. It is a 2008 and it is not brand new, but you know what? It is a blessing. Now they have a way to get around while they are here. What will you do after they are gone? We will figure it out. But you see, God does things like that for you.

Submit to the Lord

All I am telling you is; you submit to the Lord and you follow Him, and He will lead you step-by-step, one day at a time. He does not lay out everything in front of you. If He did, it would probably scare you to death and you would not want to do it. You think about that.

The apostle Paul met the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus. Paul asked the right question. He says, “Lord, what would you have me to do?” What did the Lord tell him to do? Go into the city and then he would be told what to do next. Do you know what He did not say? “Well, you are going into the city, Saul, and you are going to get baptized, then you are going to start preaching, you are going to train with me for about three years, and then you are going to start churches all over Asia Minor, and you are going to write thirteen books of what we will call the New Testament, and then you will eventually go to Rome, and there you are going to get beheaded.” Did the Lord tell him all that? No. Was that God’s will for his life? Absolutely. What if He told him that all on the first day? He probably would have said, “Hold on, I can’t do all that.”

He is wiser than we are, and he does not show us all that at one time. He shows it to us a step at a time. Saul goes into the city. He gets baptized, regains his sight, he begins to learn and grow, and the Lord leads him one step at a time for the rest of his life. Did he end up where he needed to be? He sure did. Read II Timothy and you will know that for sure. We are going to share something from that in a little while.

It takes faith to become a Christian. It takes faithfulness to live a Christian life. Faith is believing and trusting. Faithfulness is being believable and trustworthy. Let me run that by you again. Faith is believing and trusting. Faithfulness is being believable and trustworthy. You ought to be the most faithful person somebody knows. You really should be. Why? Because you are a Christian. That is who Christians ought to be.

Luke 16:10: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”

I Corinthians 4:2: “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

What is a steward? We do not use that word much anymore. Some places I hear it used, but not much. We would say today, manager. Not the owner of the property, not the owner of a business, but the one who manages it. That is pretty much equivalent to the steward, one who handles it. And it is required among stewards that a man be found faithful. Nobody wants an unfaithful manager working for him. You want someone who is looking out for you and your business, your property, whatever it is you have him manage. But the requirement is to be faithful.

Weary and Faint

Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

You can get weary in well-doing. Sometimes you are doing the right thing. You can be faithful and sometimes you are going to get tired. We are human. We have physical bodies that have limitations. Our emotions have limitations. Our mental facilities have limitations. We are going to get tired.

I do not know if I am the only one in this room like this or not. I would think not but sometimes I would be working and doing a lot of mental stuff and I am not physically tired, but my brain is tired. You just have got to take a break. That can happen. So, Paul says:

Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

That was one of our Bible memory verses in camp last week. What does that mean, “in due season”? When the time has come, you are going to reap. What does “reap” mean? Well, it is like this. You plant a crop, it grows, you get a crop, and you harvest it. Harvesting it, that is reaping.

I remember when I was just a boy, I got some corn. I cleared a patch; we had a pretty good-sized lot. It was not a farm; it was in the city. I planted the corn and I watched it every day. I saw something sprouting up in my patch there, and I thought it was weeds. I did not want weeds in my corn patch, so I pulled the weeds. I took the weeds and showed them to a lady and told her that I planted corn and I pulled up the weeds that were sprouting there. I did not want to lose my corn to weeds. She looked at it and said that I had pulled up the corn. That is exactly what I did. I did not reap any corn because I did not wait for the due season. Do you understand what I am saying? That corn needed to grow more. What I thought were weeds was actually my corn.

The point I am trying to get to you is, you are going to plant things and in due season, when the time is right, when the harvest is ripe, then you are going to reap, then you are going to harvest it. Then you will have what you wanted to get, if, it says, “we faint not.”

Fainting is something that happens to people, and we talked about this before. The first wedding we had in this building we had a fellow standing right there and he was one of the groomsmen and he locked his knees. He was a sheriff’s deputy. He fell and hit the floor, plop, right down on the floor right there. I have seen others do that at weddings. I have seen people do it in military ranks. I have people do it in other situations. You stiffen up and it slows down your circulation and you faint.

I was doing another wedding and as I was having the last prayer and just about ready to say, “I pronounce you man and wife,” and introduce them as the people were walking out. While I am praying, I hear the bride talking. I did not quite understand what she was saying but I thought in my mind, “Why is she talking while I am praying.” I said, “Amen,” I looked up and I knew why she was talking. There was her husband, and he was about to go. He was just about to pass out right there. Caught him just in time. So, people faint. Now, at a wedding are you doing something wrong? Well, you certainly hope not, don’t you? And yet, here is the thing. People faint in doing what is right because we get tired, because we have physical limitations. So, Paul says:

Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Paul repeats it:

II Thessalonians 3:13: “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”

Notice those two words in those last two verses, “weary” and “faint” because they are going to come up again. When you are born again, when you are saved, when you are on your way to Heaven, you are guaranteed a place there. I like to think of it this way, there is the marriage supper of the lamb we read about in Revelation and there is the great banquet table there. You are going to come in and there is already in front of your seat, a place marker there with your name on it. You have got a place, you are there. It is even better than a seat at a table. Jesus says:

John 14:2: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

John 14:3: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

It gets better than that. It just keeps getting better. But you are guaranteed a place there. But until you get there you are going to need to live out the rest of your time here on earth. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. says, “We sing about the sweet by and by, but we live in the nasty now and now.” And that is true. So, until you get to your home in Heaven, you have got to live out your time on earth and during that time you are on the road we call the Christian life, and you are on that road by faith. What you need while you are traveling on that road is to be faithful and that is what we are going to look at.

Who is Like God?

So, I hope you still have your Bible open to Isaiah chapter forty. We need to understand that the one you trusted to save you is the source of all life and the only one who can give you the strength you are going to need to be faithful. Look here, God is speaking:

Isaiah 40:25: “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

“Who is like God?” it says in another place. Who is like God? Who can you compare Him to? What person who has ever lived, is living now, or ever will live, are you going to be able to hold up and say that he is not God, but he is pretty close? And the answer is no one. He gives us an example of that:

Isaiah 40:26: “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.”

“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things,” — this is similar to what David wrote in Psalms:

Psalms 8:3: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;”

Psalms 8:4: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”

Isaiah 40:26: “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.”

What He is saying is this: God created everything on earth and in Heaven and if you look up at the heavens, you can see things that are there. You can see stars and people have been studying stars forever, and yet, God has them all numbered. How many stars are there? Nobody really knows. How many planets in our solar system are there? There was nine, no, now there’s eight, no it is nine again. They even debate about that. What about beyond that, are there more? Yes, we know there are other planets out there. How many? Nobody knows, but God knows, He put them there. Not only does He know how many, but He has named them all.

We have named certain stars and we know there’s the International Star Registry where you can pay money and get a star named after yourself or somebody else. Have you heard about that? I am not trying to pick on anybody, but honestly folks, how good is that? “Well, that is my star out there it is named after me.” How do you know somebody else did not pay to get it named after them? And if they did, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to take them to intergalactic court? Seriously folks, if you want to do that, it is the best fun for you, fine, but I think you are wasting your money to tell you the truth.

But God knows the name of all those stars. Did He put your name on one of them? I do not know, ask Him. But the fact of the matter is He has created everything, He has named everything. Not only does He have the power to create, but He also has the power to sustain it all. Listen to what Paul wrote about regarding Jesus:

Colossians 1:15: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:”

Think about that, “the image of the invisible God.” What does God look like? He looks like Jesus. He is the image of the invisible God.

Colossians 1:16: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”

Colossians 1:17: “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

That makes sense that He existed before all things. Not only did He create everything, He is the one who keeps it all going, “by him all things consist.” Jesus said of himself:

Matthew 28:18: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

God is Personal

You trust Him to save you, then you need to trust Him to give you the strength you need to be faithful.

Isaiah 40:27: “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?”

What the Lord is saying through Isaiah is do not think the Lord is not interested in you. The philosophy of the deist is not valid at all. The deist maintains that there is a God, he is not an atheist. He says there is a God, and that God is the Creator of heaven and earth and then walked off and decided to do something else, somewhere else, not interested in any of us.

It is often illustrated this way, like a clockmaker. He makes a clock, sets it, winds it up, puts it on a shelf, and then goes on about his business and leaves it alone. Therefore, you have no real contact with God. You have no real relationship with God, well that is not the God of the Bible. It is not.

The God of the Bible is personal. You trust Him to save you, you can trust Him to give you the strength you need to be faithful. Do not think He is not interested in you. Do not think he does not know what is happening in your life. Do not think that He does not know the trials and troubles you are going through. Do not think that He does not know about your illness. Do not think that He does not know about your strained relationships. Do not think that He does not know about these things. Do not think you are going to live your life independent of Him. You won’t.

Isaiah 40:28: “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.”

Remember those two words “weary” and “faint”? You and I may faint, but He does not. Have you not known, He is the everlasting God. Everlasting means from eternity to eternity, there is no beginning and no end, the everlasting God. And then it says, “the LORD” in all capital letters, the Savior, the only one who can save us. So, the everlasting God from eternity to eternity is the Savior. And then, the Creator, the one who made it all. What does it tell us? He does not faint. He does not grow weary. You and I get weary, we get tired. We do and do and do until we are too tired to do any more. We get weary. But God says:

Psalms 103:14: “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”

He knows how weak we are. He knows what our limitations are. He knows how tired we become. He understands all of that. In another place, it says, “He giveth His beloved rest.” And He does.

The final phrase in verse twenty-eight, “there is no searching of his understanding.” At times we do not know why things are happening the way they are. I have seen things in recent days and thought, “Well, I did not see that coming.” Sure, I did not know that was going to happen, and not sure why it happened.

When you and I do not know why things are happening the way they are, when you and I do not know what is going to happen, what can you do? You can trust. Sometimes there are things you just do not know how it is going to turn out. You can trust God. Sometimes things do not turn out the way we thought they would or the way we wanted them to. You can still trust God because I guarantee you, He knows things that you do not. And that helps me tremendously that He knows things that I do not. When we do not know what is going to happen, He does.  Trust Him for the strength you need. Trust Him. Trust Him for the things you do not know.

God Strengthens You

Isaiah 40:29: “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”

You know the strongest man on earth, whoever that is today can grow weary and can faint. Samson was doubtless the strongest man in his day. I do not think there has ever been his match. But his power came from the Lord. He was not the strongest man in the world on his own, his power came from the Lord. It is very clear and when he did not have power again, it was when he got the world’s most famous haircut. He was taken captive by the Philistines. He did not know that the Spirit of the Lord had left him. He thought he could go out as other times, it says. He no longer had God’s power. At the end of his life, God’s power came back. What am I saying? I am saying, even Samson could not make it all by himself. Samson needed the strength which the Lord gave him.

I have known a lot of strong people in my time. I did see a man years ago, I told this story so many times, I am sure you have heard it. When I was in high school, a man came and spoke to our assembly right at the time when they started saying you cannot read the Bible or pray in school and all that sort of thing. He came and put on a strongman demonstration. His name was Paul Anderson. He had the title of being the strongest man in the world. He had lifted more weight than anybody in recorded history. I have pictures of him picking up the front end of a Ford automobile. I have pictures of him pulling a railroad boxcar with his teeth. He did things like that. He had the title Strongest Man in the World.

He came to our high school and took two pieces of pine shelving, one-inch pine they call it, but you know it is not one-inch, it was one-inch before they planed it. You do know that, right? What you get is not actually an inch. He took the two one-inch pines, made a fist, and placed a nail between his fingers, and nailed the two pieces of wood together with a single punch.

Then he took a folding table like the kind we use all the time. Ours was six-foot tables, but he used an eight-foot table. And he got nine players from our high school football team. I do not know what they all weighed but I know we had a fullback that weighed about 240 pounds. Let’s put it this way, I went out for football, and I weighed in high school, no joking, 106 or 107 pounds and the coach said I was too little for football. So, it is easy to say nine guys off of the football team were easily 900 pounds, but obviously, it was more than that.

He got these nine guys to sit on the table. He got under the table, squatted down, got it on his shoulders, and stood up with those nine football players sitting on the table. Then he let it down and came out from under the table.

He stood there at our high school with thousands of students and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nobody told him that he could not do that. But you know what? Even he needed God. Even he needed God’s power. One day, he left this earth, he stepped out into eternity. Even he needed God. The strongest man in the world? He needed God. And folks, we need God, Samson needed God, Paul Anderson needed God. We need God to give us strength every day and that is how you make it on the road to faithfulness.

Isaiah 40:29: “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”

Sometimes you do not see how you are going to make it. You want to do right, you want to keep going, you want to do the right thing, but you do not see how you are going to take that next step. But He increases strength to them who have no might.

Isaiah 40:30: “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:”

What does that mean? Do you ever look at young people and wish you had their energy? Yes, sure you do. Even young people get tired. A lot of them do this, they go and go and go, like the Energizer bunny, they go, and then they crash.

Years ago, I was coaching, we had a track meet. I had a great runner who was running a mile run. I was on the sidelines and am not allowed to be on the track. I did not get on the track; it would have ruined everything. He was getting near to the end of the race of that one-mile run. I had not been running the mile, I was on the sidelines, I was fresh. He was near the end of a mile run. On the sidelines, as he came up, I ran beside him and ran as hard as I could run so he could run as hard as he could run until he finished. First place? First place. Not just first place but 75-yards ahead of second place. He did not know he could do that. I knew he could. I just showed him that he could.

Here is what I am trying to get you to see. The Lord is with you, He is a lot better than a coach. The Lord is with you. He will help you and give you that strength to get through when you do not have it, when it is not there for you, it is not in your body, it is not in your mind, it is not there for you naturally speaking. It will get you through. You have to do the things you feel you cannot do, when you have to do the things that you do not want to. You be faithful and He will give you the strength to be faithful.

Trust God to Keep You Going

That brings us to verse thirty-one:

Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

The verse says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength.” It did not say you would not be tired. Young people get tired as we say in verse thirty, they can faint. But when you are older, you may get tired before you get used to it. You may get tired at an earlier hour. When you are older, you may find that your body and your strength are failing. Even young people fail.

A couple of years ago, I was at a tournament and there was a young fella there who looked to be about late teens, early twenties, tall, handsome, athletic young man. Boy, he was doing things, it was impressive. He was doing things, jumping up in the air, spinning around, and all this stuff. And I was standing next to a guy about my age, and I said, “See that young man right there?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “When I was young and in my prime, I still could not do what he was doing.” This guy was impressive. And the truth is folks, even people like that run out of energy.

Notice the first word in verse thirty-one, “But.” I think God put that little three-letter word in the Bible and it is even best when it says, “But God.” Thank God He puts that little word in there. “But they that wait upon the LORD” – that means to look for, to hope for, to expect, and to trust Him. Believe and expect God to do something. Trust Him to do it. You trusted Him to save you, trust Him to strengthen you.

Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

The Lord Jesus said to Paul:

II Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

“But they that wait upon the LORD,” meaning they that trust in Him, “shall renew their strength” meaning, when they have gone as far as they can go, when they spend all their energy, when their energy and strength are all used up, when they have done all that they can do, “they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength.”

Our track coach used to tell us this, he said, “you get out there running doing a distance run, you are going to get a second wind.” I did not believe it. I would get tired and not have a second wind. I found out after a while that he was right. But it did not always feel good. What do you mean? I remember as a young runner, I would be running, doing a long run, doing my best, and all of a sudden, I get a pain in my side. It felt like someone hit me with a rock and hit me on the side. I thought, “What is that?” The coach said keep going.

I learned later, that was your adrenal gland kicking in, shooting adrenaline in your system so you can do more than you thought you could, so you could keep going when you have to. That pain did not feel good but being able to continue on did. What am I saying? When you wait on the Lord, He renews your strength.

And then verse thirty-one says, “they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” The eagle is by far the most majestic of all birds. I remember it was a big shock for me as a young person, I heard the biggest bird in the world was a condor. I thought, “Wow, if the eagle is really something, the condor must be beautiful.” Have you ever seen one? Boy, they are ugly. It is the biggest bird in the world, but it is probably the ugliest bird in the world. So, you do not see the condor as a symbol or an image. But the eagle flies and soars and does what people only dream to do. People fly but not like the eagles do. We do not do that. The verse says, “they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” Do, as only most people dream of doing.

Then it says, “they shall run, and not be weary.” I know what it means to run until it hurts. I told you that; feels like you cannot take another step. I know what that is, and I know what it is to keep taking the steps. Go ahead, finish the race. Do what you need to do, what you are supposed to do.

Those Who Wait on the Lord

So, who does this? Well, it says, “they shall walk, and not faint.” I remember a time in my life when I lost my car in an accident. It got towed from the accident and for a while, I did not have a car. I lived on top of a mountain, but I worked down in the valley. I would catch a ride in the morning with another fellow who lived on the mountain. He went in earlier than I did. That was OK, and he would drop me off and I surely was not late to work. But, because he went in earlier than I did, he got off earlier than I did and he did not wait around for me, he went home.

How did I get home? I walked three miles up the mountain, every afternoon I walked because I wanted to get home. Was it easy to walk three miles up the mountain? No, it was not. But you know what? I made it. Why did I make it? Because I wanted to go home. You keep your goal in mind. You would be surprised at what you can do.

The truth of the matter is, you might feel that you need to stop and rest awhile. That is OK. Take that rest, take that break, but do not stop altogether. After you rested, get up and keep going. Stay on the road. Stay on the road to faithfulness. So, who does this? They that wait upon the LORD. What is the result of this? For those who trusted the Lord to save them, He saved them. For those who began the Christian life calling to the Lord to renew their strength, He renews their strength. They run and they do not get weary, and they walk and do not faint.

I remember the old evangelist, Lester Roloff. He used to sing this verse, verse thirty-one. I thought a lot of him as a preacher but was not a big fan of him as a singer. But that is OK, he got his point across, and he did it in a great way. He used to sing, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” And then the last part of the song was, “Teach me, Lord, to wait.” That is precious, that is precious. “Teach me, Lord, to wait.”

Have you trusted the Lord to save your soul? I hope you have. If you have not, you can right now. You needed Him to save you because you cannot save yourself. We talked about that before:

Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

Ephesians 2:9: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

You cannot save yourself. If you have not trusted Him to save you, I plead with you to do so now. But, if you have trusted the Lord to save you, and He has saved you, then you need to trust Him to give you the strength you need to keep going, the strength that you need to go through the crisis you are going through right now. You need to trust Him to strengthen you when you are too weary. You need to trust Him to pick you up when you faint because the battle is too great for you. And if you will, He will.

You trusted Him to save you, He saved you. You trust Him to strengthen you, He will strengthen you. He will do what He says He will do. You never have to worry about Him not keeping His part. So, that when you come to the end of the road, you can say with Paul:

II Timothy 4:7: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”

Trust Him to keep going. Trust Him to “mount up with wings as eagles.” Trust Him to “not be weary” in well-doing. Trust Him so that you do not faint so that you can hear Him say:

Matthew 25:23: “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

Again, have you trusted in the Savior? If not, trust Him now. Are you trusting Him to give you strength? If not, trust Him now.


Watch the prerecorded live version of the entire service and sermon, The Road to Faithfulness, on Facebook.

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Dr. Michael L. McClure, our lead pastor, is known for his in-depth knowledge and effective teaching style of biblical truths applicable to every day living.

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