Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Great Exchange

“they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).

When things seem at their lowest, God is often preparing us for that which is highest. When we feel the farthest away, that's when we are closer than we realize. When we think all is lost and there is no hope, we are actually on the verge of a great breakthrough to a bright and wondrous season.

That's the sentiment of this poetic passage of Scripture. By yielding our lives to the process of waiting, especially when everything else around us is on the move, a great exchange is taking place.

The Bible says, “they shall renew their strength.” The word renew means to exchange; to pass from one to another. In other words we are exchanging something with the Lord -- our strength, for His!

Where we once were weak, He gives us His strength. Where we once were faint, He makes us vigorous. Where we once were unstable, He makes us firm. Where we once were fruitless, He increases our capacity to produce -- even beyond what we thought possible.

The words of the old Gospel hymn, by William T. Sleeper, perhaps sum it up best --

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Into the joy and light of Thy home,
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

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