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The Strength of Hope


Forty Roman soldiers in 4th-century Armenia disobeyed the emperor’s order. These brave Christians stood firm, refusing to offer a pagan sacrifice. They were imprisoned and tortured, stripped, and herded onto a frozen pond. Warm baths were offered to anyone who would deny their faith. But as the sunset, the men sang hymns, refusing to disgrace their Savior! Their martyrdom is a dramatic example of the strength of biblical hope. “What is death for us but an entrance into eternal life?” they asked. This was not wishful thinking or human optimism. This is a rock-solid standing firm on the character of God—true biblical hope.

Isaiah knew that the only foundation for true hope is the character of God (vv. 25–28). These verses reveal Him to be incomparably great, powerful, all-seeing, caring, tireless, wise, and eternal. He’s the Creator and knows the stars by name. Israel’s complaint in verse 27 was not legitimate. God saw and cared about what was happening to them.

God “gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (vv. 29–31). Those who hope in Him have access to the awesome power that brought the universe into being! This is far beyond our pitiful human resources. How else could people in crisis “soar on wings like eagles”? This vivid imagery emphasizes strength, freedom, and effortlessness (the eagle is not working hard). In Him, we can soar above our current circumstances.

The verb “hope” (v. 31) has also been translated as “wait” or “trust.” These ideas are woven together—to wait for the Lord also means to hope in Him. It means we can trust Him absolutely. There’s a forward-looking eager expectation here. Despite our present circumstances, godly hope sustains and strengthens us!

>> Isaiah 40:30–31 is a classic Bible promise that will encourage you during difficult times. Why not memorize these verses during this month? Then they’ll be in your heart and mind, ready and available for instant access!

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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