Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the faint and to him who has no might, He increases strength.
While studying for a Bible study lesson, I read the following quotation “our service to God should be fueled by our trust in Him” (LifeWay). The word, “fueled”, made me think of energy which in turn made me think of power and work and all the physics-y equations which are a delight to this geeky scientist…
So with your permission and patience, let’s look at a few equations:
Work = Force x displacement
(where x means multiplied by)
Power = Work/time
(where / means divided by)
Power = (Force x displacement)/time
(work is substituted for in this equation with force x displacement from eq. 1)
Let’s stop for a minute and either take a few deep breaths to savor the beauty of the equations OR to decrease the stress from them, depending on whether you have a love or not-love relationship with math and physics…God made each of us as we are for His glory and the good of His people, not whether or not we can do or like math or science.
Moving forward…so if you take these physics equations and apply them to the principle of obedience and trusting God, this is the relationship I’m seeing here:
Work as obedience = (Force of my daily choices to trust) x (displacement of fear and pride)
Power of God displayed = (active obedience of work)/time
Power of God displayed = (Force of my choices to trust x displacement of fear and pride)/time
(work as obedience has been substituted with (force of my choices to trust) x (displacement of fear and pride))
As hard as physics may be for many of us (especially me!), active obedience worked out through forcibly choosing to trust God and displace fear and pride is way harder than any kind of science or math. Especially in the choosing and the displacing, day after day after day. How often have I decided to trust God and set aside something precious (or picked up something unwanted) today and then not have the strength to do the same later today, much less tomorrow, or the day after or the next week or…
Yet the over-time requirement for the power of God to be displayed is part of the daily equation for active obedience in the work of trusting God. Obedience is necessary for this equation, whether or not I feel like it. And honestly, many days I don’t feel like it!
But I am strengthened as I meet with God on my knees in submission for obedience of His work in and through me. And there in submission, He takes my weakness and displays His power as in 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Only my Good God can take what I don’t want and show His power in it.
Only my Good God can take nothing and make it into more than I can imagine.
Only my Good God can supersede the laws of physics and convert the impossible into a work fully done (see Luke 1:27).
My Good God is so gracious to promise to give strength and to keep giving it, over time, to this weary soul who is old and (still) stubborn. Daily, He does what He said He would do in verses like Isaiah 40:31 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 and Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
And this same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to all of us today who choose the active obedience of trusting Him and displacing fear and pride (see Romans 8:11).
Our Good God is powerful without limits, including that of time. He alone can do what He says He can do as in Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
Thank You that You do good, all the time. Thank You that nothing is impossible with You. Thank You that You know me and love me here in the weakness and choose here to display Your power. Please help me to trust You now and later today, and again, tomorrow. Please help me to choose to displace fear and pride so that Your power is displayed in and through my life.
In the strong Name of Jesus,
Written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2021