READ: Isaiah 40-41
THINK: Do you ever get impatient with God? Be honest. It's easy to get anxious when things don't happen the way we want or expect, and with God that's most often the case. But if you're quick to depend on God and willing to trust Him to fulfill His plans in His time and way, you'll experience a supernatural peace and refreshment. When you feel exhausted by tough times, God will give you the ability to rise above difficulties-like an eagle soaring into the sky-and to make steady progress without giving up when it seems God's plan is delayed. God promises that if you patiently trust Him, He will provide whatever you need in His perfect time until you are united with Him forever.
RESPOND: To what time periods and events do these prophecies apply? (See 40-66 note.) What assurance does Isaiah offer to those who were taken to Babylon, and how does this encourage you? (See 40:1 note.) What are the three levels of meaning and fulfillment of 40:3-8? (See 40:3-8 note.) How would God reveal His glory to the ancient Israelites who received this prophecy (40:5), and how has He revealed it to us in a greater way? (See 40:5 note.) From what captivity does Jesus free people? (See 40:5 note.) How does the endurance of God's Word compare to what we see in the natural world (40:8)? (See 40:8 note.) What does the fact that "the word of our God stands forever" mean to you (40:8)? What does the Lord's coming and presence mean for us (40:10-11)? (See 40:10 and 40:11 notes.) What does it mean to "hope in the Lord" (40:31), and how should this affect your life? (See 40:31 note.) What promises does God give to those who hope in Him? (See 40:31 note, subpoints 1-3.) What assurances did God give Israel in chapter 41, and how can you claim these promises? (See 41:8 and 41:10-11 notes.)
PRAY: Give thanks for God's strength, comfort, refreshment and rescue through difficult times-even when you bring them on yourself. Pray for greater trust and patience as you wait for God to accomplish His purposes.
ACT: Are you physically, emotionally or spiritually weary from a difficult time you're going through or an issue you're dealing with? Entrust this situation completely to God. Accept the peace of His presence as you continue to do only what you sense He's asking you to do. Look for what you can learn about God, others and yourself through this situation. Let God stretch your faith as you wait for Him to resolve things in His time and way.
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