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The Final Stretch

By Pastor Alex Ruelo

As the New Year is right in front of you, are you facing it with a bang and a smile on your face? Or are you uncertain about so many things? This pandemic is still ongoing and you might feel like you are on your final straw. So many of your plans were interrupted and now, you are still at it. You might be thinking to yourself, “What is God doing all this time?” Or maybe, you are saying, “He did not do anything. Can I still trust Him?”

You are not alone in this journey. God knows what is happening. In Isaiah 40:30-31 says, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 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.” Everyone gets tired, even the young ones. That is the problem. The word hope plays a big part in the big picture. When hope is gone, it all ends. But believers know better. They know how to hope in the Lord, and not just to hope alone. God knows that at one point or another, you will grow tired and weary. That is why He wrote this word in the Bible. You are not the only one who grows tired. And He knows when you will grow tired. Sadly, many people do not get through the trials that come their way. They totally lose hope and do not have anything to hold on to. That is why God gave a warning.

The book of Isaiah was written in 700 B.C. In the first 39 chapters, it talks about judgement and sin of the Israelites. Isaiah is asking them to repent and go back to the Lord. But they did not listen. And the succeeding chapters talk about God’s comfort, hope and forgiveness to His people. God talks about His great love and how a Savior will come to the world.

When the Bible says people “grow tired and weary,” it sounds redundant; but it is also making a point. Everybody gets tired. So everybody needs to learn and know when to stop. There should be a time for everything. Know when to rest. Most of the time, your needs and wants overpower your need to rest. You need to pay your bills and work is a necessity. So you take it for granted until you can take it no more. Another redundancy in the verse is when it says, “young men stumble and fall.” Do they not mean the same thing? Surely you fall when you stumble! But young men, who are supposedly strong and at the peak of their health, when they stumble and fall, you ask the big question: “Why?” Everyone stumbles and falls. No one is perfect. There will come a time when you will make a mistake. You might think you are at your prime. But when you think you are already there, that is when you get tired and stumble. That is why God thought ahead and knew He needed to send a Messiah.

There are so many people who are not able to get up when they stumble, and the biggest hindrance to standing back up are the excuses that you make. You have so many excuses that you make up yourself. At the beginning of this pandemic, so many businesses closed and so many jobs were lost. But also, so many new businesses popped up and so many other people were able to find new things to do and new jobs to tackle, some even better than their previous ones. Because they did not make any excuses. But for those who made up so many excuses, they are still in the same place where they began, struggling for everything because they are not moving a muscle. No change takes place with excuses.

It is all up to you. You can tell the enemy that you are done with him, or sulk at all your losses and make up all the excuses you can think of. You can tell satan to get lost and leave your hope alone and move on, doing what God wants you to do. Do not wait. Fight. You have a God who fought for you first.

Hope in the Lord and do not make excuses. Do you know why so many people lose hope? Because they do not know in who or what they are hoping for or hoping to. The verse says hope in the Lord. You can hope for life to turn out fine. But what if it doesn’t? You can hope to get well. But what if you don’t? You can just hope and keep hoping. But unless you hope in the Lord, nothing will change. Stop making excuses and just do what He is asking you to do. There is a promise when you do. You cannot have faith but your confidence is in circumstances. But if your circumstances do not turn out ok, what will happen then?

Hope. Trust. Wait. Differences Bible versions use different words, but they are all the same. As you wait, trust and hope on the Lord, focus on Him only. Hope revives and trust restores, but doubt weighs down. Tell the enemy you will hope, trust and wait on the Lord. It is not wasted, no matter how long you do it.

When you hope in the Lord, you will soar on wings like eagles, the bible says. To soar means to ascend, to rise up. Nobody flies down. Everything that flies goes up. The motion is toward God and towards becoming what you are meant to be. Many people do not know it but they have so much potential. When you hope in the Lord, you will also run and not grow weary. Can you imagine where your feet can bring you if you continue running without getting tired? You will not even need a car anymore! You will not get tired and you can go anywhere! You can do anything and everything. That means success after success. Everything you do will be successful. When you are doing what God asks you to do, you will not get tired.

This 2022, trust in the Lord. Ask Him what He wants you to do. And do it. Flying, running and walking will all get you to your destination because the strength you use comes from God. They are all the same and will bring the same amount of success. The final stretch will be stretched some more because it all comes from the Lord. Hope in Him.


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