Today’s Truth

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31 NLT).

Friend to Friend 

I left the Zoom meeting and raced out of the house hoping to stop at Target to pick up a gift to bring to my lunch appointment. As I sped into the store, I got a call from my caseworker. She wanted to discuss some concerns regarding our foster son. I talked with her while quickly getting what I needed and driving downtown. My mind was still processing all the issues with our teenage foster son as I found parking and realized the meter required me to download an app on my phone and enter payment information. Whatever happened to good old quarters in a meter?

I hurriedly completed the task, slammed the car door, and began walking to the restaurant. Then it hit me, I forgot to grab a mask. This happened during the Covid 19 mask mandates, and I couldn’t enter the establishment without one. I groaned as I ran back to the car and then searched my pockets for my key. It wasn’t there. I peeked into my vehicle and saw it – sitting on the passenger seat. After my husband brought me a spare key, I arrived at our house exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally. I’ll bet you’ve had days like this too.

In these situations, all I want is my favorite creature comforts—watching television, eating ice cream, changing into my pajamas and checking out for the rest of the day. God gave us comfort foods. Hobbies or books can distract us from our weariness. Talking to a good friend can provide consolation. The Lord can use these things to comfort us. Yet at other times, we comfort ourselves with methods of escape that aren’t necessarily healthy. There was an Old Testament prophet named Isaiah who addressed the need to turn from counterfeit comforts in order to receive God’s genuine comfort.

Isaiah revealed the Lord as a shepherd feeding and caring tenderly for His flock. Our God has the powerful arm to strike, (Isaiah 40:10) but He uses that same arm to carry His lambs (Isaiah 40:11). God’s message of comfort wasn’t only for those in Isaiah’s day. In the midst of these tender expressions is a reminder that God’s words aren’t like withering grass or fading flowers. These words of God last forever- they apply to us today!

Shepherds provide, protect, and sometimes carry their lambs. God has been my shepherd on frenetic days like the one I mentioned earlier, but also in seasons of grief, difficult circumstances, and spiritual fatigue. I remember weary seasons of parenting small children and tough ministry seasons when I felt betrayed by close friends. God longs to comfort us, but we must come to Him rather than seeking to comfort ourselves.

Isaiah used these questions to remind the nation of Israel of God’s character: “Have you never heard? Have you never understood?” (Isaiah 40:28) In essence he was saying, “Don’t you know who your God really is?” God is the everlasting Creator of the whole earth. He doesn’t get weary like we do, and the depths of His understanding can’t be measured.

Isaiah ends chapter 40 with these words, “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NLT).

If we are trusting, waiting, and hoping in the Lord, our counterfeit comforts will lose their luster. Waiting on the Lord isn’t just sitting around doing nothing, it means living in a posture of hopeful expectation of His help. Isaiah makes a case that it isn’t duty but delight to trust God’s comfort. We don’t want to swat at our bad habits but rather enlarge our view of the Lord so that it deepens our belief. This is how we move from surface-level behavior modification to heart-level transformation.

When you have a weary day or season, I pray you will wait on the Lord to renew your strength. He knows all about long meetings, unexpected phone calls, keys locked in cars, and the more significant losses and frustrations that lead to your exhaustion. He calls you to wait on Him for the power and strength you will never find in your own striving.

Let’s Pray

Lord, You are the everlasting God, the Creator of heaven and earth. I’m so glad You never grow tired of my constant need for Your strength. I get frustrated and weary often, and I need You. Help me to remember how big You are – especially in my moments of fatigue when I think temporary distractions are the answer.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Now It’s Your Turn 

As you consider your own weary seasons, how have you experienced God’s comfort?

More from the Girlfriends

Check out Melissa’s new Bible study titled Isaiah: Striving Less and Trusting God More for an in-depth study of the book of Isaiah.

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© 2022 by Melissa Spoelstra. All rights reserved.

5 Responses to “Counterfeit Comforts”

  1. Carol says:

    Melissa, Thank you for this writing. Wow…It hits where I needed it.
    At my mid -week Bible study, we all expressed our weariness; our prayers to have this dark season, feel less dark and have all the “Why?” questions answered by God.
    I’m going to dive into Isaiah 40, this am. We are placing our amazing Creator in a very small box, when in reality, HE is the Great I AM!( Psalm 46:10)
    I now know, we’ve been pressed (2 Corin. 4:8-9) and perplexed, as Apostle Paul said, but, we know God has the power and the grace we need to walk with Him everyday!
    (“Lord, Forgive me for my lack of Faith and Trust. You are the strength we need everyday for guiding us and being our Shepherd for life.”)
    Blessings to you this am, and thank you for blessing me.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Hi Melissa,
    This morning I was on Day 1 of the 3rd week in the Isaiah study and this devotional was in synch with what I was discovering through the study. I forget that God can provide strength during those times of weakness that we all encounter. Memorizing the verses in this study has been a blessing for me. Thank you for sharing this study!

    God is love
    Love is all you need


  3. Myra says:

    Good Morning Everyone!
    Melissa, I needed this reminder. I have absolutely been guilty of seeking creature comforts instead of the God of comfort! It really is in His strength that we live, breathe and have our being! Thank you again for the reminder. And like Carol said I’ll be reading Isaiah.


  4. Mariama says:

    Thank u Melissa for using God’s Word of Comfort to uplift & encourage as a reminder of how much we need His presence n our lives @ALL times & n EVERY area of our lives by the power of His Holy Spirit n CHRIST JESUS’ name. HOPE! WITH LOVE N CHRIST
    MARIAMA 🤗🌹💞

  5. Karen says:

    Thank you Melissa for steering me to these versus this morning. I have been in a long season of struggle and striving and I am exhausted. In my mind I believe I turn it over to God constantly and daily, and wonder why it doesn’t get easier. Isaiah’s words and your presentation today remind of me of the counterfeit ways search for release and relief. Thank you for your dedication to knowing and sharing God’s word with all of us, a hurting and needy world.

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