When God Works for You

But they who wait for the Lᴏʀᴅ shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

It’s not exactly what we’d think, or could ever imagine. There’s nothing else like it. A God who is so mighty that he doesn’t need anything. A God who displays his glory not by our working for him, but his working for us.

John Piper explains in this four-minute video:


Waiting for the Lᴏʀᴅ means he will give you strength. One of the most amazing truths that I ever discovered — and I was about 22 years old when I discovered it — was that God’s greatness is displayed not in his gathering slaves around him to work for him, to show that he has enough authority to get workers, but rather his greatness is shown in making him — himself — available to work for others.

Look in Isaiah 40:28, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lᴏʀᴅ is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary.” There is the contrast. We are not going to faint and grow weary. Why? Because we are waiting on the one who never faints, never grows weary. So the point is when God enables us to not faint or grow weary because we’ve waited on him, we get the help and he gets the glory. There is no other god in reality like this. The Bible says that in Isaiah 64:4, “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.”

Our God works for people who wait for him.

2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lᴏʀᴅ run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.”

He’s not looking for people to work for him. He is looking for people who will let him work for them.

Acts 17:25, “[God is not] served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”

Psalm 50:15, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

You get the feel that God shows his power and his glory by helping weak people who wait for him.

And then the beautiful display of this is Jesus. Mark 10:45, “The Son of Man came not to be served” — he didn’t come to get slaves! — “but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.”

So all over the Bible, and right here in Isaiah 40:31, God is displaying his greatness by saying, Look, I am not the kind of God who needs you and depends on you but I am totally there for those who will trust in him. If you will come to the Son of Man who came to serve you by dying for you and ransoming you from your sin, if you let him serve you that way, I will serve you the rest of your life — including at the Second Coming where according to Luke 12 he will gird himself with a towel, make us sit at table, and the King of the universe will put food on our table at the Feast of the Lamb.

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.