Isaiah chapter 40 was written during the time when Israel was exiled in the foreign empire of Babylonia. The people were living far from their homeland and wondered if they would ever return. This time period marks one of the most difficult times in Israel’s history. It is in this desperate time that the prophet Isaiah offers words of hope and comfort to the people.
Small Group Discussion Questions
Sunday, February 4, 2018 (Youth Sunday)
Share a time when you felt disconnected from God and when you were in need of hope.
Isaiah offers hope to the people of Israel by reminding them that God the creator is more than the sum total of our negative and challenging experiences that we face in life. Specifically, Isaiah’s words of hope point us to a God who specializes in bringing power to the faint, strength to the powerless, energy to those feeling exhausted. Looking ahead to the New Testament, the ultimate display of how God can bring new life from death is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When has God renewed your faith and hope during a difficult time that you were facing? In what ways did you receive power, strength, and energy?
Notice that the prophet Isaiah offers these familiar words of hope: “Even youths will faint and be weary and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord 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.
If “waiting for the Lord” is the key to making it through a difficult situation or problem, what do you think Isaiah expects us to focus on or do while we wait?