The 20 Verses You Love Most: #10 Flying High

The 20 Verses You Love Most | Liz Curtis Higgs

The Lord clearly has a sense of humor. I began writing this post at 2:27am, feeling weary, even faint. “But,” God says, “you will walk, yes run, even soar, and have your strength renewed.”

Really? At this hour? It hardly seems possible.

Still, if you can keep my eyes open, Lord, I’ll keep my heart open and your Word open as well.

Please teach us, Father.

Bible Open to Isaiah 40:31

“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.” Isaiah 40:31

One of the many people who chose Isaiah 40:31 as their favorite was Shirley, who confessed, “I have to fight against depressing moods and negative thoughts and this verse is a real encouragement to me.”

Right there with you, sister. Isaiah 40:30, the verse before this one, reminds us, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall.” God knows us so well. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually we all get tired, we all fall down. Even the youngest among us. Even the strongest.

Weary Young Man

That twentysomething woman in your Bible study who seems to have it all together? Hair perfect, great clothes, fresh manicure, and all the questions in her workbook neatly answered? Trust me, she has bad hair days, wrinkled clothes days, broken nail days, no answers at all days. She may not let anybody see her that way, but believe me, it happens.

Sometimes we try extra hard to look put together because inside we’re falling apart. If you’re there, beloved, here’s the good news right from the start of this week’s verse.

“…but…” Isaiah 40:31

One of my favorite words in the Bible. It signals change. It says, “The story isn’t over yet.” It encourages us to sit tight, to hang in there.

Remember: everything that’s hard for us is easy for God.

I can’t, but God can. I’m not, but God is.

Bald Eagle in Nest

“…those who hope…” Isaiah 40:31

Emily Dickinson famously wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul.” Maybe she pictured a little black-capped chickadee, the state bird of her native Massachusetts. I need more hope than that. I need twelve pounds of American Bald Eagle with seven thousand feathers. The kind of hope that has the power to lift us over the dry plains and barren deserts of our lives.

“Those who hope” is also translated those “who expect, look for” (AMP), drawing our eyes away from our troubles and in the direction of a God who is able. Rest assured, “those who trust” (CEV) and “they that wait” (ASV) won’t be disappointed.

Mary, who also chose this verse, admitted, “I hate waiting.” Me too. I can handle “No!” better than I can face “Wait.” That’s why our hope, our trust, our expectations belong here.

“…in the Lord…” Isaiah 40:31

Sometimes I put my hope in the wrong places. I look across the breakfast table at my dear husband or glance at my speaking calendar or check my bank balance. Blessings all, but not my source of hope.

People, position, possessions—none of them has the power to save us, and any of them could be gone from our lives tomorrow.

The Lord is eternity itself, and he alone offers us salvation. Like that huge bird full of hope, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4).

And it gets even better. God provides salvation, security, and something else we desperately need.

Woman Doing Strength Training

“…will renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31

Yes, please. Lots.

We all need emotional strength to weather whatever kind of tantrums life throws at us, from toddlers to teenagers to tough employers. Physical strength to tackle our long to-do lists and endless errands. Spiritual strength to stand firm in our faith when others try to tear down what we know to be true.

If we “wait for the Lord’s help” (NET), he assures us we’ll “find new strength” (CEV) and a real source of “power” (AMP). Not from within ourselves, but from within him. We literally “change strength” (WYC) from ours to his. Woo hoo!

With God in us and working through us, we truly can accomplish the most amazing things.

Bald Eagle in Flight

“…They will soar on wings like eagles;…” Isaiah 40:31

Too often we get our talons stuck in day-to-day worries, when God is ready to lift us above all that. Can you sense the wind of his Spirit supporting you, transporting you? Life’s troubles may not disappear from view, but at least we can get things in perspective when we see them from God’s vantage point, high above the hassles.

And get this: female bald eagles are bigger than males. Their bodies are about three feet long, and their wingspans can top seven feet. Seven feet, girlfriend.

Imagine being that magnificent, that fierce, that strong as you “spread [your] wings” and “mount up to the sun” (AMP).

Even staying closer to the ground and moving forward on two feet can work wonders.

Two Women Running

“…they will run and not grow weary,…” Isaiah 40:31

Every age has its own challenges and makes its own demands on our hearts, minds, and bodies. Let’s resist the urge to say, “Oh, those old people!” “Oh, those young people!” We help each other most, not by comparing or criticizing, but by pressing on together.

If we “hasten, and never grow weary of hastening” (KNOX), we’ll all get where we want to go. Closer to one another. Closer to God.

Two Mothers Walking

“…they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

With God’s love and grace fueling our steps, he promises that we “won’t get tired” (CJB) or “become weak” (NLV). When we feel weary, it’s time to get our eyes off our problems and in God’s Word. To listen to something uplifting and tell the enemy of our souls to take a hike. To “march on, and never weaken on the march” (KNOX).

The sun’s up now. A new day has begun. I’m ready. How about you?

“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.” Isaiah 40:31

Now it’s your turn

What might you do differently, starting this very day, to fully put your hope, your trust in the Lord? What would it take for you to soar like an eagle?

Your words might be just the encouragement someone else needs right now. Kindly add your response under Post a Comment below. Please know that I read and deeply appreciate each one.

Many apologies for this study being SO late. I’ve been in the U.K. for a week, and am finding hotel WiFi connections to be sketchy at best. Lord willing, I’ll be able to post another study soon. Your 9th favorite verse is yet another powerful word from Isaiah, and one I can’t wait to unpack!

Your sister, Liz

Your Sister in Christ, Liz Curtis Higgs

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53 Responses to The 20 Verses You Love Most: #10 Flying High

  1. Cyndy West June 24, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Thank you for the new and refreshing way to see life each morning

  2. Emily June 24, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Great post! Very encouraging and wonderful timing too. I think God wants me to let go of being bogged down in details and look at all He’s doing in the world, in order for me to soar.
    Thank you 🙂

    • Karen June 26, 2013 at 9:45 am #

      Details get me bogged down too, Emily. Thanks for reminding me to look up and soar the way God intends me to do!

  3. Marge June 24, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    My 20 year old grandson was walking across busy intersection and was hit by a car 11 days ago. He is still in hospital, he has had 3 surgeries on his leg, the tube for his lung was finally removed. He has been in great pain because his body has built up a tolarance to pain killers. Although we have been praying that God will bring healing to his body, our greatest prayer is for his salvation.

    During this time we have been doing spiritual warfare. Eph.6:2 confirms that we do not wrestle againts flesh and blood, but against princeapalites, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickidness. Sisters when you declare war on satain for the salvation of your loved ones, it is exhausting. I awoke this morning and was physicaly and mentaly drained.

    Then I open up to your study Liz and there it is, a word from God to me, (I am sure others will be blessed also) My hope is in the lord and my strength will be renewed, I will soar, I will run and not be weary, I will walk this walk of FAITH and not faint.

    To God be the glory.

    • Laura June 24, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      Thank you for sharing 😉 lifting you up in prayer and standing with you on behalf of your grandson.

    • Mary Lou June 24, 2013 at 9:21 am #

      Just prayed for your grandson. Thank you for your testimony. Will pray for him as the Lord brings him to my mind, and He will bring him to my mind. Blessings on his healing today and most especially on his salvation. May God receive all the glory and honor through this terrible accident.

    • Janet July 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm #


      Last year my son was in a horrific accident like your grandson. Through the surgery, rehab center, everything, he was surrounded by people who encouraged him to recognize the blessing of the life God had given him. He’s doing so much better now, a year later. I pray this also happens for your grandson. I, too, will pray for his salvation and comfort for you and your family.

    • cherrie July 3, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      praying for your whole family:)

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      Faithful God, to lead you to our study of Isaiah 40:31 on the very day you needed a word of encouragement, Marge. I’m adding my prayers to those of our sisters here. Do keep us posted on his progress…and yours!

  4. Audra June 24, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    for the last couple years Isaiah 29:11-14 has been my scripture. I know God has a plan! Isaiah 40:31 goes along right with it, HE can give me strength thru ANYTHING! Even when I think HIS plans are taking to long LOL. Thank you Lord for your TRUE Word.

  5. Laura June 24, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    Word of God speak,would you pour down like rain washing my eyes to see your majesty….thank you, thank you for being the lips to God’s thoughts. Very much needed!!!

  6. Jessica Daly June 24, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Oh, I am thanking the Holy Spirit this am for guiding me to this post and allowing God to speak to me through these words. Our family is trusting and waiting and growing weary. Both my husband and I needed this reminder and these words of encouragement from our Lord! Bless you!

  7. Cj June 24, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Thank you!

  8. Birdie June 24, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    “and He will raise you up” This song is talking about the last day, but I am so thankful that he raises us up everyday. I am feeling tired out from this heat and humidity, and yet I want to praise the LORD, so I will put my hope in you, LORD.

  9. Mary Brawner June 24, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Such a timely message Liz. I was sending prayers to others and needing your words this morning. Imagine as I was reading through the words said, “Mary…” I was startled. Oh my, The Lord is speaking, listen up. It was His Words through you to remind me to move forward, be strong, and stable ministering to his people. Thank you, sweet lady, for being a blessing to so many of us thirsty folks. I appreciate you drinking extra at the well for me.

  10. Cindi Hogan June 24, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Thank you for these encouraging words. I’m just now trying to work on improving my physical health due to spinal arthritis and walking /moving is the first step. While I may never be able to “run” again, I can “walk” and the verse that speaks of walking without fainting is what I needed to read today. God Bless you and may your trip in Scotland/UK be a blessed one and a time of refreshment for you as well.

    • Elizabeth June 27, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      Cindi- Have you checked out Rest Ministries web site? ( That is a place to really feel the gusts of wind He puts beneath our broken, sickly wings. May you be found victorious and spiritually whole as you attend the school of pain and suffering here on earth. Blessings and prayers for you!

  11. Diane H Reeves June 24, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    This is one of my favorites. I quote it often. I was thinking isn’t this email later than normal. Oh God but is it not great timing. I will be 65 soon and that alone requires God’s continued help for strength. In the last 30 days I have begun a new business, started walking daily/or every other day, trying to eat smart and taking meds for sugar levels and blood pressure. Strength and refreshing is something that I need and cherish althrough the day. So it is a Monday and I have just asked God how He wants me to go about this day. What next, how? I sit down and open my email and here you are with that great encouragement. I thank God for who He is and I thank Him for using you.

    And HOPE when things are not there yet but He has given you that it will be, You write:

    Those who hope” is also translated those “who expect, look for” (AMP), drawing our eyes away from our troubles and in the direction of a God who is able. Rest assured, “those who trust” (CEV) and “they that wait” (ASV) won’t be disappointed.

    Away from your troubles…look up girlfriend and trust. Like Peter was asked do you love me… He is constantly asking me ” Do you trust me?” Disappointment an emotion one can only afford to feel for about 20 seconds and then need to repent and grab hold to hope and go on.

    I cannot wait to see what this day brings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    God Bless You Liz.



    • colleen June 24, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      Diane…..just posted then saw yours….so very encouraging…..I just turned 59 and ALOT is changing is my life…thank-you very much for posting your response. Helped me so much. Have a wonderful God-filled day!! 🙂

  12. colleen June 24, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    So VERY thankful this post was”late”…..I so needed this on this Monday morning. I have felt so weary the past three days…..and it’s the whole thing of putting my trust “on the sweetest frame” and NOT putting my hope in the LORD. Thank-you, Liz.

  13. Peggy June 24, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Liz, What a wonderful way to start the week. Maybe Monday is better than Wednesday for these Bible verses!!! Your words are such a blessing any day of the week. God bless.

  14. Shauna June 24, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    This is my husband’s favorite verse. (He happens to be an Eagle Scout) I find comfort in this as well. Very timely post for the changes coming in our workplace the next few weeks.

  15. Julie Sunne June 24, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Always love your teachings, Liz! “When we feel weary, it’s time to get our eyes off our problems and in God’s Word.”–I must remind myself of this at least daily. Have a blessed week in His strength.

  16. Aimee June 24, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Food for my soul, as always <3

  17. Robyn @ a bird in the Father's hand June 24, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    I’m amazed over and over at how my strength can be renewed so many times. It’s like every day He says, “Look at Me. I have hope and new power for you again. I AM the light that makes all else dim.” How is He so loving and faithful?! I’m in awe. He is a well of life that never runs dry. This bird can soar again, in Him.
    Thanks, Lizzie!

  18. Lynn June 24, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Blessings to you Liz across the pond and in the homeland of your ancestors (and mine as well)! I thought my husband inadvertently deleted last Wednesday’s post and then I went to the webpage to see if the Wednesday post was there and since it wasn`t I thought it may have been delayed while you were travelling. Yes what a delight and encouragement to read this post on a Monday morning! This scripture always moves me emotionally (all good). I shared this scripture during the tribute to my mom at her funeral when she passed away from cancer 11 years ago and she became a believer in the 3 months prior to her passing. While her physical health deteriorated her spirit `soared`. Praise God!! We celebrated one of our daughters wedding this past weekend and I was weepy wishing my mom had been there to celebrate the day with us but this scripture reminds me while she may not have been there physically she was there in spirit.

    Love you dear sister Liz Thanks for your encouragement! Enjoy your time in Scotland with your daughter and safe travels home … praying for you!


    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

      Oh, Lynn. The fact that your mother embraced the grace Christ offers just three months before she met him face to face is a HUGE encouragement for many among us with unbelieving parents. Thanks for sharing that!

  19. Patti Iverson June 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    I was visiting with our local bald eagle Sat. at the Nature Center. I am now gonna call her “Hope”–thanks for the name, Sister Liz! She is blind and has a broken wing–but not a broken spirit. I think she had an itch Sat. cuz she was sticking her big beak into her chest and I could see a couple tufts of her gorgeous brown “hair” on the ground. When her big feathers would move it was like watching a ripple of watery feathers–really neat. She has as many limitations ‘n issues as I do, and is in captivity here on this earth. Ahhhh, but one of these days she ‘n I will both soar. Until then, I think I’ll even just try to walk a block… and she can sit there and provide pleasure and itch…

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Wonderful to hear about Hope the eagle…and YOUR hope, Patti!

  20. Sally Brown June 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Thank you fore the study. Isaiah 40:31 is my favorite verse. Whenever I write to anybody I always include that verse. My niece, Linda, is being treated of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Please pray for her. God bless you.

  21. Michelle June 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Oh Liz I am so glad you dropped by this morning.

    It has been so cold here, we have had snow, rain and floods. The last week has been bleak to say the least. But this morning, oh this morning – as I sit in the silence, the sun is just coming up on the most beautiful clear day, its warmth and radiance bring joy to my heart. It is a reminder that God’s promises are new every morning. It is a new day and my hope is in the Lord, when I lift my eyes to Him, I will find a new strength.

  22. Lorraine Neaves June 24, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    I love your website! I’m an 82 year old lady who is going through some health problems. Your scripture references and your comments are such a comfort and encouragement to me. Blessings to you!

  23. Karen June 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    One of my favourite verse! In fact it has been with me all day, then to read here……..such confirmation! Thank you Liz x

  24. Cathy Gross June 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    It takes a deliberate effort to remember all the times He stepped in and said, “I love you.”
    When I think on the great things He has done, I cannot help but be encouraged.
    There was a meadow near our home which, when it rained and snowed, became a giant crystal. Light shimmered from ever blade of grass, tree branch and shrub. It was dazzling. One day I saw myself, clothed in a simple long white dress, twirling up from the ground, spinning faster and faster and higher and higher. It was delightful and I was full of glee. As I write, I smile and feel so young and so loved. My God gave that to me and I will hold it dear…and remember He loves me. Salvation is more than enough…yet still, He keeps on giving.

  25. Ruth June 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Thanks again Liz. Yes, it was long in coming but a treasure to read this morning 🙂 I was thinking you might have been delayed while over in London! Anyway, this is my hubby’s favourite!!!! Very excited that it is included with our top 20 🙂
    Must tell you…. every time we see an eagle while driving hubby peers up into the sky and I grab the wheel! LOL. He just adores these wonderfully powerful creatures and I can see why it is his favourite verse. I did not really look at eagles till I knew him and since have read, listened and appreciated so much about them. Knowing that they court while in the air and see for such long distances and are so breathtakingly beautiful to watch in flight has encouraged me. It funny, but hubby’s love of eagles brought new meaning to this verse for me. I understand how it can bring strength and determination to my day.
    God’s word definitely lives in my bibles pages and transforms my life time after time. And I walk renewed, run with perseverance and fly high.

  26. Linda H June 25, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    This was such an awesome reminder to me today. My life seems so out of balance with caregiving for others. I have been so determined to do this on my own and yet my weariness has left me defeated. I have been sitting rereading this verse over and over. Wait, trust, hope! No wonder I have lost my strength, I have not been waiting on Him to fill me up each day. It is not going to come from anyone else. Cease striving and know that He is God. Praying to look for renewed hope and strength in Him and wait with a trusting heart. Exactly what I needed for the start to my week. Thanks again Liz, such a precious sister!

  27. Sue B June 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    First of all I have to tell you how much I LOVE your devotions. They are all so spirit-filled and meaningful for me. In answer to your questions, I would surely be less worried about things and quit trying to “manage” everything but rather look to the Word and the Lord and know He has my back.

  28. Jan H. June 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    This verse is on my husband’s coffee mug to give us a daily reminder. Liz you always post at the right right time. God’s time. It is always when I need to read it most. Thank you for answering God’s call.

  29. Belinda A June 26, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    Great to have had you over here in the UK – my daughter loved coming up and hearing you speak! Thanks for the Post – amazing how it’s just what I needed to read today – our God is truly awesome and we forget that He doesn’t get tired or stressed out like we do. I guess we also forget that He is big enough to carry ALL our troubles and frets of life, however big or small. May God bless you for being a faithful teacher, Liz!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      SO thrilled she was able to join us, Belinda. And YES, God is definitely awesome, in the truest sense of the word!

  30. Carrie C. June 26, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    I learned something about eagles a while back. They have to soar. They are so large that they cannot keep flapping their wings to fly. How many times have I tried this? Keep flapping my wings, acting as if it is my own strength that is going to help me; and it doesn’t work – all it does is leave me exhausted. What I need to do is soar – trust in God, depend on God, lean on God and God alone. Thanks, Liz, for encouraging me and others with this verse.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      Carrie, you KNOW I had to learn more about eagles and soaring! Some smaller eagle species do fly like other birds, flapping their wings often, but BIG eagles, like the Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle, have short, wide tails and broad, long wings that let them glide effortlessly on rising air currents for hours at a time. Hours! Thanks for sharing your discovery, sis.

  31. Elizabeth June 27, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    Thanks Liz, I needed that one. Mountains look high and scary right now as I approach a stressful and scary changes in my life. Reading your blog reminds of His Holy Spirit providing a powerful draft beneath my ‘wings’ of faith. When I get scared about the future, thinking of this verse is a calming remedy. Another example of His strength shining through in (or in spite of) your weakness. I know He will do the same for me at this difficult time. Bless you dear sister!

    • Janet July 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      Amen! Your post says exactly the way I’m feeling these days. Bless you, sister.

  32. Michelle June 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Thank you for your uplifting words….I struggle somedays as well, but then God uses girlfriends like you to share a verse or blog and I know that whatever is not going well that day is of God’s plan…..good, bad or ugly……He is in control and with Him by my side I can soar through anything.
    Blessings to you Liz!

  33. Carol July 2, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Beautiful words I so needed to hear this morning. Thank you

  34. cherrie July 3, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    dear liz:)
    this pasage is very refreshing. recently, our LORD has had me present the Word to children in VBS. first time, the entire week i kept asking Him to let me to say words that he would have me say. how you speak so, wow. thank you for your time. God bless you and come back safe, everyone.

  35. Susan Gruener July 16, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Another great verse – and a great song as well! 🙂 I was thinking I signed up for your newsletter, but maybe I’m just getting “Encouragement to God” (which I love!). So I am now reading a lot of your posts and reading the 20 Faves – verses!
    Yep, it really is JULY 16th. 🙂
    Love your writing so much Liz!

  36. Susan Gruener July 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    I did it again! I typed “Encouragement to God” above, instead of “Encouragement to Go”! Gonna have to stop typing that I guess – and just read it! 🙂
    Blessings! 🙂

  37. Linda July 17, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Keep your eyes on Jesus; don’t look at the seemingly impossible circumstances surrounding your problem or struggle; God is bigger than our problems!


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