Waiting on the Lord

As the old saying goes “Patience is a Virtue.” How quaint and outdated this seems in our fast-food world of instant gratification: a world where it seems no one is expected to wait for anything including material possessions, happiness, love, health, etc. But as we study the Scriptures we learn that God does not operate on man’s time schedule but on His perfect timing.

Waiting on the Lord

By Scott Moller

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1 (NIV)

As the old saying goes “Patience is a Virtue.”  How quaint and outdated this seems in our fast-food world of instant gratification: a world where it seems no one is expected to wait for anything including material possessions, happiness, love, health, etc.  But as we study the Scriptures we learn that God does not operate on man’s time schedule but on His perfect timing.

There are many Biblical examples of this, but two that come to my mind are Abraham and King David.  These two men received very specific promises from God.  Abraham, who was childless, was promised that he would have a son miraculously provided by God.  God made this promise to Abraham when he was 75 years old, and his wife, Sarah, was already past childbearing age.  Abraham and Sarah waited as the years passed to the point it seemed God had forgotten His promise.  How their hope must have dimmed as time just marched on, but God had not forsaken them.  When Abraham was 100 years old, God fulfilled his promise and gave them their son, Isaac.

David, on the other hand, was a young boy of perhaps 12 years of age when he received his promise from God.  God sent the prophet Samuel to David’s home to anoint a future King of Israel.  David was so young and unimportant that even his own father forgot about him, yet God directed Samuel to anoint him King.  Samuel went home after David was anointed, and David went back to herding sheep.  Nothing changed while the years began to pass by.  David grew up and was called into the service of King Saul.  As he was faithfully serving Saul, Saul became jealous of David, and David was forced to flee for his life, living on the run for years.  Twice David had opportunities to kill Saul and yet he did not take matters into his own hands.  David was in training to put his trust fully in God’s hands.  Eventually, when David was 30 years old, Saul was killed in a battle, and David did become King of Israel.

We too, as Christians, have received great promises from God.  God’s many promises to us include eternal life, adoption into the family of God, future rewards, resurrection, heaven, and the return of Christ.  Most of God’s promises to believers are for the life to come and are eternal.  Sadly, many Christians see God as a ticket to a life of ease and comfort rather than a source of strength through the trials of life.  Christ tells us in John 15:19 that “I have chosen you out of the world.”  Paul reminds us in 1 Timothy 6:7, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”  God wants us to patiently wait on Him with our eyes fixed on eternity.

A good example of this is Jesus’ promise of His return.  Jesus specifically promised in John 14:3, “I will come back and take you to be with me.…”  He also warned us in Matthew 24:42 to “therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”  Peter also warned us in 2 Peter 2 that in the last days, scoffers and mockers would come casting doubt on Christ’s promised return.  Peter goes on to explain in chapter 3, verse 9 that “the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Let us not limit God to temporal blessings that will pass away or lose patience in the fulfillment of His promises to us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, looking to that blessed hope, so that He may find us faithful.

 

 

 

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