Have you ever wondered why waiting, especially on God, is so difficult? I’m afraid you won’t get any lessons on waiting from our “get-it-now” society. Many around the world have a different concept of time and seem to live a much more relaxed and patient life, but most of us are taught, almost from birth, to expect immediate gratification. We want, we get; we want some more, we get some more. In this digital era, anyone with an analog mentality is groaned at.
We have instant coffee, fast food restaurants, instant access to everything and any kind of information you need. With Google, the answers are immediate and thus our craving for Instant gratification of whatever we need is all we want. In this Digital era, accomplishments are defined by running and spinning; but the result is usually always “spinning out of control”. The Psalmist said, “Waiting I waited” (Psalm 40:1). This man David is among the people I love the most in scripture. He knew God, and this familiar and much loved Psalm. “Expectantly I expected.” This appears to be not so much anxious hope, as some have suggested, but eager anticipation. Psalm 40:1-11.Our society has made us believe everything must be instant. This makes verses like what Peter talks about in look Irreverent, yet it’s so relevant for our days. Peter says,” do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8. Can you imagine that? How will you translate that to the current problems or issues you face today? Suppose God gave you that verse in scripture by Peter, when going through issues that need instant solutions, will you ever think of it again or will you? What if he became silent like he was to Prophet Habakkuk? Will you in frustration, like Habakkuk cry out “How long, O Lord, must I call for help? ”This is a lament by this man of faith was a desperate cry for help in the midst of great trouble, yet, according to him, he has major issues to take up with God. I suspect we do as well, if we are honest.
Habakkuk was attentive to what was going on around him. Despite his prayers, he sees violence, injustice and wrongdoing everywhere. God’s law appears to be helpless; it does not seem to work, and the wrongdoers have gotten the upper hand.
God’s justice — the good order given to the people of Judah, God’s own people — is perverted in all walks of life. This was not what God had intended. God’s law, the Torah, was a gift from God for ordering all of Israel’s life to one end — that God be honored in all things. But this was not happening, and Habakkuk became increasingly distressed and finally cries out to God.“How long, O Lord, must I call for help?”
Habakkuk was, much like the other prophets, a morally sensitive soul. It was not easy for him to turn away from the oppression of the weak, the dismissal of the poor, dishonest dealings, constant fighting and public conflict, the destruction of the fabric of social life, endless litigation — in short, a wholesale abandonment of God’s will by the people whose very reason for existing was to be a visible witness to God’s way with the world.
Apparently, Habakkuk had repeatedly called upon God to act, to intervene, to set things right, to just do something. Yet it seemed that God had not heard him and God would not act to save. Finally, out of a deep sense of frustration and confusion, he cries out to God, “How long, O Lord, must I call for your help, but you do not listen?!”
Waiting is the hardest work of hope. When we turn to the Bible, God himself – God who’s all-powerful, all wise, and all loving – assures us over and over to wait. Psalm 37:7: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Wait for the Lord, the Psalmist goes on, keep to his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land.
God comes to Abraham. Abraham is 75 years old and God says, “Abraham, you’re going to become a father. You’ll be the ancestor of a great nation.” But it won’t happen today, it won’t happen tomorrow. You know how long it was before that promise came true? Twenty-four years. Think about being 75 years old and being told you’re about to become a parent—and then waiting 24 years. That’s how long Abraham had to wait. God told Israel, his people, that they’d be a nation, able to leave the slavery of Egypt and be independent, but they had to wait 400 years. And then God told Moses he would lead the people to the Promised Land, but they had to go to the wilderness and wait 40 years. Then came the great promise that the Messiah, the Savior, the Redeemer from God, would come. God’s people waited. They waited generation after generation, century after century, when God seemed silent. Then, strangest of all, when the Messiah came, he was only recognized by a few. He wasn’t at all what they thought they were waiting for. In fact, he was only recognized by those who were waiting for him.
Luke 2 tells us about two people who recognized the Messiah because they were waiting on God. The first is a man named Simeon. Luke 2:25: “Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout,” and then verse 25 says he was, “waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.” Waiting can be translated either “waiting for” or “looking forward to.”
“It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him into his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.’” I’ve been waiting my whole life; now my wait’s over, God.
Verse 36: “There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of 84. Year after year, decade after decade, this amazing woman, a prophet of God, never left the temple, but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were waiting for” (or looking for, again, it is the same word that’s used earlier and can be translated either way) “the redemption of Jerusalem.”
One thing this current pandemic has caused all of us to do is slow down. Whether we like it or not, we’ve been forced to hit pause on at least some of our normal, pre-coronavirus lives. During the lockdown days, there was less street traffic, less air pollution and traffic, and less noise all around. Just look at Times Square Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, was once described as “the city that never sleeps: but covid came, and for the first time since maybe ever, when covid put people on pause button, the place was almost a ghost town. Even though some of us live in cities that is busy and industriousness, it is good for us to stop, sit still for a moment, and be quiet. This is a part of God-glorifying waiting. “It is good, as it’s written,” that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26
Another verse says, ”For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:5.Whenever we are still and silent, we can best listen for God to speak to us through his Word. What was God teaching us through this covid season? I saw him teaching us the simple terms of “Patience! If I may ask you, what lesson did you learn during the Covid season? I bet there must be something you learnt from that simple experience on waiting, either for the jobs to open up again, or just simple waiting for government directives on the next way forward. David said,” “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 130:5–6
Quiet patience is an important part of waiting, for it should drive us to hope in God.
It’s unfortunate that when waiting for anything, fear grips many people instead of faith. Fear can be a helpful response to dangerous situations but it can also be something that overwhelms us and takes our eyes off of Christ. No matter our situation, however, Scripture shows us that a part of waiting upon God involves avoiding being controlled by fear and worry. The Psalmist said this in response to fear,”When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah” Psalm 46:1-3
Here we see a proper view of how God spirit plays in our practical lives. We need to acknowledge God as he is—as the Scriptures speak of him. David then concludes in chapter 2 with such a wonderful outlook on God. He says,” For God is “most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Additionally, Jesus instructs us to avoid worrying about our lives because we have a heavenly Father who takes care of us—“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Matthew 6:25-27.
Let us always remember that Waiting on the Lord requires patient trust
Waiting means that we give God the benefit of the doubt that he knows what he is doing
Waiting is God’s way of seeing if we will trust him before we move forward
Waiting on God reminds us that God is in control
Waiting should remind you and me that I am not in charge but God is!
Waiting reminds me that I am not God, thus I have no control of his calendar nor timings, however how long it takes. Again, “Waiting on the Lord allows God to do his work because God’s timing is best and God is always working, even when we don’t think he does. Above all, let us beware that when waiting on God, he increases our strength and builds our muscles of faith.
“Saint of God, let instant things not grip you so much that you can’t pause to reflect. Imagine Simeon was able to wait on God’s promise of seeing Jesus before he died, until old age. At 84, when the parents brought in the child Jesus to the temple, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation. [Luke 2:28-30]
Let’s commit to God everything and be determined to trust Him through a lifetime of waiting, however how long it takes. He’s able to fulfill his promises .I Samuel 3:19, teaches us “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fell to the ground. ”None of the promises God has given you will fall to the ground. Let our prayer be,” Dear Jesus,” make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:4-5 .God bless you
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