Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Most of our lives are spent waiting.

Abraham waited twenty-five years from the time God promised him that the whole earth would be blessed through him until the time that his son Isaac was born.

The Israelites waited 400 years until God sent Moses to deliver them out of Egypt.

The Jews waited another 400 years for God to speak to them after Malachi, the last prophet, prophesied the coming of John the Baptist.

And now, we wait too. We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for God to act, to move, to show us that He is there, that He cares, and that He is mighty to save.

So in the midst of our waiting, how do we not lose heart?

We must believe that God is faithful. He will do all that He has promised. 

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

"...I am watching over my word to perform it." Jeremiah 1:12

God is at work. Every word that He has promised, He will watch over to make sure that it comes to pass. He knows the perfect timing for His promises to be fulfilled. We can feel like God is not listening to our requests, or that He doesn't care about our needs. We question his love for us and demand proof in the form of signs and wonders. But these demands only show the state of our own hearts, like a child demanding that their parent buy them a set of Legos at the store and insisting that a refusal of such a demand is proof their parents do not love them, all the while not knowing that their parents have been saving up to give them a big, extra-special Lego set for their birthday. Just as the child does not know the plans of his parents and the good gift they have for him, so we don't know the Lord's plans for us. What we do know is what He says in His word: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11

To not lose heart, we must believe that these words are true. We must not insist that God show his love for us by answering our prayers in specific ways but instead trust His loving hand. God's plans for us are for our good. And He is faithful. He will do all that He has promised.

We must remember what we are waiting for.

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:10-11

"Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:3-4

Here on earth, we will face trials and suffering. Things will not go perfectly. Children will die; hard-working parents will lose their jobs; relationships will struggle; people will suffer with disabilities, depression, pain, sorrow, and grief; we will muddle through the thorns and thistles of this life, slogging along and feeling as if we will never reach the end of the race. At times it will seem as if God doesn't care. Doesn't he see that we are wasting away? If so, what is He going to do about it?

As we look to God, wondering if He sees our suffering, and if so, if he even cares, we must remember that this world is not our home. This lifetime is not the end. Jesus even said to his disciples, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

This is our hope! Jesus has overcome the world! He is coming again! And He is coming to get us! The things that we see, the here and now - these things are transient. They will come to an
end. Our hope is in what we don't see. Jesus. He is eternal. And He will one day restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us for all eternity. He will dwell with us, wiping away every tear from our eyes. One day, there will be no more disability, no more depression, no more grief, no more pain, no more suffering!

When we set our hope on that day, trusting God's promise that it is coming, this strengthens our hearts to wait for Jesus with a hope that will not disappoint.