Saturday, January 12, 2013

Waiting on the Lord Pt 3

Waiting Involves an Expectation Based on Knowledge and Trust

Without knowledge and trust, we simply won’t wait—at least not without a great deal of anxiety.  Thus, the emphasis of the Bible is that our waiting is a waiting on or waiting for the Lord and His loving kindness. This, when done as an expression of our faith in the Lord, will fill us with strength, and we will feel a unique kind of peace and joy.  

At least 28 of the passages that deal with waiting have the Lord as the object waited for and as the confidence of the one waiting. Not the specific outcome we get stuck on.  Again note the emphasis and the object of the Psalmist’s confidence in Psalm 130:5-6: I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. 6 My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

As the watchman waits for the sun because he knows it is reliable, so the Psalmist waits for the Lord even more because he knows the Lord is more reliable than the rising of the sun. In other words, waiting is fundamentally wrapped up with knowing, trusting, and believing in the Lord and His person (His character) and in His promises.

The ability to wait on the Lord stems from being confident and focused on who God is and in what God is doing. 

It means confidence in God’s person: confidence in His wisdom, love, timing, understanding of our situation and that of the world. It means knowing and trusting in God’s principles, promises, purposes, and power.

In the following Psalms the call to wait and rest is based on God’s character and His faithfulness.
Psalm 52:8-9 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. 9 I will give Thee thanks forever, because Thou hast done it, And I will wait on Thy name, for it is good, in the presence of Thy godly ones.

Psalm 37:7-9 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. 9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee. 
Where is the Psalmist’s hope? In the who and what of the Lord! But when we think of waiting, we often face the question, “What am I to do during the waiting process?” Does this mean we sit back and do nothing? Yes and No! Let’s consider our next principle, the fourth strand needed to strengthen the rope.


Waiting Involves Negatives and Positives


When we think of waiting, we might envision just sitting back, not doing much of anything, just waiting for something to happen. But that is not the kind of waiting the Bible is calling for. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of waiting is learning to hold the negatives and the positives in proper balance.  Waiting involves a passivity and an activity—negatives and positives—things we should do and things we should not do. These negatives and positives in relation to waiting are closely wound together like the strands in a rope. When wound together properly, they give great strength, courage, patience, and endurance.

As to activity, waiting involves three things:

(1) Things we do—doing the right things.
(2) Things we are not to do—refraining from the wrong things.
(3) Things that happen to us, in us, and for us in the process of waiting on the Lord.

These three elements are intertwined and can be difficult to sort out as we go through the process of waiting on the Lord, but basically, they involve a humble faithfilled attitude towards what God has asked.  Note the positives and negatives in this passage which are woven together as part of the waiting process as one trusts confidently in the Lord.

Psalm 37:7-9 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. 9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

[Things we do when waiting upon the Lord are to “stand fast” “press forward” in faith, “having a perfect brightness of hope.”  We also relying alone upon the merits of Christ. And with His grace assisting us, we say: "Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours." As we wait upon the Lord, we are “immovable in keeping the commandments,” knowing that we will “one day rest from all [our] afflictions.” And we “cast not away … [our] confidence” that “all things wherewith [we] have been afflicted shall work together for [our] good.”

Waiting upon the Lord also gives us a priceless opportunity to discover that there are many who wait upon us. Our children wait upon us to show patience, love, and understanding toward them. Our parents wait upon us to show gratitude and compassion. Our brothers and sisters wait upon us to be tolerant, merciful, and forgiving. Our spouses wait upon us to love them as the Savior has loved each one of us.]

Waiting Involves Seeking the Lord

Lamentations 3:25The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.
On the positive side, waiting always means seeking the Lord. When we enter God’s waiting room we are not to just sit as one might in the doctor’s chair. Rather, we need to spend time seeking Him. This means:

  • Time in the Word studying, seeking answers, and claiming God’s promises;
  • Time in prayer praying about the issues, praying for wisdom and discernment;
  • Time meditating on who God is, what He is wanting to do in us and through us, and on what we need to do by way of answers and direction. Included in this might be our need to examine and evaluate our motives and attitudes, our values and priorities, and our goals and objectives in life.

Compare Psalm 119:43, 49, 74, 81, 114, 147 (yachal); 130:5 (uses qavah twice and yachal once); Lam. 3:21-24 (yachal).

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