How well do you handle “waiting on the Lord”? Do you have an “I’m waiting … I’m waiting …” while you drum your fingers on the table attitude? Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I’ve prayed, but nothing seems to be happening!”
Why does God allow us to wait, anyway? Can “waiting on the Lord” be a good thing? Can we learn to trust Him … really trust Him as a result? And if so, how? See today’s reading from Psalm 27.
Leviticus 21 & 22
4 Keys to Waiting on the Lord
Growing in the Waiting
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (v. 13).
When are we most tempted to lose heart? It’s often when we’re faced with difficult circumstances or life isn’t going the way we thought it should. Maybe we’re being attacked in some way and God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers.
David said he would have lost heart if he didn’t believe in the goodness of the Lord, not just in the promise of heaven, but here and now … in the land of the living.
Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that we don’t encounter problems or have struggles. Jesus said it this way:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
But we’re sometimes tempted to lose heart, become impatient, or take matters into our own hands, because we have failed to believe in His goodness toward us. We fail to trust that He knows what’s best and will bring it to pass in His perfect timing.
David had problems. He had enemies. But he believed that God’s faithfulness and goodness would prevail.
We, too, can go through troubles knowing that God will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13.5), that he will not give us more than we can handle without sinning (1Cor. 10.13), that He is using them for good (Rom. 8.28), that we are not alone, that others have gone through and are going through similar trials (1 Cor. 10.13), that we can count it all joy knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance, patience and maturity (Jas. 1.2-4) and as Jesus said, we can be of good cheer knowing that He has overcome them all!
Verse 14 tells us twice to “wait on the Lord.” This is not to be an “I’m waiting … I’m waiting … I’m waiting for You to do something, Lord!” while we drum our fingers on the table! This is a patient waiting and trusting in the Lord and His timing.
But how do we get there? How do we go from knowing these truths to KNOWING these truths? Here are 4 keys to growing in the waiting:
- We need to learn what God says about our area of struggle. Use a concordance or a website like BibleGateway.com to find appropriate verses. Search by subject or key word.
- Memorize verses that resonate with you. I can hear the groans now, “But I just can’t memorize!” We memorize our social security numbers, our addresses, our phone numbers, and much more. We can memorize what’s important to us.
- Learn to meditate on verses and passages of Scripture. Meditation is simply thinking deeply on a verse, thinking about each word or phrase. Rolling it over in our minds. If you have memorized a verse you can easily think about it throughout the day. If not, write it on a 3 x 5 card and carry it with you, referring to it in those “little moments” waiting in line, etc.
- Read a good book on the attributes of God. Remember David was convinced of the absolute “goodness” of God. I have listed a few at the bottom of this post.
Why not sit down and open your bible or check out BibleGateway. Look at what God has to say to you? Begin memorizing passages of Scripture and spend time thinking deeply about them. Get to know God better. When we understand the essential character of God, it becomes easier and easier to trust him.
Today’s Other Readings:
Standards for Leaders
God has always required more from those who would lead and teach His people. In the New Testament Paul said elders or bishops (the words are used interchangeably) were to be blameless.
They were to have only one wife, in other words not be polygamists. Their children could not be rebellious. They were not to be: headstrong, quick to get angry, drunkards, violent, or greedy. Instead they were to be: hospitable, lovers of what is good, to take things seriously, be just, be holy, and exercise self-control. They were to hold fast to the Word of God and sound doctrine. They were to be above reproach and in a position to exhort others to live holy lives (Tit. 1.5-9).
And here in Leviticus 21 we see the high standard that was set for the priests.
They were not to shave their heads or cut their beards or their flesh (21.5). These were pagan practices associated with grief. God does not forbid mourning. In fact, Solomon said, there is a “time to mourn” (Eccl. 3.4) and Paul said we should, “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12.15). And in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5.4).
But the priests had to stay focused on their responsibilities to God. They couldn’t defile themselves by coming near a dead body and could not mourn excessively or follow pagan practices.
As God’s holy priesthood today, we are not to mourn like the world, as those who are without hope (1 Thess. 4.13). We need to remember that those who die in Christ will be with the Lord and we will be reunited with them one day.
The priests were, also, to be above reproach in their marriages (21.7-8). As believers, we too, should seek to bring God glory in our marriages and families. Ephesians tells us marriage should be a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church (Eph. 5.22-33).
So while we may not all be leaders in the church, the workplace, or the world, we are all leaders in various ways, especially if we have children. Let’s seek to grow in those characteristics that will cause others to see the light of Christ in us.
Rich or Poor
Proverbs has provided us with many comparisons. Verse 15 is an interesting one:
“The rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the destruction of the poor is their poverty.”
The rich think their wealth will protect them, while the poor are more apt to recognize that they have nothing on which to rely. But in reality, both can be a snare.
Proverbs 30.8-9 says, “… Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.”
Both need to turn to the Lord and put their faith and trust in Him and Him alone.
This passage contains two very familiar stories. Jesus encounters two people in great need, Jairus and the woman with an issue of blood. Jairus’ daughter was at the point of death and the woman had a constant internal bleeding which doctors couldn’t stop.
The woman with the issue of blood believed if she could just touch His robe, she would be made well. And when Jesus asked, “Who touched my garments?” He wasn’t trying to uncover something He didn’t already know. This was simply a great teaching opportunity.
He told the woman, “Your faith has made you well” (v. 34). This could also be translated, “Your faith has made you whole.” This “wholeness” applied to the spiritual, as well as, the physical.
While Jesus ministered to the woman, messengers came to Jairus telling him it was too late; his daughter was dead. But Jesus told him, “… only believe” 36. Again, faith was required. The verb used here denotes continuous action in the present. Jairus believed enough to come to Jesus in the first place, but he needed to maintain that kind of present tense faith.
So should we. Yet sometimes even though we’ve trusted God with our souls and our eternity, we stop trusting when it comes to our finances, or our marriages, or our children! We take matters into our own hands or simply lose heart, instead of waiting on God and His timing.
Is there some area where you have quit believing? Look once again at the 4 keys to “growing in the waiting,” get to know God better, and allow Him to grow your faith and trust in Him.
Lord, help us to continue to believe, to have that confident settled trust in You in every circumstance. We ask for Your grace and help in the name of Your Son. Amen.
4 Great Books About the Attributes of God:
It’s Not Fair!: Finding Hope When Times Are Tough by Wayne Mack
The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink.
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