Sunday, September 5, 2010

Waiting Upon The Lord

Temple Baptist Church - 9-5-2010

Isaiah 40:31


A. I have often said that patience is not on of my “strong traits!” More often than not, when problems come, they do not instantly or quickly disappear. Valleys can be long and hard while God’s silences are the order of the day.

B. Let me say first of all that, because valleys are long and God seemingly silent, it is not necessarily a sign that we are either out of the will of God or that God does not care.

1. In John 11, our Lord allowed Lazarus to suffer and die before He showed up to raise him from the dead. The Lord used the suffering of Lazarus to manifest His glory and many came to Christ because of it. His suffering was not in vain.

2. In the Book of Job, our Lord allowed Job to suffer for a while (we are not sure of the time frame). He lost all plus his health while suffering at the hands of his “friends.” God blessed him double in the end and left us this precious book of the Bible to encourage us.

3. In the Book of Genesis, our Lord allowed Abraham to wait upon Him for the promise of Isaac for 25 years. God made Abraham a promise but was silent until all hope was gone before giving him a son. They were long, troublesome years for Abraham but left us a promise of hope that God will do what He says He will do.

4. Also in the Book of Genesis, our Lord allowed Joseph, having done nothing wrong, to spend years in slavery and prison with no answer as to either how long or why. He suffered for app. 13 years. The Lord then raised Joseph to a position second only to Pharaoh in order to deliver the nation of Israel. What a blessing it is to us today!

5. Moses chose to be afflicted with the children of Israel instead of becoming the next Pharaoh and having the wealth of the world at his command. He fled Egypt and was “rewarded with 40 years on the backside of the desert for his choice before the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush. There is not greater man in recorded history than this man, Moses, who spoke face to face with God.

6. The Lord allowed David, the anointed king of Israel, to spend 17 years running and hiding from Saul before elevating him to the promised kingship. David gave up on God as he went down to Gath and offered to fight against the very people whom he would later rule. David was later enthroned and it will be the Throne of David upon which our Lord sits during the Millennial Reign.

C. The list could go on but I believe that we all get the picture. Waiting, in these instances, were vital for both the glory of God and the intended good of those who waited. Waiting is neither a sign of sin on our behalf or a lack of compassion of the part of the Lord. Waiting is one of the hardest things that the Lord will ever require us to do.

D. I read this, “If the request is wrong, God says “no;” if the timing is wrong, God says “slow;” if you are wrong, God says “grow;” if the request is right—the timing is right—and you are right—God says “GO!” Waiting on the Lord is both one of the hardest things that we will be asked to do but, in the end, can be one of the most beneficial things that we can do.

Isaiah 43:1-5 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

E. God is not in a hurry, we are. If God can accomplish anything immediately and He can, then why does He more often than not make us wait for the answers to our problems? Often, His silences are hard to understand because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours.

F. I am not going to preach on all that I know about waiting but I want to deal with just one aspect in question form: what does waiting accomplish in the life of the Christian?

1. Waiting on the Lord teaches us submission to His will - Mark 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (The Father did not even answer our Lord’s request for immediate removal of His problem. Our Lord bowed to the will of the Father.)

2. Waiting on the Lord is a cleansing agent for the child of God - Psalms 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Problems bring about self-examination and self-examination brings about confession and forsaking.)

3. Waiting on the Lord produces a sincere prayer life - Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Often, our prayer life becomes a formality because life is good and we have need of nothing. Problems “drive us to our knees” as we seek God’s deliverance.)

4. Waiting on the Lord teaches us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts - Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (When we do not understand and our problems seem to get the best of us, we need to remember that God is still in control. Paul said, “For I have learned!” God’s providence becomes a reality in our lives.)

5. Waiting on the Lord teaches us to rest in Him - Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (The Lord loves us and cares for us. He will always do right in our lives. Yes, sometimes sin must run its course but God still controls everything in this universe and can be trusted.)

6. Waiting on the Lord renews our strength spiritually - Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (As bodily exercise profiteth little (and it does prosper), spiritual exercise also makes us to mature in the things of the Lord. As our world is fat and lazy, so do we become if we have all that we want and never have problems. We shall “mount up as eagles!”)

7. Waiting on the Lord causes us to hope in Him - 1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (The older we get; the more problems that we endure; the more we long for home!)

Psalms 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

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