Through the Word in 2020 #165 – Dec. 2 / The Problem of Waiting


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Of all the disciplines of the Christian life, I find 2 the most challenging: 1. Waiting, and 2. Living with powerlessness. Both of them play a central role in the 3 passages before us today: Daniel 12-Hosea 2; Revelation 5 and John 12:12-19.

I’m Reid Ferguson, and we’ll look at waiting and powerlessness today on Through the Word in 2020.

As you come to the end of Daniel’s visions in Ch. 12, Daniel is greatly distressed and asks: “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?”And he isn’t told. Instead, he is instructed to be about living his life before God. What is to come to pass will come to pass in due time.

Wait.

Hosea is distressed over the spiritual adultery of God’s people and God’s discipline of them. He is in misery over it, powerless to change it, and weary of what it costs, personally and nationally. And all he is told is: “In that day.”

Wait.

At Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted no more of this rebel Jesus, and the crowds and disciples wanted an end to Roman oppression and religious hypocrisy. The Jewish leadership couldn’t bear their powerlessness any more and so moved to have Him crucified. And the disciples were jumping the gun on when He would reign.

They needed to wait.

Then in Revelation 5 we see the vision of the scroll – the full and long term plans and purposes of God in the earth. All of which is wrapped up in the only One worthy to unpack it all because it centers upon Him – the Lamb of God. But we are given neither instructions on how to bring about what is in God’s hands alone, nor a timetable to weigh it all and locate ourselves on.

We are forced to wait.

Powerlessly.

And this Beloved is where faith must take its rightful place in our hearts and minds. Else we will act foolishly and precipitously, trying to bring about God’s secret plans; or live in frustration and depression because we don’t know how long certain seasons in our lives will last. Faith then is to be exercised in trusting the power of God on my behalf, so that I do not need to have power, and in waiting God’s time to bring about His purposes.

Lamentations 3:25-26 seem to sum it up well – written to God’s people at their most powerless, and with a very uncertain future: ​

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

God always proves Himself good to those who wait for Him. Seeking Him. And it is a good thing to do that waiting with a calm and quiet spirit.

I cannot think of a more timely word to us even now in the present uncertainty of COVID, and all that has disrupted our lives due to it. But we trust in our God. In His wisdom, His power, and His timing and His perfect love toward us.

Micah 7:7 “But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.”

Trust Him Christian. We don’t need any power – political or otherwise – if the One who loves us and gave Himself for us has all power – and is our Good Shepherd. Trust Him to act when, where and how is best for our eternal good.

God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.

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