Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Waiting On God

For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hurries toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it delays, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay long.” – Habakkuk 2:3

Have you ever waited for something promised or hoped for and it never happened. My mom’s brother, Jerry, served in Vietnam in the Marines in the mid-sixties.  When he returned my brother’s and I were intrigued by the “war” stories he would tell. (it was not until I was a war veteran myself did I understand that men who have seen battle typically don’t talk about it much – especially with “civilians”. Those who do – well they most likely never did what they say they did) Uncle Jerry told us that he had shipped a crate from Vietnam with gifts for us. We were so excited! Every time we saw Uncle Jerry we would ask, “Did the crate arrive?” “Not yet” was always his reply.  The truth was there was no crate. It was an empty promise, a false hope.

Not so with God’s promises. They are not empty and we are right to hope in them.  The thing is that God’s promises are not like men’s. God spans eternity – not just the 70 or 80 years of our mortal existence. Generations have passed without the Hope of God – Jesus returning.  So many people are watching – hoping – like we did for that crate – wondering if it will be today. They pour over the Book of Revelation and other prophetic books searching for a clue. This is what Jesus said.

But about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. At that time there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”  – Matthew 24:36-41

God does intervene in the affairs of men in all generations.  He has left His Spirit as a “down payment” on His promise.  Our task is to live in a manner that is consistent with who we are in Christ and wait. It may be and perhaps will be that His return will be after our passing from life on this earth.  But I am not suggesting that our faith has not value for today. I can give testimony to His faithfulness in my life and in the lives of other. I am just encouraging you to not lose hope because the Lord tarries. We don’t always get what we want in this life.  God does not always heal – save – restore when we want Him to. We live our lives on this planet in jars of clay that are subject to natural laws and plagues and injustice and disappointments.  But praise God, our lives in Christ are more than the sum of the natural experiences that make up our lives. As Christians we have an eternal nature that endures beyond the grave.  We have an eternal nature that is greater than any hardship that we might endure as we travel on our earthly journey. Paul wrote -   

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe.” – Ephesians 1:18-19

Having an eternal perspective on life is critical to not losing hope. Paul encourages us to see the world and this life in its spiritual context. As born again children of God, we have the capacity to do that. That ability comes from the Spirit of God and not from our natural determination to understand the things of God – the eternal. Our heart will still hurt over what happens to us and to the ones that we love. Our bodies will still hurt in illness and accidents. But our hope should not be dampened by the difficulties in this life. Unlike that crate from Vietnam – Jesus is returning – He is on His way. God has not abandoned us. Set us adrift with no life line.  Be encouraged my friend. God is on the throne and Jesus is at His right hand.  Jesus is waiting for the Father to say “Go”. Until then. Press on. Commit to this …. 

I will raise my eyes to the mountains; From where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who watches over you will not slumber. Behold, He who watches over Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your protector; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not beat down on you by day, Nor the moon by night.  The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time and forever.” – Psalm 121  (My grandmother’s favorite Psalm) 

You won’t regret it if you do, but you will if you don’t!

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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