Waiting on God

Romans 8:22-25

Now the problem with waiting is that it seems to many of us, like a complete waste of time.

I¡¯m waiting for a train, I¡¯m waiting for the doctor, I¡¯m waiting on the Beltway, I¡¯m waiting at the checkout line. So often we look for something to do while we¡¯re waiting. That¡¯s why there are magazines in the checkout aisles, in the doctor¡¯s office. We try to fill up the time that seems to be wasted while we¡¯re waiting.

So we think of waiting as primarily as something we have to endure in order to get what we want.

But God speaks of waiting as the way in which we grow when we don¡¯t have what we want. And there¡¯s a world of difference between these two realities. Waiting, as God speaks about it, is never wasted time.? Waiting is one of the workouts that will, properly used, shape our Xian life. Waiting can be one of the greatest growth opp¡¯s in your entire walk with God. And if you can grasp that, it would change your entire perspective on some of the situation we find most difficult and frustrating in our lives.

I. Grow in patience as you embrace the disappointments of life.

Waiting is what we do when things don¡¯t work out as we had hoped. Somewhere within every heart, there is a dream. A dream of life as we would like it to be. That dream is placed in your heart by God himself. And when Jude uses that word wait, he reminds us that the dream in your heart will never be fulfilled in this world. You need to come to accept that b/c it is a fundamental Xian conviction if you are going to think biblically.

So when God does not give you what you want, in this world and culture where we have so much, He opens a door of critical opportunity for your spiritual growth. So embrace that pain. Love God in that disappointment. Recognize that in a world of abundance, this may be one of the most important junctures in your Xian life. Here is one place & one time where you have the opportunity to detach yourself from the headlong pursuit of Paradise Now, and to set yourself apart for Jesus Christ as Lord.

And the places where you may have this opportunity may be relatively few, so seize them; grasp them. They are critical to your spiritual fitness. The areas & times God calls you to wait are of great importance in your Xian life. This is a wake-up call to reality that God is giving you. There are discoveries of grace that you can make while you are waiting, that you can never make while you are sailing thru life smoothly and satisfied.

Paul says in Romans 8:24, ¡°Hope that is seen is not hope at all.¡± That¡¯s why so many Xians have such little hope, b/c everything around us is seen, we have no sense of what lies ahead.

II. Grow in Hope as you cultivate the anticipation of Heaven.

Jude reminds us that the larger part of the Xian life is to be the part of anticipation. The Bible speaks of believers as being like the bride of Christ, so the whole of your Xian life is to be viewed as a bridge to be would view an engagement. Those of you who are married, do you remember the engagement You¡¯re counting days. The whole of your life while you¡¯re engaged is geared towards ¡°The Day.¡±

Now that¡¯s what it¡¯s to be like if you¡¯re a believer in Christ. Life is all about happens after the day when you stand with Him and you are united with him and enter into life forever with Him. That¡¯s to be our perspective on life if we understand the Bible.

Now Paul says, this is how you are to think about this life & ever experience in it, every blessing, every joy. It is only a tiny deposit, a tiny anticipation of what is yet to come! So grow in hope as you cultivate the anticipation of what God has promised. And the disappointments in this life are the places where you can best do that. My greatest hope is when God will wipe away every tear from my eyes. But the only place I can understand the glory of that hope is when I have tears in my eyes. The only time when you can understand the glory of no more tears, no more mourning, no more pain and no more death¡­. Is when you¡¯re in pain, find yourself alone and find the bottom has fallen out of your life. Use these painful moments to increase your anticipation of what God has promised.

Think about what life will be like when you¡¯re in the presence of JC. Your body will be redeemed. Your relationship will be whole. Your soul will be freed to love & serve God with all you are. Creation itself will be renewed and you will be completely at home in the presence of God.

And waiting is not a waste of time. It is the place where God renews my soul.

III. Grow in worship as you love God in pain as well as in pleasure.

Waiting on God is a wonderful expression of worship.

And saying yes to Jesus in the disappointments in your life will be just about the highest worship you can offer to God. B/C it is your way of saying ¡°I¡¯m not interested in you O God b/c of your gifts. I love you for who you are.¡± And how can you ever state that except out of your disappointments. If all your dreams were fulfilled, all your prayers answered, everything in your life is just as you would have ever wanted ¡­. How could it ever be known that you truly love God and not just His gifts.