Waiting is Not Often Easy
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his Word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” – Psalm 130:5-6
Hey, hurry it up, will you? Few of us are pragmatically patient. Clogged traffic, when you must get somewhere quick, wears thin. Waiting in a slow-moving shopping line, when you have lots more to be doing, is more than exasperating. Desiring information from a retail clerk, who is engaged in a seemingly trivial conversation with someone else, makes you want to scream. Waiting for your young son or daughter to do something you can do yourself five times faster stretches your patience to the limit, but it is a good thing. Waiting for the fulfillment of a seriously important life and death promise for your whole life may well cause you to lose all interest, even your faith, but this is something to which you must not succumb!
The Apostle Peter tells us, “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” Well, that is not quite true. The Messiah, promised from the beginning of creation, suddenly “in the fullness of time” came, after the waiting for his arrival over centuries, millenniums. But remember Peter’s word in the same passage, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
God’s timing, the fulfillment of his certain promises, is, according to his own Sovereign plan, a filling up of the book of life of his elect. He will complete what he has begun. He will be satisfied in bringing to himself all for whom his Son died on the cross. Then, just as he promised, the end will come. Judgment will take place, and all enemies will be put under the feet of his son, the Lord Jesus. Death will forever be vanquished.
The meaning of this season of Advent is your fully appreciating what it was for so many to wait on the Lord, the coming of the promised Messiah. A faith which was rewarded with a unique babe laid in a manger, the coming of a Savior; this is the same faith which eagerly looks for his return, in majesty, power, and glory. Advent represents the celebration of patient waiting, and it represents sure faith in the trustworthiness of God’s promises. “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his Word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” (Psalm 130)
The driving force in a life of patient and watchful waiting, even with an eagerness in your wait, is given you by Titus when he writes: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
This is THE theme of Advent, the first and the second Advent; a celebration of Jesus’ coming in the flesh, and now a looking forward to his promised return, coming on the clouds, when every eye will see him. You may not be on earth for his return, but you will be a participant in it. Some will mourn his coming (Revelation 1), but those who look with eagerness for his return, will welcome him with overflowing joy. Until then utilize the Advent season fully to increase your faith. He is coming soon; even so, come, Lord Jesus!
“Joy to those who long to see thee, Dayspring from on high, appear; come, thou promised Rod of Jesse, of thy birth we long to hear! O’er the hills the angels singing news, glad tidings of a birth: ‘Go to him, your praises bringing; Christ the Lord has come to earth.'”
(2nd verse of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” 1744)
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