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“Wait” is not a four-letter word

Sometimes my mind runs away with the idea that “enough is enough,” so why doesn’t God show up down here and take care of this mess?  We all have times in our spiritual journey when we tend to get anxious and it feels like we’re all alone in our troubles.
There is an old spiritual song that was recorded by Lena Horne in 1946,  “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen,” which pretty much sums up how we so often feel, especially in the times we live in now. Most of us know the first line by memory (it’s the same as the title), which states the problem. But the second line opens the door to our understanding. It reads, “Nobody knows but Jesus.”
Christians who read their bible know that this is a solid biblical principle. Jesus does know all about our troubles. We know that he is an ever-present help in time of trouble, but our difficulty is having patience as we are “waiting upon God.” We know that God’s word is true and inerrant, yet we tend to sometimes think in our heart that if only God knew what we know in our situation, he would act immediately. Waiting on God can sometimes be difficult, even challenging to our faith but it will not harm you.
The Psalmist wrote “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.”  Wow! You would think maybe the Psalmist (King David) could see all the way to the 21st century. Wait patiently for him! Waiting on God is extremely important to our growth as a Christian.
Which brings us around to the question of the day, “why does God make us wait?” Our heavenly Father is an all-loving God, so why doesn’t he just bring us some relief and answer our prayers immediately?  The answer to that is that what God does in us while we wait is even more important than whatever we are waiting for.
Scripture tells us “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Waiting isn’t just something we have to do until we get what we want; waiting is a key part of the process of becoming the person God wants us to be. God wants the very best for us, yet we should be careful to ask of the Lord what will bring glory to him, not just to get things that will only bring pleasure to us.
Waiting requires faith, and while we wait, God grows our faith. Faith doesn’t just sit around with our hands in our pockets or twiddling our thumbs. We must be active in serving God and willing to work toward the goal, reading scripture, praying, and helping others. It is about God’s timing and God’s results, not ours. Think of Noah’s faith (patience in waiting). God gave him a project to build an ark for 120 years, and what about King David’s faith (patience in waiting) who was anointed king at the age of 16, but had to wait until he was 30 to actually take the throne.
Many of God’s faithful waited patiently for God’s promise, and received his mercy and grace while waiting. Folks, God is worth waiting for, and he rightfully expects us to use our time of waiting to pursue a closer relationship with him and discover what it is that God may be trying to teach us. In that period of waiting, God can change our mind, he can change our heart and even our passions if they’re not in line with his.
Waiting in faith (patience) means trusting that God knows what he is doing.

Pastor Dick Nichols
Cedar Creek Community Church
2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

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