Faithlife Sermons

Wisdom Series 8

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Wisdom Series 8
“The Wisdom of Waiting on God”
Isaiah 40:30-31
One of the hardest things in life is to “wait upon the Lord.”
But learning to wait on God is exceedingly wise and will save you many a tear and regret.
We don’t like waiting. Many of our modern inventions were designed to get things to us faster, without the wait.
We have frozen dinners, microwave ovens, instant coffee, powdered orange juice, instant cameras, Cliff notes, freeway express lanes, cell phones, pagers, and beepers.
We don’t like waiting in traffic, in line at the supermarket, at the airport, or when our computers don’t work fast enough.
Our motto is: Give it to me quick or forget about it!
We talk all the time about having our plates too full, about living in the fast lane, about not having enough hours in the day, and running a race even a rat couldn’t win.
We want to slow down, but we’re afraid the world will fall apart if we do.
The funny thing is, one day we’ll all slow down—permanently. And the world will go right on without us.
Our prayers go something like this: “Lord, give me patience, and I want it right now.”
The last thing we are taught to do is “wait” for much of anything.
Truth be told, most of life is waiting.
For every green light, it seems like there are 5 yellow ones and a dozen red ones.
We are waiting all the time…
Waiting for an appointment to see the doctor.
Waiting to graduate.
Waiting to be accepted in college.
Waiting for our first job offer.
Waiting to see if the bank will give us a loan.
Waiting for the right time to start a family.
Waiting for loved ones to come to Christ.
Waiting for the Lord to bring the right man or the right woman into our life.
Waiting to find out what God wants us to do.
Waiting for someone to buy our house.
Waiting for our prayers to be answered.
Waiting for our children to come to the Lord.
There’s even a waiting room at the hospital!
No question about it, waiting is one of the hardest parts of the Christian life!
There are people here today who are experiencing a season of waiting.
And you’re wrestling with God and asking:
"What is taking you so long?"
"Why must I wait?"
"Are you even listening?"
Waiting in these kinds of situations is not simply an inconvenience.
This waiting is painful, and the longer we wait, the more it becomes a test of our character, and a test of our faith.
When waiting on God it can sometimes feel like life is passing you by.
Sometimes people panic, like Abraham and Sarah did, and take matters into their own hands.
Thousands of believers act rashly all the time who cannot wait.
Yet we all have to wait whether we like it or not.
When you search the scriptures, its amazing how many times in the Bible God’s people are told to “wait” for God to move.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
In Psalm 37:7 we read, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.”
When we are tempted to take matters into our own hands, Proverbs 20:22 advises, “Do not say, ‘’I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.”
SOME BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF WAITING UPON THE LORD:A. ABRAHAM AND SARAH (FOR ISAAC)B. NOAH (FOR THE FLOOD AND SUBSIDING WATERS)C. JOSEPH (FOR HIS "TIME" IN POWER)D. JESUS (FOR THE "TIME TO BE FULFILLED")E. MARY AND MARTHA (FOR JESUS TO ARRIVE WHEN LAZARUS DIED.F. THE DISCIPLES (FOR THE PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT)G. ALL BELIEVERS (AWAITING HIS RETURN)Now the Hebrew word for WAIT means, “To bind together by twisting.”
Like a rope that is comprised of several smaller ropes twisted together to form a much stronger rope.
The idea is that we are to cleave to the Lord in our waiting, wrapping ourselves around Him and His promises.
When we do this, we become as strong as Him!
Waiting means to wait with expectancy.
We are to wait patiently, faithfully, and hopefully, holding on to God’s promises, fellowshipping with Him, drawing on His peace and power.
Now, the reason it is sometimes so difficult for many to wait upon the Lord is explained in another passage by Isaiah:
Is. 55: 8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Right there, God is informing us that He is not like us, and we are not like Him.
There is a vast chasm separating our character from His.
His timing is not our timing.
His methods are not our methods.
His ways are not our ways.
This being so, how did the Bible people successfully wait on God?
IN EACH CASE THEY:
KNEW GOD’S PROMISES2. RESTED IN GOD’S CHARACTER3. TRUSTED GOD’S TIMING
Waiting on God is to stand on His Promises.
We’re told of Abraham:
Heb. 6: 15 “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”
What kept Abraham going all those years? What was his anchor while waiting for Isaac?
A promise from God!
God had said, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” vs.14
When waiting on God, we must always anchor our soul in His promises.
God’s promises are the source of our hope in waiting times.
God promises to remember His promises!
ILLUS: Since 9-11, written on the fire trucks of New York City are the words, “We will never forget.”
Guess what! Written on the side of every one of God’s promises are the words, “I will never forget.”
Jeremiah 1:12 says, “He watches over His word to perform it.”
Next,
Waiting on God means we must trust in His character.
A promise is only as good as is the character and integrity of the one that made it.
We must believe that He is good, that He wants our best.
“He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a REWARDER of those that diligently seek Him” (Heb.11:6).
Jeremiah tells us that a good God has good plans for us: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jesus spent a lot of time talking about the good character of God.
Matt. 7: 10-11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
I cannot wait in confidence on somebody I don’t trust.
And my trust grows in a person once I know something of their character.
So we find that not only did Abraham trust the promise of God, he trusted the God of the promise.
And finally,
Waiting on God means trusting His timing.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for every purpose under Heaven.”
God has a time for everything.
Not 99% of things.
Everything.
Since I’m the type that wants what God has for me RIGHT NOW, God has had to say to me many times:
“Jeff, chill out! Just walk with me, and obey me as I lead you, and I will bring every event into your life that you need in your life, in the time that I’m going to give you for your life.”
But there are others that are just the opposite:
God must say to them, “Don’t just stand there, do something.”
Some of you have been just standing there waiting for your ship to come in and it’s already been, sat there in plain view, and left!
Three simple things about God’s timing…
God’s timing is:
SOVEREIGN—He’s in control
SUFFICIENT for the hour—no matter the season, you will have enough.
SEASONAL—Life is seasonal, and He will perform His will in the context of the various stages our lives are in.
In the fall of life the old begins to fade and pass away to make way for what shall be new.
In the winter of life it seems like all has died.
In the spring of life new things spring up and we realize all is not lost.
In the summer of life things come into their full glory and power.
Trust the God of timing to move in your life at the right time.
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