Read His Words Before Ours!
It’s something most, if not all, of us hate doing.
Whether we are waiting for a partner in life, a baby, a job, a house, or something else entirely, waiting rubs against our self-made plans, itineraries, and desires.
I’ve never been an incredibly patient person, and I tend to hold tightly to my wishes. But God has graciously been working in my heart over the past few years, showing me that even though waiting is hard and oftentimes painful, it truly is best for us in the end.
God’s timing is perfect. (Psalm 18:30-32)
When it comes to waiting, we tend to have one of three primary responses: fear, arrogance, or victorious patience.
Interestingly, these three responses are exemplified in the disciples, the Pharisees, and Jesus, respectively, when we examine the days between Jesus’ death and His resurrection. This three-day waiting period elicited very different responses from each.
The disciples largely lived in fear during these days of waiting. They were emotionally distraught, fearing for their lives, as everything they’d believed seemed to come to a sudden, horrific end. They were not living from a place of faith and trust in what Jesus had told them. Instead, they were hiding from Jewish authorities and cowering in confusion and fear. (John 20:19)
The Pharisees, Jewish religious leaders who felt threatened by Jesus and helped engineer His death, were rather happy with themselves in the days following His crucifixion. They were full of arrogance and pride, believing they’d rid themselves of a troublemaker in their religious community. (again, see John 20:19)
But what about Jesus? During those three days of waiting, He embodied victorious patience. His final words on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30), reveal He confidently knew He had won the victory He’d procured for sinners through His death on the cross. Yet, I can also imagine the feelings of excitement He must have also felt in those days prior to His resurrection. I can picture His anticipation at the thought of rising in victory and comforting His disciples with His resurrected presence. What an exciting moment it would be! Still, He waited with such patience, knowing His victory for us was secure.
I wonder about us, dear readers. How do we usually approach seasons of waiting?
Do we experience feelings of fear and trepidation, anxious about the future?
Do we feel arrogant, relying upon ourselves to get through those seasons?
Or do we rest in the goodness of God, able to live with a sense of victorious patience, even in the midst of a long wait with no clear end in sight?
I don’t know about you, but I find myself tending to alternate between each of these three responses, depending on the waiting season and my willingness to actually surrender daily to the Spirit’s work in me. Truly, I have found meditating on the character of God as we walk by the Spirit to be key for experiencing inner peace and waiting patiently, with victory.
It’s impossible to wait patiently, contentedly, and joyfully unless we are trusting God in our waiting. It’s equally impossible to fully trust God in those challenging seasons when we do not know how things will end, unless we know God’s character.
We simply cannot trust Someone we do not know.
This, my friends, has been the game-changer for me in recent years. Through studying God’s Word, walking by His Spirit, and being encouraged and sharpened by fellow members of His church, I have come to know Him in a far deeper way than ever before. This has naturally led to a deeper trust in His plans and faith in His goodness, even in the midst of waiting.
When I need encouragement, I consider the life story of Joseph. (Genesis 39-50) With one hardship after another, one terrible turn of events after another, and one season of waiting after another, we never read of Joseph’s despair. Why? He knew his God and trusted His character. He confidently proclaimed to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good, to bring about the present result–the survival of many people.”
May we carry this truth with us into the days ahead, meditating on it as our personal reminder that no matter our experiences while we wait, God is trustworthy, and He is working for our good and His glory! (Romans 8:28)
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!