I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Ps 27:13-14
“God aims to exalt himself through those who wait for him.” John Piper
[Note: I write this to my dear friends and family who are going through painful times that have been stretched out into many days. I have not experienced all of the hurt and pain you are now dealing with, but I do know what it means to wait in pain, while waiting for my God to deliver me. I write with the prayer that these words will strengthen your faith in Jesus, who though he may delay, he is never late. He is near and he is working, through trials and time, to bring about your good and His glory.]
Nobody enjoys waiting. Nobody! This is especially true when we are waiting on God. I say that because when we are “waiting on God,” it means we are waiting for something crucial to our joy that lies totally out of our control. Only God can deliver us and only God can provide what we need. But, for some unknown reason, God is not in a hurry like we are. And, that produces all kinds of turmoil within our tortured hearts. We cry with the psalmist, “How long must your servant wait?” [Ps 119:84]
Apparently, waiting is an important tool in the hands of God. Four times we are commanded to wait on the Lord [Psalm 27 [2 times]; 37:34; Prov. 20:22]. Numerous times the writers of scripture testify to their waiting on God [Ps. 33:20; 38:15; 119:66; 130:5]. Waiting on God is a normal aspect of what it means to be a Christian. We must know that or the enemy will use it to rob us of our faith and joy in Jesus.
The word most commonly used for “wait” is the Hebrew word, qavah [kaw-vaw], which comes from the root which means, “bind together, collect, expect, gather, look, patience, and wait.” It has the sense of taking control of our thoughts and emotions, gathering them together and directing them toward God with expectation of his deliverance. “Hope” would be a synonym for the Hebrew word “wait.” The NIV translates “qavah” as “hope” in one of our most cherished Bible passages: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope [qavah] in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. [Isa 40:30-31]
This is our thirteenth and final visit to this beloved Psalm 27. In it we have heard from a man who is a friend of God, who has gained many enemies who seek to destroy him. But, over and over again he has confessed that he is safe because the Lord is his stronghold . Being a lover of God does not mean that we will have no problems. It means we will have problems. The same God who led us out of darkness into light will lead us from light into darkness. Joseph is faithful and ends up in prison. Daniel is faithful and ends up in the lion’s den. He does this for a loving purpose. He wants us to grow in our knowledge of his grace and mercy. As Mother Teresa once said, “You will never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you’ve got.”
The psalmist is still confident, even though he is under great pressure. Confidence does not mean that you don’t have questions or doubts. It means that at the end of the day you put them away. The things you see and feel may shout at you, calling you a fool for still holding on to God’s promise. But, you talk back to the devil. You talk back to your fears. Like the psalmist we get a hold of the scruff of our neck and say, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” [Ps 42:11]
What I am trying to say is that waiting and hoping is not passive. “Be strong. Take heart!”  It is fighting, striving, cutting no slack. It is taking up the weapons that God has given us and beating back the enemy’s lies at every point of attack. This means that you have a scripture promise in your hand. Positive thinking and “taking authority over the devil” will only bring derision and laughter from the enemy. He does not fear your thinking or your authority. But he does “snap to” when he is confronted by God’s written word! “It is written,” is still the best weapon in the hands of God’s soldiers.
One passage that has become precious for me in battle is Ps 37:3-7. “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.”
It has all the steps necessary for bold and confident waiting. Trust the Lord. Enjoy the safety he provides. Find your joy in Him. He is more than enough! He will give you the desires of your heart because you want what he wants. Give all of the “what ifs” and “how comes” to Him and trust Him to work out all of those things for good. He will take this painful moment in your life and use it to purify your heart by His grace. The end will come. The darkness will fade. And, God will raise you up. He will deliver you and you will honor him. [Psalm 50:15]. He will glorify Himself by saving you. Others will see and rejoice in Him. So, be still. That does not mean “shut up!” It means let your anxiousness go. It means rest in God.
In all of this we must remember that this is a spiritual battle. It is not merely keeping a “stiff upper lip” and “being a man” [or a liberated woman]. We need God’s grace. We need his help. So, we must pray! “Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.” [27:7] Prayer is God’s ordained means of releasing his power in our lives. Even the Scriptures are dead letters unless the Spirit of God opens our eyes to the wonderful promises that are ours in Christ. [Psalm 119:19] We need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we may know God better. [Ephesians 1:17]. Ask God for help. He will give you the wisdom and the strength to persevere no matter where you are or what you are going through. [Psalm 139:9-10] He will guide you. He will hold you fast. He will not let you go!
Be expectant. This not “que sera sera,” “whatever will be will be.” “Whatever,” just doesn’t get it! “I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” While we are waiting we are looking, We are doing all we can to get ready for the moment that God works a miracle in this life, on this planet and “in the land of the living.” We do so, not because we have an attitude that is positive but because we serve a God who keeps his promise.
Andrew Murray once gave this advice to a lady who was suffering greatly with back pain that was incurred in an accident years before.
In time of trouble say, “First, he brought me here. It is by his will I am in this straight place; in that I will rest.” Next, “He will keep me here in his love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as his child.” Then say, “He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons he intends me to learn, and working in me the grace he means to bestow.” And last, say, “In his good time he can bring me out again. How and when, he knows.” Therefore, say “I am here  by God’s appointment,  in his keeping,  under his training,  for his time.
May you experience the grace of God to enable you persevere in hope. May your waiting be filled with the assurance that Jesus Christ is present and working his perfect will in your life. Wait for the Lord.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Dr. Gary Rieben. © Give Me That Book. Email: Grieben@aol.com. Website: www.GiveMeThatBook.org. Postal: GMTB | P.O. Box 1045| La Quinta, CA 92247 USA | 619.829.2390
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