Monday 20 April 2020

Would You Wait?

As I meditate on resurrection this year, my mind goes to the disciples and all that went through their being during the Holy Week. What a sequence of highs and lows this period was for them. They followed Jesus because they believed he was the Messiah and were looking forward to an EARTHLY kingdom. (Luke 24:21) 

That was why Peter confidently rebuked Jesus when he spoke about his death and resurrection. (Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33) That was why James and John wanted to secure their positions ahead of time. (Mark 10:35-40) The climax of their expectation was Jesus's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. (Matthew 11:1-11) 

Just how much they thought this was it. He was going to take the kingdom now. He was going to sit on David’s throne. Their deliverance from their Roman oppressors has finally come. Just how wrong they were. They were far from the truth. They were far off from God’s plan.

In the midst of their euphoria, God burst their bubble. What a bad dream it must have been for them the night Jesus was arrested. “Can it be?” they must have asked. “Can this be happening? He had all the signs of the prophet (Luke 24:19-21; John 6:68-69),” they must have said. “How can this be happening to him?” 

Just how much they longed to wake from this bad dream. Just how much they wished it was only but a dream. Imagine what was going through Peter's mind as he followed at a distance to the High Priest’s courtyard (Matthew 26:58). “This cannot be happening,” he must have told himself. 

“The Lord must have a plan in all of these. He surely cannot be helpless. I had seen him walk right through the crowd when they wanted to push him down a cliff. (Luke 4:28-30) He sure can save himself from this. Well, I am not going to miss out on the action”, he told himself. “There must be a hidden agenda in all of these.”

So you can imagine the circumstance under which he was challenged on his relationship with Christ. He surely knew what he was saying when he told the Lord he would never deny him. However, the ground around him had changed. His basic belief was being challenged. His whole world has just been turned upside down. 

The thing he based his whole life on was being questioned. His faith was being shaken. He was not sure what to believe. He was looking for something to hold on to. He was waiting, howbeit with shaky feet and shaky hands. Even though Peter denied the Lord three times (Matthew 26:69-75; Luke 22:54-61), that singular occurrence of Christ's prophecy coming to pass brought him back to life. 

He could finally see God’s handwriting on the wall. Even though Christ looked helpless, he could see that he was still in control. Even though he could not understand what was going on at this point in time, he was ready to wait for him. He could finally see there was a plan in all the seeming madness and chaos.

Peter went ahead to preach this message to the rest of the disciples in obedience to the Lord’s mandate. (Luke 22:32) He that seemingly fell was the one to strengthen those that seemingly never fell. When life hits you like a bad dream, will you, like Peter, seek God’s light and wait on Him? Or, will you reach an immediate decision to desert Him? 

The way of victory, the way of life, is to always wait on God. He is never out of control. Even amidst chaos, He has everything under control. Let God be true, but every man (circumstance, challenge, thing – visible or invisible) a liar (Romans 3:4). Weeping may endure for the night, but joy surely comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5) There is a resurrection for us, only if we wait. There is a resurrection on the other side of death.

Prayer: "God teaches us what it means to have faith in silence. When we face trials that are beyond our understanding, help us to find peace. Help me be joyful in hope, patient, in affliction, and faithful in prayer. You set all things in accordance with your time. Remind us to wait patiently, and find peace in your plan." (Dick Woodward)

Scriptures for Further Study: Lamentation 3:25-27; Isaiah 20:18, 40:30-31; Psalm 27:13-14, 37:7, 62:5, 123:2; Micah 7:7; James 1:2-4, 12; Romans 8:25

More Thoughts on Waiting:

“Father, teach us all how to wait.” (Andrew Murray)

“The only thing harder than waiting on God is wishing that you had!” (Steven Furtick)

“I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on the object we’re waiting for.” (Charles F. Stanley)

“Hope is waiting for something to change. Faith is waiting for God’s promise to manifest. Live in Faith!” (Ray Popham)

"We will not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited on us." (C.H. Spurgeon)

"God does some of His best work in caves. Caves remind us that what we are becoming is more important than what we are accomplishing." (Anonymous)

"Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts." (Elizabeth Elliot)

“A soul cannot seek close fellowship with God or attain the abiding consciousness of waiting on Him all the day, without a very honest and entire surrender to all His will.” (Andrew Murray)

“Spiritual transformation doesn’t take place when we get what we want. It takes place while we’re waiting. It is forged in us while we’re waiting, hoping, and trusting, even though we have yet to receive what we long for. Spiritual transformation happens in the waiting room.” (FaithGateway)

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