How Waiting Helps Us To Press On!
April 26, 2020 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Isaiah 40:31)
A. Listen to those words… “wait on the Lord…”
B. Waiting is a Hard Thing To Do!
1. Nobody likes it
a. It is not normally in us to be able to just sit and actually wait – patiently, gladly
b. Especially if you have waited for something, and you see everyone else getting ahead of you by not waiting
2. It’s Hard to Wait
a. How many of us have said, “I can’t wait for summer!” And meant it?
b. How long until dinner? Only to find out it is still an hour off
c. Someone may say, “I can’t wait to have a boyfriend!”
1) “I can’t wait to be married!”
2) “I can’t wait to graduate!”
3) “I can’t wait to get my driver’s license!”
d. Even Waiting for the pizza delivery guy is hard.
e. But at least when you’re waiting for pizza, you know that, yes, it will eventually come.
f. But it is hard to wait when…
1) you have been praying for so long for someone’s health to get better, and they continue to get worse.
2) It’s hard to wait on someone to change and to grow and to mature and become more responsible and more Christ-like
3) It’s hard to wait!
3. Most of us are Impatient – won’t admit it, but we are
a. Impulsive, Anxious, Hasty in our actions, demanding of things on our schedule
b. AND we get angry when things don’t work out like we want, right then and there
4. But Biblical Waiting is a Gift
a. A gift that you give, out of a heart that does the 7 things we are going to learn about today
b. It is a gift when you Patiently wait to meet the right person to marry
c. It is a good attitude to have as you look forward to seeing grandkids again soon
d. It is part of our worship when we eagerly look forward to the rapture of us Christians, and are willing to wait until he decides to come back for us
e. I am eager to gather together with other believers again and have proper church, but am willing to wait until the time is right
f. Patiently waiting for God to bring a great Gospel awakening to Ireland!
5. Sometimes We Willingly Wait
a. For the Pizza man to get here
b. For someone in your family that is always late out the door to finish getting ready
c. Or for a baby to be born – takes 9 months, not instant!
6. Sometimes we are Forced to Wait
a. Like when your parents marched you to your room and grounded you for the afternoon, or the month
b. Like going to Dr.'s surgery, and being told it will be a while, and then when they call your name, you then go into another room, and have to wait more, and then they come and weigh you and take your blood pressure, and then tell you to return to your seat and wait some more! Grrrr.
c. Forced to start over
7. Either Way, Waiting is GOOD for Us
a. Waiting is one of God’s tools that He uses to actually change us
b. Waiting actually works on us – on our lack of faith, our impatience, on our inability to sleep and to sing and just rejoice – waiting changes us
1) Hebews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
2) James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
A. God Has Waited a Lot on Us
1. Waited on the fulness of time to bring His Son into the world (Galatians 4:4) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law
2. Waited as a child to grow up and become a Man, waited until he was 30 before He started preaching and ministering
3. Waited until the exact right time to be taken, and abused and crucified.
a. He said to his own step brothers that THEIR time to died was always ready, but His was reserved for a very specific day
b. John 7:6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.
4. Then when He died, the whole world waited… three long days and nights
5. Now we are waiting for the blessed return of our Lord and Saviour (1Thessalonians 1:9,10) For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
6. He still patiently waits even now – for people to wake up and repent before death
B. What It Means to Wait on God – waiting on the Lord
1. Does not mean be idle – to just sit around and do nothing – or lazy, or asleep
2. Waiting means…
a. Stopping complaining, grumbling, murmurring
b. Stopping the making of your demands, and instead respectfully asking God for what you need, and then stepping back and seeing what HE thinks about it
1) ‘Demands’ are the result of impatience
2) ‘Asking’ is the result of patience
3) Don’t lose your desires or dreams – just don’t be depressed when they don’t happen on your schedule
c. It means sitting back and asking God for HIS will, and being absolutely committed to doing His will, His way, and in His time
d. I bet you didn’t know that!
e. It means having your attention on God and not on your circumstances
1) I am NOT worried about the coronavirus, or the chip implant that is soon coming
2) I am watching GOD moving everything into place for the rapture
3) I am watching GOD causing men’s hearts to fail in fear and desperation
4) And it is only the beginning!
5) You can keep your eyes on the news all day – I will keep my eyes on Jesus!
f. It means being ready to serve God when called for – which is all the time
g. Allowing God to take all the time He thinks is necessary to work everything out right and beautiful!
C. Loads of Scriptures on WAITING on the Lord – a great word to thoroughly learn
1. Psalm 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
2. Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
3. Psa 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
4. Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
5. I don’t know of anybody in the Scriptures who did not have to learn to wait on God
D. God Blesses Waiters
1. Now watch this… Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
2. And listen to Paul quote the same Scripture in 1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
3. Love = waiting!
4. Lamentation 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
5. And especially Isaiah 40:28-31 – we learned about it last week! That God renews the strength of the waiter! Not the worrier! Not the panicker, or the arguer!
E. God Curses the Hasty, Impatient
1. Plenty of us have plenty experience being hasty – doing things without thinking first
2. We are in a constant rush to the future, with little to no thought on today, or on the consequences
3. Like opening our mouths when we should have kept them shut
a. Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
b. Proverbs 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
4. Like buying things constantly that we did not really need. It is a rare thing to not have to have the latest phone, or tablet, or gadget, or watch the latest movie, or know the latest gossip
5. Like investing in bitcoin, and in risky fast money schemes
a. Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
b. Proverbs 28:22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
c. 1Timothy 6:9,10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
6. Like taking revenge instead of leaving it to God
a. Proverbs 20:22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
b. Romans 12:17-19 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
7. I am thanking God for the coronavirus slowing things down for everybody
a. Making it possible to actually enjoy TODAY
b. It is funny isn’t it – that we are ALL being taught to wait
c. So I want to focus your attention on who to wait upon!
F. What follows are a series of seven words that help us understand what waiting feels like
1. These Seven Words Help Us to Actually “Wait on the Lord”
a. They are not magical words
b. But words that need to become active in our lives
c. IF we want to be renewed, recharged, revived, encouraged
2. They help me know what to do when I feel anxious, impatient, worried, stressed out. When we want to quit anything!
a. Want to quit the ministry
b. Want to quit your marriage
c. Want to quit life itself
d. Hmmmm. The Lord Jesus would step into your room, and stand beside you and tell you one word… WAIT!
e. And I will show you why
III. Some Questions I Hope to Help You Answer Today
A. Why does God make us wait so much?
B. Why should I wait?
C. What if I don’t wait?
D. How do I wait?
E. I will try and answer these at the end of this message
F. You get these answered right, and you are on your way to a happy, successful Christian life my friends – seriously!
A. Fret Not (37:1,2)
1. Good old English word.
a. You will find it still being used today “fretting”
b. It means don’t panic, or be anxious, or worry, or become agitated
c. It means to not wear out the floor by your pacing back and forth!
2. Fretting occurs when things aren’t happening in your favour – when things aren’t going your way – when things are out of your control
a. Sarah fretted about how she and Abraham would ever have a child at such an old age, and in the end, it caused her to go and get her Egyptian servant name Hagar and gave her to her husband!
b. What a sad day!
3. This is a command – Don’t fret
4. I know all too well that THAT is not easy, but…
a. We are to be careful for NOTHING – care-full, full of cares and worries
b. Philippians 4:6,7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
c. You need to memorize those verses
5. Do you know what is amazing?
a. We CAN be care-full for nothing
b. We CAN just leave some things in God’s hands, and enjoy the peace that passes all understanding
6. Let me say it again, waiting happens when we refuse to fret, to panic, to gripe, get angry
a. We feel like panicking, and worrying
b. But we refuse to – bite our tongues
c. And instead decide to wait on God to do what we cannot do
d. All because we choose to do the next word…
7. Waiting means Refusing to Fret
B. Trust (Psalm 37:3)
1. A very important word – probably the most important word in the entire Bible. Bigger than love, judgement, heaven, hell – is the word, TRUST
2. Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
3. That is another Scripture to memorize and know well
4. The opposite of trust is disbelief, doubt, constant questioning
a. It means to have confidence in God – to solidly rely upon Him, without hesitation
b. Don’t trust people, but only fully trust God.
c. Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
d. To trust means much, much more than belief
1) Everyone you meet has their own “beliefs”
2) But very few actually trust anything – very suspicious
3) Keep to themselves
4) Afraid of people knowing them and then laughing at them or exposing them
5) People don’t trust people
6) And probably for good reason
e. Your FAITH should result in TRUST, and trust will make it possible to WAIT
6. Waiting on the Lord means Trusting HIM
a. God is working out a perfect plan.
1) Isaiah 64:4) For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
2) Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
b. Think about it
1) What if Abraham had waited just a few more years?
2) What if king Saul had waited just a few more hours?
3) What if Eve had waited until her husband Adam had finished somewhere else in the garden of Eden and came around and dealt with that lying, conniving, scheming, deceiving snake in the grass, the devil?
c. What was their problem?
1) They did not trust that God was in control
2) They got impatient
3) And they messed things up pretty bad – every time
4) Not unfixable, but pretty messed up
7. Let me say it again, waiting happens easily when we fully trust in GOD
8. Waiting means Trusting
C. Delight – be Satisfied with Who and What He Is (37:4,16)
1. Delight is a wonderful word
a. It means more than just enjoy God, it means to thoroughly enjoy God
b. To actually Delight in God
1) We know how to delight in eating ice cream, and chocolate, and in sunshine
2) But waiting easily happens when we are actively delighting in God
a) When we love His word
b) When we love His will for our lives
c) When we enjoy HIS love of us – He loves us first
2. If you are born again, enjoy God, and enjoy what God has already given you
a. Be Content with what we have right now
1) Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
2) 1Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
b. Worship the God of this Book – not the god of your imagination, and or the god of this world.
3. Not that there is no need in your life, or no area to improve, or no goal to strive for
4. But we Christians are not driven by the need to have more anymore…, but to do more, and be more, and give more, and love more, and yes, wait more!
5. It all comes down to whether we take inventory with what God has given us (every good and perfect gift came from God), and are just passionately grateful!
6. Let me say it again, waiting happens when we delight in God
7. Waiting means Delighting
D. Commit (37:5,6) - PRAYER
1. It means
a. To Roll things onto God’s back
b. Hand off what you have been carrying
c. To pray like everything depends upon God
2. The New Testament word is to CAST, throw, toss over to God
a. Like a Rugby Ball
b. Or a hot potato – ever play that game?
3. Let God carry the weight you are bearing for a while
4. So, waiting means PRAYING – don’t waste your moments in worry, PRAY about things
5. THAT is how you learn to sleep at night
a. By casting all your care upon Him as the last thing you carefully do before closing your eyes
b. Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
6. Which leads to our next word
E. Rest (37:7)
1. Waiting means believing GOD is at the helm, in charge of things going on, everywhere
a. In charge of all your circumstances
b. Of your disasters (talk to Job)
c. Of your good days
d. And of all the storms of life
2. And then calls upon us to rest in the midst of the storm – happily wait it out
a. Mark 4:35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
b. Mark 4:36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
c. Mark 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
d. Mark 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
e. Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
3. YOU are not in control, and neither are Doctors, or politicians – only God is!
4. Rest is not something you just can switch on and off
a. Most people have burned out their “rester”
b. So you have to practice resting, and get it in gear
1) By reviewing and believing the Scriptures that tell you that you will be okay – that God is in control (Psalm 31:15) My times are in thy hand…
2) By reading through your Bible – letting it rearrange your thoughts, and then your feelings, and then your actions!
5. Let me say it again, waiting happens when we learn to rest in the storms
F. Cease Your Anger (37:8)
1. That means
a. Don’t let anger be in charge of you
b. Quench it (put it out like dousing a roaring fire), or at least put it on a leash
c. Stop your anger from being allowed to run wild
d. No campfire is safe without limits
e. And no angry pit bull is safe without a firm leash
f. And no anger is safe to just let loose on someone
2. Did you know that your anger usually is the result of being frustrated at things not going your way?
3. And it is probably because you are reaping for doing things your way instead of God’s way
4. And you probably feel guilty and trapped now
a. For being hasty in going into debt
b. Or just marrying whomever you thought you would like
c. Or for going into debt so fast because you were tricked
5. Well, STOP taking out your failures and frustrations on everyone else
6. YOU were the stupid one!
7. Cease your anger
8. Humble yourself, and own up to being hasty and impatient
9. And wait on the Lord to get you out of your own mess
A. And Lastly, Serve While You Are Waiting for Something to Happen (37:21)
1. Waiting does not mean just waiting around idle – that is so wrong
a. There are things God says we are supposed to wait for, and just do nothing but wait
b. But there are things we are work for and wait
2. Christianity is an army of farmers who work hard and wait
a. A farmer works hard, and then waits (1Cor 3; James)
b. Ploughs, and then waits for the fruit to come – 1 month, 2 months, 3 years later
1) Most crops takes months to become ready for harvesting
2) Apple trees take between 2 – 10 years before they produce good apples
3) Olive trees need FIVE years before they start producing edible olives
4) Mango trees also take five years from planting to fruit
c. Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time. EVERYTHING!
3. Christianity is an army of servants, who are supposed to be busy while they wait for their Saviour to return
a. It is Serving God at His wish, at His impulse
b. It means doing whatever you do as if you are serving Jesus
c. Showing mercy to people who don’t deserve it
d. Doing Good FOR God
e. Make sure your life is not spent serving only the boss, and your debts, and your bank, and your mortgage…
f. Do good things for your enemies, not because they deserve it, but because God said for us to do it for Him
4. It WILL pay off in the end
5. IF you serve the Lord, and not yourself!
V. Application - Some final thoughts (Psalm 37:37)
A. Notice the end of the weary waiter… peace! (37:37)
1. Dear Christian, if YOU are tired, and yearn for renewal of inner strength and joy…
2. God offers guaranteed strength – a constant recharge! Guaranteed!
3. He gives strength away not to just everybody…
4. But to the weary waiter!
B. Why should I wait?
1. Because he is faithful
2. Because God knows the end from the beginning
3. And lays out the steps you should take in the order you should take them (37:23)
4. Waiting on the Lord changes us
5. It saves our sanity
6. He restores us while we are waiting
C. What if you or I don’t wait?
1. Hmmmm. That’s obvious
2. We will be full of regrets – buyers remorse!
3. A life of joy and fullness, versus a life of regret
4. Which will it be?
5. Our children and grandchildren could suffer from our impatience
6. And we probably will miss out on that peace at the end of life that Christ gives every believer!
D. How do I wait?
1. By Not Fretting
2. But by Trusting God
3. Delighting in God and His will
4. Committing everything into His hands that you tire of carrying
5. Resting in His good care
6. Ceasing our Anger
7. And Lastly, Serving while you are waiting for something to happen
E. You get these answered right, and you are on your way to a happy, successful Christian life my friends – seriously!
A. If ANYONE is patient, it is GOD
1. The Lord Waits on Us – not willing that any should perish and go to hell
2. Waiting on YOU to repent and believe that His Son took YOUR place in death so you could receive the life changing gift of eternal LIFE!
3. Isa 30:18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
4. Just know this… life does not last forever
a. Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment
b. 2Co 6:2 For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
B. Christian… If you yearn for renewal of inner strength and joy… start being patient with God, and life. And with yourself! God is! Pray and work and trust and rest as you wait on the Lord! You will enjoy life a whole lot more!