Waiting in Hope

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Bible people spent a lot of time waiting. Some waited well. Others, not so well.

Abraham waited 25 years between the promise that God would make of him a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3) and the arrival of the son of that promise, Isaac. Though he believed God despite the advanced ages of himself and his wife, he sometimes tried to manipulate the circumstances and “help God.” He suggested his servant could become his heir. Then he had a son by another woman. But this child was not the son of promise.

Moses “supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand” (Acts 7:25) when he defended one of them by killing his Egyptian attacker. Instead, Moses ended up fleeing for his life to Midian. He apparently put thoughts of his people behind him. Some 40 years later, God had to have a long conversation with Moses to convince him of God’s call and enablement. (Exodus 3).

The children of Israel waited over 400 years before they were delivered from captivity in Egypt. The people welcomed news of their deliverer at first (Exodus 4:29-30), but complained through much of their way and even wanted to go back when things got hard.

David humbly waited from the time he was anointed king to the time he could actually claim his kingdom. He showed respect to God’s anointed and never marched into the throne room declaring his “rights.”

Mary’s waiting was interrupted. While dreaming and planning of her upcoming wedding to her betrothed, she received the most startling news that she was to be the mother of the Messiah. Her response: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word,” (Luke 1:38), even though she didn’t know how her fiance or others would respond or what it would cost her.

Simeon “was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him,” and Anna “began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:25-38). These were blessed to see and recognize the Son of God in His infancy.

The disciples waited three days between the crucifixion and resurrection. But they had forgotten or never quite understood the promise that Jesus would rise again in three days. Imagine what sorrow, despair, regret they felt.

Hebrews 11 mentions many who “died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar.” Even though they didn’t receive their answers in their lifetimes, they looked ahead to that “better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:13-16).

So there are right and wrong ways to wait. We can manipulate our own answers or go back on, or forget, God’s promises. Or we can wait humbly and faithfully even when circumstances seem to go against everything we hope for.

Who knows how long we’ll have to wait in isolation before covid-19 is conquered. There are plenty of things to do while we wait.

Many of the psalms give us encouragement while waiting. Here are just a few:

Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long …

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.

Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. (Psalm 25:3-5, 15-18, 20-21).

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14).

From Lamentations 3:24-26:

The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Paul shares in Romans 8:18-19, 22-25:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God ... or we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Other passages give us instruction:

… Be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes (Luke 12:36-37a)

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace (2 Peter 3: 14)

I hope our waiting in isolation is not long. But meanwhile, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning (Psalm 130:5-6).

(Sharing with Inspire Me Monday, Global Blogging, Senior Salon, Hearth and Soul,
Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, Happy Now, InstaEncouragement,
Recharge Wednesday, Worth Beyond Rubies, Anchored Abode,
Let’s Have Coffee, Heart Encouragement, Faith on Fire,
Grace and Truth, Blogger Voices Network.

 

25 thoughts on “Waiting in Hope

  1. I took a personal day today (to use one up before i lose it but also because my soul needs to be refreshed)and I’m so glad I logged into my blog to work on a devo post and saw this!! I needed this today, Barbara. Thank you!! I am going to meditate on some of these Scriptures you have listed. I enjoyed reading them.

  2. I like the Biblical mentions of waiting you quoted! I feel like I’ve waited a lot in life (I know, most people probably feel this way). A biggie for me was waiting til I was 31 to get married. For me at least, one of the hard things about waiting is not knowing when or if the thing waited for or through will end. I guess that is where faith comes in …

    • I do think not knowing the length of time or the outcome makes waiting so hard. When we read these narratives in the Bible, we see the answer in just a few paragraphs or pages. But in the middle of it, they had no idea how it was all going to work out.

  3. There are many good examples of patience in the Bible. I always find Mary’s acceptance of her circumstances astonishing. I want to be like Mary, following God’s plan unquestioningly. Unfortunately, I am more often like Thomas, the doubter. Thanks for this encouragement, Barbara!

  4. This is such a good post for this time, Barbara. Thanks for it. I want to be one who waits “with eager longing” but too often I struggle in the wait. This was great encouragement.

  5. Such a good post as we wait to return back to life. May we be patient in this time of waiting, knowing, trusting the Lord to be with us, and assured He holds each of these days in His hands.

  6. I am a TERRIBLE waiter, so whenever I read these stories from the Bible about people waiting, oh…they get me.
    The one I feel the most is Moses on Mt. Sinai waiting 40 days for God to speak. I always wonder how in the world he didn’t just assume he’d gotten the wrong instructions.

    • Waiting is not my best thing, either. I don’t see why God can’t give the answer or meet the need *now.” I know on one level He knows best, but sometimes I still chafe instead of waiting patiently and hopefully.

  7. My son is taking a Hebrew class. Last week in homeschooling he had to study one of the prophets. We chose Moses as it seemed very fitting with Passover. I always think about him leading a group of people for 40 years!

  8. Lovely post Barbara, I like how you brought all those who had trouble in waiting together…It is a challenging time at the moment for many, though the slow life is not new to me…I do miss seeing my family.
    Remember you’re always welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer,
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

  9. Amen! I’m not an easy waiter, but I’m getting better with practice. Unless I’m waiting for the perfect shot of a bird or animal, then I can wait for hours. It’s funny how our waiting muscles do much better in some situations than others, isn’t it?

    • That’s true–I hadn’t thought of that. I think we can get impatient with God because we know He can meet the need or give the answer. But He works in us through the waiting as well as the answers.

  10. Barbara, I love all the Scripture you used here! This is such a great time of great waiting! I hope we are using it wisely. I have to keep reminding myself not to waste it!!!

    Pinned.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  11. What wonderful Biblical examples of waiting on God! I agree with you, Barbara. I hope this waiting isn’t too terribly long, but I do trust God is working in the deep chasms of our hearts as we learn greater trust and dependence in encountering him as our great Comforter during this season . . .

  12. Waiting can be frightening or dull depending on the anticipated outcome. We need to focus on what we can do while we’re waiting and make the most of our time, relying on a better future, hoping for a better life. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

  13. Pingback: Stray Thoughts from Isolation | Stray Thoughts

  14. Pingback: End-of-April Reflections | Stray Thoughts

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