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Waiting Well: Day 3

Waiting Well blog Day 3

Bible References: 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:12

When you and I find ourselves staying in the same place until an expected event happens, or until someone arrives, or until it is our turn…we may be in for the spiritual battle of our lives. Because we really don’t know how it’s going to turn out, our thoughts become vulnerable to enemy attack.

We observe Abraham succumbing to such tactics while he waited for God to come through on His promise of an heir. Abraham manipulated the wait time by fathering a child with another wife (Genesis 16:1-4) who was not the child God had promised. The waiting-to-be King David also floundered, escaping to the land of the Philistines, thinking that if he did not, Saul would eventually find and kill him (1 Samuel 27:1). Even King Jeroboam faltered in his waiting by creating his own religious system, surmising that if he did not, people would return to Judah under King Rehoboam, contrary to God’s promise to him (1 Kings 12:26).

Suffice it to say, waiting for God to will and act in our lives is not all unicorns and cotton candy. Extended languishing for what appears improbable is the perfect environment for taking matters into our own hands rather than lifting them up in surrender to His sovereignty.

Marking time in uncertainty is precisely when we must keep our eyes on Christ no matter what happens. It’s here that taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ moves our theology into our reality. During the torrents of spiraling doubt, thundering frustration, and piercing divine silence, you and I should focus on what we know.

We cannot be sure what Hannah was thinking as she joyfully journeyed home, but her prayer in the following chapter lends us a clue. She knew the God in whom she believed. Here Hannah expressed gratitude for His power, justice, and His unparalleled goodness.

Like Hannah, you and I do not know for sure how it’s going to turn out. But we can know in whom we have believed (2 Timothy 1:12). We can trust that He has a purpose for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). We can rest assured that our God is not a quitter. He finishes what He starts (Philippians 1:6). And most certainly, we can know that He is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:8).

It is this knowing that enables us to get up and move forward while we wait…

 

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Waiting Well: Day 2

Waiting Well blog Day 2

Bible Reference1 Samuel 1:12-28

A few years ago our family took a road trip across the Midwest. To save time, we drove through fast food restaurants and ate while continuing on the journey. One particular occasion we drove into the line where we waited our turn to order. Within moments, a voice from inside the menu station asked us to, “Order when ready.” We did so, moving forward to the next window where we anticipated receiving our food. There we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, Chad peered into the lit restaurant to discover—we were all waiting on something that was never going to come. The restaurant was closed! The lights were on and there was a motion-sensored recording at the menu station offering to take orders. But no human was actually there. No food was coming.

When our waiting feels like a line of perpetual uncertainty, without answers—much like Hannah’s waiting, there is a danger of losing faith that God is listening. Such long spans of time tempt us to question the character and faithfulness of God. Taking in our surrounding, sometimes there is no evidence He is answering our prayer. We wonder if He will come through for us. In these critical moments, you and I need a strategy to meet such precarious predicaments in victory. Hannah, again, waits well.

Hannah clings to the only One who can help her. She resolves to believe He will bring to fruition that which she awaits. Then she does something most of us don’t. In the middle of her waiting, Hannah chooses to rejoice. Before it is her turn, prior to seeing any evidence that God will answer her petition, Hannah chooses to praise God…anyway.

Before it is your turn–before anything you have asked comes to fruition, praise Him! When you cannot see through the waiting; when encouragement does not come; and your enemy pummels you with vicious fiery darts until you find yourself in a desperate place—rejoice anyway!

If He makes you wait, there is divine purpose in it.

May we not miss the opportunity to wait well.

Cheri

 

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*

Waiting Well: Day 1

Waiting Well blog graphics

Bible ReferencesPsalm 27:7-141 Samuel 1:1-11.

You and I do not like to wait! In fact, recently I found myself waiting behind an irate woman upset because she was asked to wait six minutes for her French fries to cook. The audacity! She determined this injustice was personal and verbally abused the young attendant for her incompetence and bigotry before the entire establishment. Berating the innocent worker did not cause her fries to cook faster. She simply chose to wait poorly.

Unfortunately I have personal examples of making the same choice. I have been annoyed with slow moving lines, irritated in traffic, agitated by my children, and accusatory of those who do not seem to understand the importance of my needs being met before theirs. I, too, have behaved badly toward others when asked to wait.

My patience is often tested toward God and His sovereignty to will and work in my life according to His perfect timing. Unfortunately my record in this area can also be found wanting. I have questioned God’s faithfulness, sulking, crying and losing hope that He cares for me. Does God really love me as much as He loves those around me who are not waiting on Him to move? Maybe He is not going to do what He promised? How long must I call out to Him and there be no answer? This waiting causes me to wonder if God is still speaking, skeptical of whether He is ever going to act.

When our waiting causes us to question like this, we are in good company. Hannah finds herself waiting on God to act in her life; and there is no guarantee He will respond to her waiting with what she desires. Instead, Hannah waits in uncertainty and even disgrace; ridiculed and tormented by her rival. However, we see her refrain from going ballistic and faltering in her faith. Instead, Hannah chooses to wait well.

In the heart of her distress, Hannah does what you and I should learn to do. Hannah clings to the Father. When we are asked to wait, instead of losing our patience or abandoning our reliance on God, we should cling to Him.

Check out this short video clip to learn more.

Cheri

 

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*

Day 6: Is God Ever Going to Act?

Day 6 banner

Bible Readings for Day 6: Is God Ever Going to Act? 1 Kings 11:26-40; 12:28-33; 2 Peter 3:9.

While Jeroboam heard God’s plan for his life, he seemed to want to help Him accomplish the plan right then, putting his cart before his horse. I know someone else who does that too: me. I know all too well how this works: I think I have received a specific word…so I begin working all the angles to bring it to pass.

Loving God with our whole hearts requires having patience to wait for God to move. We submit to His timing. Scripture contains the memo in 2 Peter 3:9 I always miss: Although it feels like He’s late, God is always on time.

The choice to rebel against God’s timing is a heart issue. We want God’s promise now. We fear that if we wait we might miss the blessing, or maybe this great thing will never happen. We think, I’d better act now, before it’s too late.

The truth is, just as for Barak, our fear of forfeiting our blessing while we wait on God’s timing is misplaced. God will not give your hero-making moment to another unless you refuse to believe Him. Even then, I’ve known Him to be gracious. Many times I have waited for God to do what He said He would do, only to lapse into discouragement, questioning my ability to hear Him. This is not what Jeroboam was doing. He was taking the blessing prematurely by force.

Choosing not to await God’s perfect timing—attempting to orchestrate His blessing ourselves—is always disastrous. When Solomon eventually died, everything changed within a matter of days. Solomon’s son Rehoboam acted upon advice that convinced the majority of people to reject him as king, inadvertently facilitating Jeroboam’s ideal opportunity—just as God promised. The prophecy became Jeroboam’s reality.

However, when Jeroboam perceived problems on the horizon, instead of relying on the Word of God, he forged his own path. Unfortunately, that progression of heart-to-thought is familiar to me too. I lose sight of what God said, exaggerating my challenges through my “life lenses.” Overwhelmed with a sense of urgency to act, I start thinking my way is the only solution. This is where heroes are lost, and this is exactly what happens to Jeroboam.

Let us not miss the blessing because we have given up on God’s timing.

He will not be late.

We will not be disappointed.

Cheri

Is God Ever Going to Act? from Cheri Strange on Vimeo.

2 Peter 3.9 downloadClick here to download this FREE printable!

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