In Romans 15, Paul spoke a benediction to Jewish and Gentile believers who were desperate for hope of something better than present situation: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (13) David: Ps. 27: 14: “Wait, for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
We have learned to rush, but not to wait; no one wants to hear the word ‘wait;’ we live in a world that craves the immediate. Waiting and hope are con-joined twins and neither will accomplish a goal without the other. While we wait, we wait in hope knowing that God will deliver in due time; He is not in a hurry, yet, He is always on-time. People cannot live purposeful lives without hope; even a glimmer of hope is needed to help us carry on.
Paul wrote of hope as waiting in expectation with the confidence of receiving what is being waited on. The whole world is waiting on the spread of the corona virus to become history – just think of the stories we’ll tell to the next generation! Consider your anxiety when stopped at the rail road crossing and having to wait on an ‘endless train;’ you’ll use expressions such as “I think we’re stuck here forever!” I don’t think this train will ever be gone!” and, “this train has no end!” l can identify with this because I am weak in the area of patience (God is still working on me) God sees both the beginning and end of the train and likewise, our seemingly ‘forever’ problems. A good song to sing while waiting is “I’ve been working on the Railroad.”
Impatience is a common trait in the human spirit. Waiting is one of the most difficult things we are called to do. For example, students wait for graduation, parents wait for the prodigal to come home; we wait for what is worth waiting for, and in the process, we learn “patience.
Real life application: Consider Simeon, a devout Jew who ‘waited’ and watched for the coming Messiah; the Holy Spirit promised him he would not die until he had seen the long-awaited One. Jesus’ parents brought Him to the temple for His presentation to the LORD and immediately Simeon recognized the child as the Messiah; at that point, Simeon’s long years of ‘waiting’ was over – his ‘hope’ was now a reality and he told God it is ok for him to depart now that his eyes had seen the LORD’s anointed (Luke 2) Simeon thought seeing Messiah Jesus was worth the wait!
By Rev. Barbara McFarlane