Now, here’s the thing…
Maintaining that kind of disposition is more a matter of choice than it is a matter of circumstances. At least for a lot of us. While some can look over the landscape of their current situation and see nothing other than dreams and goals that have been realized and a total absence of frustration and longing, most of us have a list of things that we’ve been praying about that have yet to come to fruition. And to make matters even more exasperating, the things that we’ve been praying over – rather than there being any improvement, it would seem that the sense of urgency has become even more intense.
So, how then, can we be “poised on the threshold of great things?” Where’s the rationale for phrases like a “fresh start” and a “clean slate” if, in many ways, we’re just going back to the same old grind and praying over the same situations?
I’ll tell you how.
Don’t Doubt Him
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Num 23:19)
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. (1 Cor 1:20)
We’re not waiting on a bank’s decision or a supervisor’s favor. We’re not depending on a paycheck or a specific diagnosis. Our hopes, our dreams, our provision, our prosperity – all of it – is something that comes from the Hand of our King.
His Hand, while it is sometimes clenched in a fist in the contest of wrath and justice, is open and generous when it comes to hearing and answering prayer. More than that, He is absolutely and utterly dependable. There’s no reason to doubt Him.
Don’t Rush Him
The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly. (Is 60:22 [see also Hab 2:3])
Isaiah wrote during the expansion of the Assyrian empire. These are the peoples that would conquer the Northern Kingdom of Israel and threaten King Hezekiah at one point (Is 36:1). Israel is in a very precarious position and their total destruction can be seen on the horizon. To speak of any kind of restoration, let alone prosperity is ludicrous.
But the wall would be rebuilt, the Temple would be restored and the exiles would return. In a similar way, a group of believers that numbered no more than 120 (Acts 1:15) grew to a number of churches that covered the planet.
And it did happen “swiftly..!”
Not only does God keep His promises, but He delivers on those promises at just the right time.
Dr Tom McCoy once preached a sermon where he mentioned how with God, it’s never a question of “time,” in terms of Him being either slow or punctual. Rather, it’s all about “timing.”
Whatever it is that you’re waiting on, rest assured that there’s a million different variables being orchestrated in a way that translate to the best possible outcome. Don’t rush the process and don’t allow yourself to think that God is dragging His feet. He’s moving and whatever it is that you’re waiting on, it’s coming and it will be worth the wait.
Don’t Miss Him
Oswald Chambers once said that the greatest strain in life is waiting on God. He’s not wrong. As human beings, we’re wired for the empirical. Faith isn’t always easy to come by when circumstances point to something that is the polar opposite of what we’re praying and hoping for.
Yet, we can trust Him and while that’s not always an easy or a logical choice, there it is. So, we put aside our tendency to question Him and we subordinate our inclination to take matters into our own hands and we move forward.
But we don’t have to be stressed or agitated while we’re waiting.
If you’ve ever engaged in any kind of weight loss program, you know the motivating dynamic that occurs when you notice some progress. However laborious or inconvenient it may be to abstain from certain foods, that sacrifice becomes far more palatable when you start to see the results you’re working towards.
You are always being moved forward when you’re putting your self and your situation in His Hands.
In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” (Jn 5:17)
Nothing is wasted. Not a single moment, not one sacrifice, not one disappointment, not one sanctified effort. It’s all a part of what God is doing and when you make a point of processing your situation through the lens of God’s Sovereignty and Activity, you can experience the kind of optimism that’s characteristic of someone who knows that their situation is being handled by the One that all situations answer to.
That’s the aroma of a happy new year!
Don’t doubt Him, don’t rush Him and don’t miss Him!
Go get ‘em!