As a society we’re generally terrible at waiting for things. We look for the quickest moving aisle at the supermarket, we want new products and new releases now, and we can’t stand having to wait for slow internet to download a game or movie or song. So many decisions we make as individuals and as a society express this impatience, and this desire for everything to be now reveals superficial, short term thinking. Even some churches make the mistake of believing you can have every blessing of success and health and fulfilment right now. People are drawn powerfully to this message partly because they don’t want to have to wait, but the danger is when things are tough they are led to believe God has somehow abandoned or forgotten them. Our God is so good, he is perfect and kind and loving. He knows us, he cares infinitely for us, and he is in complete control. Because of who he is, we can always trust him and very often our trust in him will be expressed as patience and waiting. Trusting God means trusting his timing. We know his promises are sure, we know our hope is secure, so we can “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer” (Romans 12.12).
Our willingness to wait, to be patient, and remain confident in the Lord, even in the face of uncertainty, trial, and suffering, is the outworking of our faith in his loving rule. James 5.7-8 says
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
The amazing thing that we know is coming, and is definitely worth waiting for, is the Lord’s return. And so we wait for him, with his words reassuring us that:
“The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him. It is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.” (Lamentations 3.25-26)
It’s hard to be patient right now when we don’t know when things will go back to normal, we don’t know when schools will return, if we will keep our job, if we will be able to find a new job. It’s hard to be patient when we haven’t seen friends and family and loved ones and won’t be able to for some time more. Our circumstances are truly challenging.
But no matter what, we can be patient and wait for God, because God is kind and patient with us, and he has a spectacular plan to bless us for eternity. As David writes in Psalm 40:
I waited patiently for the LORD,
and he turned to me and heard my cry for help.
He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and they will trust in the LORD.
So we don’t know when coronavirus will end, we don’t know how bad the economy will be, or what will happen to our society. But we do know God is in control, we do know the future he has in store for us is glorious and guaranteed in Jesus Christ, and so we trust him, we wait for him, and we are patient.
Author: Adrian Russell
Prayer of the Day
Please use this virus, and all the circumstances surrounding it, to bring people to their knees. Turn people’s hearts and minds back to you in repentance and faith. Enable us all to see that, for too long, we’ve based on our life on shifting sand. Bring people all over the world – whether for the first time, or in a fresh way – to turn to the Lord Jesus as their Rock, and to put their hope and trust in him.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.