Summary: Wait on God and experience the joy of fulfilled promises and answered prayer.
A couple had two boys, 8 and 10, who were always getting into trouble. The parents were sure that if any mischief occurred in the community, their two young sons were involved. They didn’t know what to do with their boys.
Then the mother heard about a clergyman who'd been successful in disciplining children, so she brought the boys to him. The minister asked to see the boys individually, and the youngest went first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked, “Where is God?” The boy made no attempt to answer. The question was repeated in a sterner voice but still no answer. Then the minister shook his finger at the boy and asked in an even sterner voice, “Where is God?” At that the boy ran from the room and into a closet and slammed the door.
His older brother followed him in and asked what happened. The younger brother replied, “We're in trouble this time. God is missing, and they think we did it!” (The Bridge; www.PreachingToday.com)
These days, it seems like God is missing from many places in our country, and we’re in trouble! That’s why so many of us are praying for revival. We’re praying for a mighty visitation of God again, asking for the powerful sense of His presence.
But what would happen if God actually did show up? What would happen if God actually did pay us a visit? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Genesis 21, Genesis 21, where we see what happened when God visited Abraham and Sarah.
Genesis 21:1 “The Lord visited Sarah” The word is used often in the Old Testament of the mustering (or the gathering) of troops for battle. In this context, God musters the resources of heaven on Sarah’s behalf and gives her a child in her old age.
Genesis 21:1-3 The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. (ESV)
The name, “Isaac,” means laughter!
Genesis 21:4-7 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (ESV)
God did the impossible and brought laughter into their home. He gave a 100-year-old man a son, along with his 90-year old wife. It’s so incredible, it makes us laugh. Only here, it’s the laughter of pure joy. Previously, when God told Abraham and Sarah they would have a son in their old age, they laughed because they couldn’t believe it. Now, the laugh of doubt has become the laugh of delight, as God keeps His promise to them.
So wait on the Lord like Abraham and Sarah did. Wait on Him and…
EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF FULFILLED PROMISES.
Let your laughter of doubt become the laughter of delight when God does what He said He would do. Let Him bring laughter into your home again as he keeps his word to you.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re too old or too young. It doesn’t matter whether you have the physical resources or not. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are. God musters the resources of heaven on your behalf to give you the joy of His fulfilled promises. All you need to do is wait on Him.
When I was growing up, our family, every summer, spent the last full week of August at Central Manor Bible Conference. It was an old fashioned camp meeting with an open-air tabernacle, surrounded by cabins in the woods of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They had five preaching services a day for the adults and special programs for the children and the youth.
My favorite speaker in those days was Rev. Art Larson, who took a special interest in the teenagers. I remember him gathering us teens together and talking about his days in college. There was a man on campus who seemed very spiritual. At first, they thought he was putting on a show, but as they examined his life, they knew he was for real.
One year, this student went through some deep trials, including the loss of a parent. Even so, he continued to exhibit a joy in the Lord that was unexplainable.
Then one day, he left his Bible in the room after a campus Bible study. Art Larson thought to himself, “Now’s my chance to see what makes this guy tick.” So he picked up the Bible and thumbed through it. He noticed something very strange – several “T’s” and “TP’s” scattered throughout the entire Bible.