Summary: When Jesus died the disciples had to wait for the promise of the Father. None of us like to wait. If we are willing to wait we will discover hope waits in order to develop us!
Intro: How many of you like to wait? I will just be honest I don’t like it at all. In fact I do everything I can to keep from waiting. I try to calculate in my non-mathematical head which Wal-Mart line will be the quickest and in my hurry I end up choosing the wrong one. I don’t like waiting for items I order to come in so I often pay much more to ship them as quickly to my door as possible. We don’t like waiting for our food so some brilliant person invented fast food. Which so many people try to get all at once we all end up waiting.
So I want you to think through a couple scenarios with me to get started. (Used and adapted from John Ortberg)
Scenario 1: You are waiting at a tollbooth and the car in front of you is having a long conversation with the tollbooth attendant. How do you respond? 1) You are happy. Maybe one of them is sharing the gospel and you see an opportunity to form a small group. 2) You think of what you want to say to the tollbooth operator like invite Him to our Easter Service: Hope Rising. 3) You attempt to drive your vehicle between the tollbooth and the other person’s car.
Scenario 2: You have been sitting in the waiting room of the Drs. Office for an hour.
1) You are grateful for the chance to catch up on your Bible reading and the 1990 farmer’s almanac.
2) You tell the other patients you have a very contagious and fatal disease in order to empty the waiting room. 3) If you like the more dramatic you hyperventilate in order to get immediate attention.
These are casual daily kinds of waiting. There are more serious kinds of waiting. The single person waiting and wondering if God will ever send them a Godly spouse to spend their life with. The waiting of a couple that longs for a child. The waiting of a spouse caught in hurting marriage that seems impossible to change. The waiting of God’s call on your life to be fulfilled.
Why on earth does God make us wait? Let me ask you a question. Do things that happen fast or slow settle in the best. If 3 inches of rain comes in an hour or 3 inches of rain come in a day or two which settles and sinks in better? The slow and constant rain that comes over days and maybe even a week.
The same is true with the best things from God. The character we have the things we talk about the things we practice are those that have sunk deeply into our souls as Jesus has consistently and patiently taught them to us again and again. Why do we have to wait for so many things? Because in God’s infinite wisdom He knows when we are or are not ready to either carry a burden or enjoy a blessing.
Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” This is in the context of those that do evil and wicked things seeming to get away with them. We are called to obey by waiting on God. This is a waiting with anticipation. The word literally means to twirl. Like you kids do right before Christmas.
Why does hope wait? Why does God make us wait for so many things? He has the power to zap into us all that we need to be right?!! Because what the Bible reveals to us is that the Journey is just as important as the destination! God’s design for our waiting is our development.
Jesus is dead and now the disciples believe that their hope is dead. Then Jesus appears to them first to the women and then to the men and big groups of the disciples. So we think that Jesus will tell them to get moving but what does He say? Acts 1:4 “wait for the promise of the father.”
So what do the disciples do? Acts 1:6 Jesus how much longer do we have to wait? Are you kidding? Jesus just told them to wait for the promise of the father. It is terribly obvious that all of us disciples need development. We must learn to wait.
I. Waiting on God is designed to develop us as believers
A) Our vertical relationship – Heavenward (Isaiah 40:8)
The word translated trust is better translated wait. What a full word it is too. If is full of truth and power. This Hebrew word Qavah here means to collect and bind together.
God’s clear design in our waiting for answered prayer, promised provision, healing, restored relationships etc is to develop our relationship with Him!
1) Waiting on the Lord is first desiring God