Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shepastor: To Encourage You While You Wait…God's Timing

Today, Shepastor offers words to encourage you while you wait for your change to come...

“God’s Timing”

Psalm 31: 9-15

9 Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.

12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

14 But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.

15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

This particular song has been called by one commentator, “David Under Stress.” He named it so because the writer, thought to be David is making an earnest plea to God to deliver him from vile and destructive enemies. Jesus also quoted a verse from this Psalm while dying on the cross, “Into thy hands, I commit my spirit,” (vs. 5). David is longing for God to get him out of this pit, this trouble, this trap that it seems that enemies have laid for him.

But in the midst of his longings and mournful prayers, David also expresses trust. He says, “my times are in your hand.” David didn’t know when or how God was going to deliver him, but he trusted, he expected that God would deliver him, in God’s own time.

It’s hard to operate on somebody else’s time. Independence can be a wonderful thing. I remember I could not wait to get my driver’s license because I was tired of having to wait until somebody picked me up and then having to wait for them to take me home. When I turned 16, I thought the world would stop spinning on its axis if I did not get my drivers license.

I remember my daddy taking me out to the old Rubber Bowl in Akron, putting up sticks to mimic the cones to teach me how to maneuver, how to parallel park etc. I thought I had it down pat until it came time to take the test. Two times I failed because I either touched or knocked over the cones. I received a letter that informed me that if by the third time I did not pass the test, I would have to wait six months. You should have seen me crying and praying out to the Lord, “Lord, PLEASE help me to pass this test.” Praise God, I did!

I didn’t like it, but I had to wait. Waiting is no fun. Now what I just described would be considered by some to be a light matter. When I was 16, I thought the world was going to come to an end, because that was my perspective at 16. But now at age 47, I realize that there are some heavier matters, for which we have to wait that far out distance getting a drivers license so that I can come and go as I please.

The scriptures have given us many examples of the agony of waiting. Abraham and Sarah had to wait until they were well into their golden years before the promise of a son was fulfilled. Hannah had to wait to see if God would grant her petition for a son, all the while enduring the cruel taunting of her husband’s other wife, Penninah, mocking her and calling her barren.

Moses had to wait and wander in the wilderness with the rebellious Israelites, who, no matter how much God did for them, still managed to argue, fight and complain themselves into losing what God had in store for them. Moses had to wait to finally see the promise land yet not enter. Simeon had to wait as he ministered in the Temple, asking God to allow him to see the glory of the coming of the Lord, the child Jesus. Mary and Martha had to wait, wait for Jesus to come after they sent an urgent message that their brother Lazarus had died. They had to wait and watch and wonder.

And sometimes, we have to wait, and watch and wonder- waiting like Job for our “change” to come. Waiting like Sarah or Hannah for something to be birthed in us, waiting like Moses to just get a peek at what God has in store maybe not for our generation, but that which is to come. And sometimes we have to wait for the Lord to come and resurrect that which has died and seems to have no hope.

It’s not easy to wait. Waiting can be hard. Waiting can be discouraging. Waiting can be debilitating. Especially if we are waiting for God to get some enemies off of our backs! If you’ve ever been in a situation like David where somebody is constantly fighting against you, constantly trying to trip you up, constantly trying to lay a trap for you or dig a ditch for you or make some kind of false accusations against you, then you can relate to David’s feelings of anxiety and stress. It’s not easy to wait for deliverance.

But we can learn something from David’s example about how to wait on God in the midst of difficult situations.

(1)David called out to God and placed all his feelings on the line. Get real with God. Tell Him all about how you feel, even if you know it’s not the “Christian way.” David even confessed hatred to God. We know that hatred is wrong, but the only way to get it out of our system is to confess it, look at it and ask the Lord to free us from it. For hatred doesn’t hurt the object of our hatred. Hatred hurts you!

(2) The next thing that you can do is speak in terms of faith. David said, ‘You did not give me into the hands of my enemies.You made my feet to stand in a wide place.” David acknowledged that God was already keeping him. Even though stress was making him sick, David spoke victory in his life. He said that God had put his feet in “wide” places. In other words, God sent David help in such a way that he could go anywhere. God was with him no matter where he went. Therefore, his enemies could not fence him in. He didn’t have to walk around in fear. He encouraged himself by saying, “God is with me!”

(3)David acknowledged that his times are in the hand of the Lord. You can’t do anything to make this valley experience go any faster. But you can look up and live. You can speak those things that be not as though they were. You can say like Job, “all the days of my appointed time, will I wait until my change comes.” David trusted God even in the midst of his most difficult life circumstances. He trusted that God would deliver him, in His time. Pray for deliverance, but accepted that deliverance will come only when God said so. God’s timing is not our timing. God’s ways are not our ways. God’s vision is far above ours.

The Lord knows just when to take you out of the boiling pot that you are in. God knows what He is doing. We don’t know, but that’s where faith comes in. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

Faith says that God is in control and no matter how this thing turns out, God is with me, God is keeping me, God is sustaining me, God will see us through. God will give me the strength I need to climb this high mountain, and when I am too weary to walk anymore, faith declares God will carry me.

Our times are in His hands. Don’t allow yourself to be crucified between the two thieves of yesterday and tomorrow. You can’t change the past and God holds tomorrow. Trust in Him at all times and know that the wait will seem like nothing when He delivers you.

Sometimes we have to wait because God is keeping us from something. Sometimes we have to wait because God is preparing us for something. Sometimes we have to wait because God is using us for something. And sometimes we have to wait simply because God said so!

God knows what He is doing. Trust and keep the faith.

Are you waiting for the Lord to act on your behalf? Have you recently weathered the “waiting” and have words of encouragement and advice for other sisters? Post a comment or send me and email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

1 comment:

  1. Pastor Chris, MJ passed this article on to me although I fit neither in the category of pastor nor woman. No matter how long I wait, the latter just won't happen.

    Waiting seems to be a recurring theme in my recent blog readings. Thanks for your additional thoughts and stories. Blessings--Tom