Jump Start # 2171
Psalms 27:13-14 “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.”
David’s words in this Psalm shows an honesty and a hope that is grounded in the Lord. So often, that seems to be missing. People have a hope that all will get better, but there is no substance for that. It’s not a true hope, it’s just a wish. What kept David going was the Lord. What was going to keep David going was waiting for the Lord. Twice in the final sentence, as if talking to himself and assuring himself, David says, “Wait for the Lord.”
Consider the two major thoughts here:
First, the honest truth about his condition. “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord…” I would have given up. I would have been crushed. I would have no reason to carry on. David’s past victories over fierce animals and over a giant, weren’t accomplishments that sat on the shelf in his home. He knew that it was the Lord who gave him those victories. Without the Lord, there was no going on.
Unless I had believed, shows the raw reality of where David was. Have you ever gone down that road before? Had it not been for the Lord, unless you had believed, where would you be today? Think about this for a moment. If you were not faithfully walking with the Lord, what do you think your life would look like today?
- How many marriages do you think you would have gone through by now if you were not a Christian?
- What kind of relationship would you have with your kids today if you were not a Christian?
- What kinds of attitudes would you have if you were not a Christian? Would you be mean and grouchy?
- How would you run your business or be as a worker if you were not a Christian? How dishonest would you have turned out?
- What language would you use if you were not a Christian?
- Would you have served time in prison by now if you were not a Christian?
- Would you be addicted to alcohol or drugs if you were not a Christian?
- Would you even be alive today if you were not a Christian?
- Would you even think about God at all?
God has changed our lives for the better. “I would have…unless I had believed,” is a serious look at what could have been our story, had someone not shown us Jesus. Being a Christian is not about sitting in a church building on Sunday mornings. It’s about a life that has been transformed by Christ. Our belief in Jesus has rewired our thinking, changed our behavior, molded our attitudes, and made us who we are today. The person that so many admire, love and are benefited from, would certainly not be this way had it not been for Jesus. The Lord has changed us. The Lord has given us a purpose to pursue and a work to fulfill in His kingdom. Life is all the better because of the Lord. Indeed, the abundant life has made a better today and a much brighter tomorrow. There is hope because of the Lord.
Second, David tells himself to wait on the Lord. “In His time,” is more than a hymn that we sing, it’s a principle in the Bible. Abraham had to wait twenty-five years to see a promise of God fulfilled. The bent over woman suffered for eighteen years before her healing came. Patience may be a virtue, but it’s hard to deal with. Our instant society doesn’t like long lines, traffic jams and no cell service. We become impatient. And, when that happens, we try to take matters into our own hands. I’ve seen cars driving through the grass because the drivers couldn’t wait in the long lines of construction traffic. I’ve seen cars making U-turns, right in front of No U-turn signs. I’ve also seen many of these folks getting pulled over by the police. Impatient. I want it and I want it right now. ATM’s, self-check out, instant oatmeal, are more than convenient, they satisfy a society that is impatient.
But here, David realized that he had to wait upon the Lord. Wait for the Lord. The Lord will come through. The Lord will help. The Lord is the answer. But you must wait upon the Lord. Keep praying. Keep worshipping. Keep trusting. Don’t lower your hope. Don’t drop the banner and go home. Don’t give up. Wait for the Lord.
Why does the Lord make us wait? We are not told why, other than He is the Lord. He doesn’t work for us. He is not our servant that comes running when we ring a bell. That may have something to do with this. But also, we are not the only person in the universe, nor are we the only person praying to Him. Two people, living close to each other. One prays for sunshine so he can play with the kids outdoors. The other prays for rain so his garden grows. Two prayers. God will answer them as He sees fit.
And our having to wait, becomes a test of our faith. God grows patience in us by having us wait. How do you handle waiting? Sometimes one has to wait, like in traffic. It’s not a choice. But while waiting, what happens to you on the inside. Upset? Bothered? Impatient? Demanding? Boiling? There is a difference between waiting and patience. Often, we have to wait. Some do well with that and others become unglued. Wait on the Lord. What are you doing while you are waiting? Are you praying? Are you trusting? Are you worshipping? Are you still with the Lord? Maybe God waits to see what you will do. Waiting is hard on little kids and much too often it’s hard on us big ones as well.
Wait for the Lord. Wait, for the Lord is coming. Wait, the Lord will come through. Wait. Don’t seek alternative solutions. Don’t find other answers. Wait. While you wait, pray. While you wait, turn to Scriptures. While you wait, continue doing what you know is right. In His time. The Lord’s not in a hurry. The Lord made time, but we made haste. Just slow down. Breathe. Reflect. Observe. Wait for the Lord.
Great words for our times. Great words for busy schedules and lives that seem rushed all the time. Where would we be without the Lord? Wait on the Lord? The Lord has waited on us. It took some of us a long time to believe. It took some of us a long time to get serious about our faith. The Lord never gave up on us. He never said, “Too late, you missed it.” He waited and so can we.