Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV) I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Confidence. Courage. Be brave. Wait. What are you waiting on today? Is there a promise or purpose that that seems to stubborn to come? Waiting on the Lord can be the most challenging part of our faith in God. Yet, our confidence is vital to the courage needed to wait on God’s Goodness in the land of the living. It is easy to make excuses for ourselves. And even easier to excuse God from His Own Word when the wait causes distraction, discouragement and disengagement. It is easier to make an excuse for Him than to wait on the Lord sometimes. Do you struggle with long waiting times?
Be strong. Take Heart. Wait for the Lord. Our strength comes from the Lord. It is all about the authority and power of Jesus Christ. God’s timing is perfect because He is perfect. He is Sovereign. He set the world into motion and put it on course. He prerecorded our entire life before our first breath. He even gave us a measure of faith and placed eternity as a compass in our heart to find our way home. The Word of God is to make everything beautiful in His Time and to use every detail of our life for our good. These are the words that help fortify our faith in Jesus Christ. Yet do you feel strong today? How’s your heart? Are you still waiting?
Joshua 1:6-9 (NIV) “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Did Joshua ever expect to lead the Children of Israel into the Promise? He had followed Moses all the way to the edge. But now Moses wasn’t going into the Promised Land, it would be Joshua. Life unexpected. It happens all of the time. We expect God to do it this way based on past experience. God doesn’t meet our expectation – He exceeds them. I wonder what would happen if we stopped looking for the Lord in the ordinary and pressed for the extraordinary. What if we gave up our natural feelings to embrace supernatural revelation and lived for it? What if we actually believed what the Word of God promises enough to wait patiently until it came to pass in our life? We must learn to be strong. Be courageous. Be careful to obey God’s Word seeking the promises within. Not partial or delayed obedience which is complete disobedience, but the kind of obedience that followed God’s Commands to the letter – the greatest of these is love. The kind of love that lays its life down for others as Christ did for us. What a different experience church might be? Rather than volunteering, men and women of God understood and lived a life of serving others. It says that those who are careful to do everything written in God’s Word will be prosperous and successful. But first, we must be strong and courageous in our faith. Be willing to wait on the Lord and also willing to go wherever He goes.
Mark 6:49-52 (NIV) But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
Immediately following feeding 5,000 or more people with a young boy’s lunch, the disciples were directed to get into a boat and go ahead of Jesus to Bethsaida. The Lord was going to pray. The men obeyed Christ. However, the men encountered some troubled waters. Jesus walked out on the water to meet them in their distress but they did not recognize their rescuer. They thought Jesus to be a ghost and were overtaken by fear. Jesus tells them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” I wonder how many times Jesus comes to us as rescuer but our emotions keep us from recognizing Him. Maybe it is personal preference or religious conviction that cause us to not see that He is with us. The disciples had just experienced yet another great miracle of God but their hard hearts were impenetrable. If in this moment, the response of Christ surprised them. We must know and understand that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us or run the risk of not recognizing Him when He comes.
What are you waiting for today? What is your deepest desire and longest running prayer? Do you have a promise yet to be fulfilled? Pretty sure we all do. Do you have purpose burning you up on the inside but locked away in the shadow of impossibility? We serve an Impossible God who does the impossible for His Children. We must wait. We must be courageous. We must be confident in His Word which requires knowing what it says. We must rebuke fear from our life and embrace faith in Jesus wholeheartedly. We are on a mission – to see the Goodness of God in the land of the living. To be the masterpieces that He promised to make from all our mess. Every part, piece and detail has a place in the grand scheme of His Handiwork. It requires waiting. It requires bravery. You must have courage that Jesus will never let you down. You must finish the course to receive the prize. I challenge each of you as I challenged my own self – Be strong. Take Heart. Wait for the Lord. Amen and amen.
Psalm 130:5-6 (NIV) I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.