Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 2

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 2

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion . . . Blessed are all who WAIT for Him.  (Isa 30:18 NIV, emphasis added)

What does the verse above mean when it talks about “waiting for the Lord”?  I believe that it can refer to two different concepts.  The first is about waiting for the Lord to answer our prayers and supplications.  The second is about “waiting on God”—spending time in His presence and waiting to hear His voice and His wisdom.

In our previous blog article (Part 1), we covered the concept of waiting for the Lord to answer our prayers and supplications.  Today, we focus upon the second idea of waiting on God.

When we wait on the Lord, we spend time in His presence.  There are numerous ways to do that and most likely, you’re already familiar with some of them.  We spend time in His presence when we:

  • read the Bible,
  • meditate upon His Word,
  • praise and worship Him,
  • attend Bible study and/or worship services,
  • fellowship with other believers, and
  • sit quietly waiting to hear His still, small voice.

Waiting on the Lord is time spent focused upon Him and the wisdom that He will impart to us.  It is concentrated upon communion with our Savior and upon training a listening heart.  In order to have a listening heart, we need a humble heart.  A humble heart desires to please God, and has patience to wait for His direction and instructions.

(Please see the next blog posting for the final meditation on this subject.)

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 1

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 1

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion . . . Blessed are all who WAIT for Him.  (Isa 30:18 NIV, emphasis added)

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and WAIT for the Lord.  (Ps 27:14 NIV, emphasis added)

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.  (Joh 1:16 NIV)

In Isaiah 30:18 (above), the author mentions that God rises to show us compassion or mercy.  He has done that through the gift of salvation and many answered prayers for each one of us.  In John 1:16 (above), the author states that we have all received blessings from God.  All believers have experienced the goodness and generosity of God and of His love. 

What do the verses above mean when they talk about “waiting for the Lord”?  I believe that they can refer to two different concepts.  The first is about waiting for the Lord to answer our prayers and supplications.  The second is about “waiting on God”—spending time in His presence and waiting to hear His voice and His wisdom.

As we wait for the Lord to answer our prayers, it’s a good idea to encourage ourselves with Scriptures that demonstrate that God has already provided the answer to our needs.  For instance, if our need is for healing, meditate upon the many verses in the Bible that show us that God is our healer and Jesus purchased healing through the atonement. 

For Scriptures about healing, see:  Prov 4:20-22; Deut 7:15; Exod 15:26; Jer 30:17; Isa 53:4-5, 58:8; Ps 30:2, 41:3, 103:3, 147:3; Mat 4:23-24, 8:2-3, 17, 9:20-22; 1 Pet 2:24; and Gal 3:14. 

If you have a need in some other area, find Scriptures that support the concept that God has already given us all that pertains to life and godliness as well as the fact that he withholds no good thing from His people. 

For encouraging Scriptures, see:  2 Pet 1:3; Ps 23:1, 34:10b, 37:4, 84:11; 1 John 3:21-23, 5:14-15; Rom 8:32; Mat 7:7, 11, 19:26, 21:22; Mark 9:23, 11:23-24; Lk 17:6; Joh 14:13-14, 15:7, 16; Col 1:12-14; 1 Cor 1:20; and Eph 1:3.

Today’s reflections have given us some worthwhile ideas on how to wait for the Lord to answer our prayers, and to do so with an attitude of faith.  

(Parts 2 and 3 on this topic will be posted soon.)

What’s Corrupt Communication?

What’s Corrupt Communication?

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  (Eph 4:29)

What does the Lord mean in this verse by corrupt communication? 

The word corrupt is a strong word indicating something rotten.  It’s used in several versions of Matthew 7:17-18 and elsewhere in the Bible.  It can certainly be used to describe instances of: 

  • profanity;
  • disparaging comments;
  • a persistent conversation full of unbelief and doubt;
  • unkind remarks;
  • using the Lord’s Name in vain; or
  • using mean-spirited words.

Some common implications of this type of corrupt speech are:

  1. It doesn’t nourish (edify) anyone.
  2. It can make you sick; it can cause negative harm with regular use.
  3. It creates a negative, unhealthy atmosphere.
  4. It’s symptomatic of a rotten tree (source), see Mt 12:34-37.

Our conversation should be holy and nourishing, creative and untainted.  (Eph 4:29)  Our words should edify [educate; improve; instruct] those who hear them.  We should encourage one another in our faith in God and in His Word.  (Heb 3:13; 1 Thes 4:18, 5:11) 

When we conform to God’s way of talking about our lives, He rejoices over us and takes joy in pouring out His blessings upon us.

Strengthen Yourself in the Lord

Strengthen Yourself in the Lord

Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved [bitter], every man for his sons and his daughters.  But David strengthened himself in the Lord His God.  (1 Sam 30:6 Emphasis added)

David and his men, upon returning to Ziklag (their home at the time), found that the Amalekites had raided their town, and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both young and old.  So, they found their homes burned and their wives and children had been kidnapped. 

There was good reason to be upset, angry, and frightened.  David’s men turned against him so strongly that they discussed killing him!  At times such as this, we all have choices to make.  We can turn the energy of our grief, bitterness, and offense into something destructive and negative, or we can use the very same energy to strengthen ourselves in the Lord! 

How can you do that, you ask?  Remember, think upon, and talk about God’s goodness; His beautiful character traits and His faithfulness.  Remember all of the wonders and miracles that God has performed for you, your relatives, and your friends in the past. 

Remind yourself that God hasn’t changed!  (Heb 13:8) You know that He has answered your prayers in the past, and He has performed wonders for you before.  Realize that He is willing and happy to do so again!  (Mt 8:3; Mk 1:41; Lk 5:13) 

Once you’ve strengthened yourself in the Lord, you’ll be able to hear the Lord’s voice more clearly and to receive His guidance on how you should handle your situation.  This also attracts God’s attention to your situation because of your spiritually wise response to trouble and grief.  So choose to heed God’s Word when troubles attack you, and He will come to your rescue.

God Honors His Word

God Honors His Word

My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.  (Ps 89:34)

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.  (Isa 40:8)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  (Matt 24:35)

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.  (2 Cor 1:20)

Unlike human beings, God says what He means, and He means what He says.  He is faithful to His Word.  When He says that He will do something, you can rely upon it.  You can rest in the fact that His Word will and MUST come to pass! 

Not only does God have the power to back up His Words, but He has the integrity to guarantee that they will be fulfilled.

One definition of integrity is “the state of being whole and undivided.”  That is a perfect definition of the word integrity, and also of God, our Redeemer.  His intentions and His focus are unimpaired—they’re complete and undivided. 

His promises were not made due to impulsiveness but said with certainty and with purpose.  God had specific motives for devising a plan of salvation and for providing a Savior for mankind.  Here are just some of those motives:

  1. Jesus came to fulfill the law.  Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  (Matt 5:17)
  2. Mankind needed a Mediator.  But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.  (Heb 8:6)
  3. Jesus’ purpose was to destroy the works of the devil.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.  (1 John 3:8)
  4. Jesus became our Savior so that we would be perfected.  For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.  (Heb 10:14)
  5. Jesus became the true Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world and brought peace and restoration.  And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!  (John 1:36)  To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.  (Lk 1:79)  See also John 20:19, 21 and Acts 3:20-21. 

Our salvation is assured.  Jesus completed His assignment perfectly, and now we are perfected and complete in Him.  Go ahead and trust His Word. 

Feed on His Faithfulness

Feed on His Faithfulness

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  (Ps 37:3-4, emphasis added)

They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.  (Ps 36:8)

The verses above talk about God’s desire to bless us, and to give us our hearts’ desires.  But, how do we feed on His faithfulness?  What does that phrase even mean?

David strengthened himself in his faith in God by remembering all of the instances where God had done miraculous wonders for David.  God had shown His faithfulness to David repeatedly.  Circumstances–and the enemy of our souls–want us to focus upon our troubles, needs or pains; but the Bible directs us to focus upon God’s promises and upon His character.

So, practically speaking, how does that work?  There are various ways to do this but here are some ideas:

  • If you have pain or a negative medical diagnosis, find a small promise book of Scripture verses pertaining to healing, and read them several times a day to encourage your own faith.  If you can’t find a promise book, compile a list of verses of your own.  Add to reading God’s promises, an intentional remembering and dwelling upon the signs and wonders that God has performed for you and your loved ones in the past.  Feast on these very genuine, supernatural deeds of the Savior.
  • If you have financial challenges, find Biblical promises that relate to God’s provision for you, and read them several times a day to build your faith and as a means of supporting your faith.  Add to that, the purposeful remembrance of God’s previous answered prayers for you in finances.

Follow this pattern in regard to any issue or problem.  Find the promises of God relative to your challenge, and focus and meditate upon them.  It builds your faith and feeds your spirit.  Add to that a daily dose of thinking about and cherishing your memories of God’s past miracles and answered prayers for you and for those you love. 

Here are a few Scriptures to remind you of the faithfulness of God—the One in whom we place our trust.

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness . . . (Ex 34:6)

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  (Ps 86:15)

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, your faithfulness surrounds you.  (Ps 89:8)

Persevere and refuse to surrender!  Jesus arose victorious from the grave for each one of us, and He has given us the victory.  (1 Cor 15:57)

Planted by Rivers of Water

Planted by Rivers of Water

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers [channels] of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.  (Ps 1:3)

This passage of Scripture is referring to the person who delights in the Word of the Lord and meditates upon it day and night.  Such a person is just like a well-watered tree that has a constant source of water and refreshment.

Here is advice for people who have just planted a tree on their property, and it demonstrates how seriously a newly planted tree needs water.  

How much water does the tree need? 25 gallons once a week. A deep soaking is needed for enough water to penetrate the root ball. A deep soaking also will allow the water to reach deeper levels of the soil so that new roots will establish well below the surface enabling the tree to have a higher capacity to withstand future droughts. Water your tree EVEN WHEN IT RAINS! Most storms do not produce enough rain (at least one inch) to keep up with the amount of water the tree needs. **

Since a natural, physical tree needs so much water to enable the roots to grow and to become well established, so too does a spiritual tree need the water of the Word of God. Below are a couple of Scriptures:  one equates words with water, and the other demonstrates the importance of water.

The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.  (Prov 18:4)

But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  (2 Pet 3:5)  

And like the physical tree, we need liberal amounts of the water of God’s Word daily.  This watering produces stronger roots in us, enabling each of us to withstand future droughts. A drought for us would mean that we would not have access to the Bible, or to Biblical preaching and teaching, or to Christian fellowship for prolonged periods of time.

To be assured that you bring forth your fruit in its seasons, and that your leaf does not wither, make daily Bible reading an abiding habit in your life.  In doing so, you not only protect your spiritual life but your physical life, as well.  

Blessings upon you!

** Source:  http://environment.yale.edu/uri/files/WATER%20WHEN%20IT%20RAINS.pdf