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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - January 18, 2006

  • 2006 Jan 18
  • COMMENTS

 

1/18/2006

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #1)

 

“Wait Management” – Part 1

Van Walton, Director of Spanish Ministry, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Lamentations 3:25, “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him…” (NASB)

 

Devotion:

“… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin wrote this in 1789. Since then little has changed except that I would add “waiting” to death and taxes.

 

How do you handle your waits?  If you are like me, you find yourself, through no effort of your own, in the waiting room, dealing with traffic signals, carpool lines, or drive-thru windows, adding a little stress to a busy schedule when the person in front takes his time.  Or, you may be forced to deal with heavier waits: waiting for a relationship to heal after an unfortunate misunderstanding, waiting for an interview to materialize during a long season of joblessness, or waiting for a child to heal in the midst of critical illness. 

 

The waits in my life have threatened to destroy me. Desperate to survive, frantic to overcome, I’ve searched God’s word for peace, comfort, direction, and answers.  There I found an answer: “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…"  (Psalms 27:13-14, NASB)

 

Waiting for God to act in my life, to change my circumstances and to give me His perspective, I turned to my Firm Foundation, Jesus Christ, and my belief in Him – belief that His merciful goodness would accompany me in the wait.  I believed that, just as He had walked with the men and women of the Bible and led them to victory, He would do the same with me.

 

I found an especially intriguing character in the person of King Hezekiah, a man who learned to manage his wait.  When this king appeared on the scene, he faced an approaching army threatening destruction. For years, Hezekiah watched neighboring nations fall to the enemy while he waited, preparing himself to meet his opponent. 

 

2 Kings 18 outlines the King’s reign.  Verses 3 through 6 provide insight into his spiritual strength:  "He did right in the sight of the Lord ... he removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars ... He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judea, nor among all those who were before him. For he clung to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses." (NASB)

 

What can we learn from the king’s wait trials? First of all, 2 Kings 18:4 tells us that, “He did right in the sight of the Lord.” More specific information in 2 Chronicles 29:3 reads that, “… he opened the doors of the house of the Lord…” He invited the nation to return to the worship they had grown to neglect.  

 

He chose worship in the midst of waiting. Hezekiah joined the ranks of many biblical heroes who worshiped God while in the waiting room. Jeremiah, an Old Testament prophet found himself lifting waits. He lived in similar circumstances to those which described the life of Hezekiah. When his nation fell to the enemy and the citizens of Judah were carried off to Babylon, Jeremiah lamented in agony over his nation’s demise. He also worshipped God and praised Him while he waited for freedom from the foreign captors. “Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind. Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul. ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’” (Lamentations 3:20-25, NASB)

 

A New Testament hero, Paul, also found himself in the waiting room, a prison, where waits became time trials. Acts 16:25 describes Paul’s wait management. “… praying and singing hymns of praise to God…”  What’s the secret to surviving the wait?  Praise and worship.

 

If a wait trainer’s goal is to develop strength and stamina, praise and worship must be perfected. Hebrews 13:15 states, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God…”  (NIV)

 

My Prayer for Today:

Father, accept my praises to You. And watch over me as I struggle, waiting for circumstances in my life to change. Help me focus on You and Your goodness. Remove the anxiety caused by the uncertainty of the waits in my life. I trust You for the outcome. Help me in my unbelief! I make these requests in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

Read about Jeremiah in exile (Lamentations and Jeremiah) and Paul and Silas in jail (Acts 16). Let their experiences spur you into praise and worship even during your most difficult time trials.

 

Reflection Points:       

Make a list of your most recent waits. How did you handle them?

 

Consider how waits build your character and develop your Christian walk.

 

King Hezekiah was constructive when waiting. How can your life being put on hold be used to develop your spiritual health? 

 

Power Verses: 

Proverbs 8:34-35, “Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds me, finds life and obtains favor from the Lord.”  (NASB)

 

1 Chronicles 16:28, “Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength, ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his] holiness.”  (NIV)

Hosea 12:6, “So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God."  (ESV)

Additional Resources:

What Happens when Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whatHappens.htm

 

Message of the Month Club

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/resourceMessage.htm

 

Show Me the Way (audio CD), by Gwen Smith

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_showmeway.htm

 

 

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