Strength In The Waiting

Why do you say, O Jacob,
    and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
    and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:27-31 ESV

The Advent season is about waiting, waiting with hope and expectancy. But the truth is sometimes we grow weary, weak in waiting. Maybe you can relate to those to whom Peter was writing …

… knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

2 Peter 3:3-4 ESV

When Isaiah was writing the Israelites were in exile. They believed God had forgotten them. They began to question if He really did intend to save them, rescue them from their enemies. Or could it be that God was not able to deliver them?

Peter’s crowd was different – they had heard that Jesus was returning but they saw no evidence. Could it be that God did not plan to intervene in history again?

In both instances, the people are reminded just who God is! Isaiah records God speaking –

To whom then will you compare me,
    that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see:
    who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
    calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might
    and because he is strong in power,
    not one is missing.

Isaiah 40:25-26

God reminds the people that he is the source of the stars, the sun, and the moon. That he is all-powerful and His ways are unsearchable!

For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. …

2 Peter 3:5-6 ESV

Peter reminds His listeners that God has been at work throughout history and that He will judge the earth and all that live on it!

In both of these passages, God’s people are exhorted to wait,
to hope in the Lord, to be diligent, growing up in Him!
And as we wait we are strengthened by the Spirit of God!

But according to his promise we are waiting
for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 

2 Peter 3:13-14

The Lord our God alone is strong;
His hands build not for one brief day;
His wondrous works, thro’ ages long,
His wisdom and His power display.

C.T.Winchester

God, you are the strong and mighty one! You are strong in power! You uphold us all by your right hand, protecting us, delivering us. We are fickle as we wait for you. We are easily tempted to doubt your interest in saving us, your willingness to rescue us, your strength to defeat our enemies. We get so caught up in the fact that you haven’t returned yet, that we forget about your patience in working out your redemptive plan. Forgive us when we doubt you, when we scoff at what seems to us a hands-off approach to this world. Remind us, Lord, that while we can’t always see your hand at work, we can trust your heart. May your Spirit strengthen us as we wait on you, as we bend our knee in quiet confidence that you are truly the Lord of All! Amen.

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