How We Live in Patient Waiting on God
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.Psalm 37:7
We seem to live in a time of deepening darkness, each day bringing news of victory for the wicked one. God’s gifts of justice and liberty are trampled upon by a growing crowd. Corruption and immorality have decreased employment opportunities for believers. Business owners are pressured by corrupt regulations. Christian education is threatened. The church is now called the enemy of the very society which she nurtured. The light of the gospel seems to flicker and recede, and many believers have begun to feel this shadow. We see signs of the wrath of God against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.
Where do we turn in such times? We do well to begin with the counsel of the psalmist. David faced a dark time, too, and a much more oppressive regime. King Saul was in power, and he hunted David like a cat chasing a mouse. His servants murdered the Lord’s priests and persecuted the faithful. Yet David did not despair, nor did he take matters into his own hands. He had learned to wait patiently on the Lord.
To endure hardship while waiting on the Lord seems absurd to most people. David’s men could not understand why he would not assassinate Saul in the cave in Engedi. Even David’s own patience was not perfect; he had to be restrained by Abigail from taking revenge on Nabal. The road of humble submission to providence often seems irrational.
It is only when we see how David’s example points us to the Lord Jesus Christ that we begin to understand true patience. Christ came to minister to a nation that was in spiritual darkness and under oppression. His followers wanted to take Him by force to make Him an earthly king. He was able to teach, feed, and heal the multitudes. He could have called down an army of angels and obliterated the entire Roman empire in a moment. Yet, He waited patiently.
While His disciples slept, Christ prayed patiently that the Father would take away His cup. He endured the betrayal, scorn, and abuse of His own city of Zion. He was powerful enough to raise the dead, yet He patiently endured the death of the cross. There has never been patience like that of the Lamb of God. This patience was vindicated by an empty tomb and a glorious throne in heaven. When we reflect on the righteousness of His patience, we should be convicted of the shame of our impatience. Some thoughts for consideration include:
- Have you considered the depth of the Lord’s patience with you?
- Have you repented of your impatience with the mistakes and sins of others?
- Have you meditated on Christ’s great patience in accomplishing your salvation
- Have you endeavored to be Christ-like in patient waiting?
Though we rebel again and again, the Lord is patient! He has extended the day of salvation by another moment. Meditating on the Lord’s patience towards us will give the Christian the greatest motive for patience. What is a year or even a lifetime of patient waiting, in comparison to His patience with us? We have every reason to trust the patient Savior: His promises are sure, and He is the sovereign King of kings. He will return and vindicate His people.
The salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.Ps. 37:39-40