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The Rewards of Waiting

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
March 20, 2024 12:00 am

The Rewards of Waiting

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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March 20, 2024 12:00 am

Practice waiting on God—an act of faith that yields great blessings.

Grace To You
John MacArthur

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, March 20th. Although no one likes to wait, it's never wise to get ahead of God. Today's podcast teaches us about the rewards of waiting on the Lord. Well, you recall if you'll turn back to Psalm 27 and that fourteenth verse of the twenty-seventh Psalm, there are many, many scriptures about waiting upon the Lord. This is one of the most familiar ones and that is, wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage.

Yes, wait for the Lord. What I want to talk about are the rewards for waiting. How does God bless us when we are willing to wait upon Him as difficult as it may be? And you see, sometimes it's difficult because we don't see any reason for it. And one of the reasons it's hard for us is because we don't see the future, and so we want it now, and God says now wait. And some of the problem also is the fact that when God says wait, what we hear is no. And so we have to remember, because God says wait does not mean no.

It means not now. And I think the closer you and I walk with Him, the more easier it is for us to discern the difference between a wait and a no. So I want you to turn first of all to Lamentations chapter three. Now that's one of those books you don't turn to very often, so turn to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations. And the third chapter of this book, I want you to notice a verse of Scripture here because I want to talk about six rewards of waiting upon God.

And the first one is we discover God's will and purpose by waiting on Him. When we wait upon Him, God is going to honor that because He's a good God. Now look at this verse, and though it does not say that, what I want you to notice is this. In the twenty-fifth verse of Lamentations chapter three, He says, the Lord is good to those who wait for Him. Now listen, the Lord is good to those who wait for Him.

If I want to know what God is saying and when to move forward, a good God is going to tell me when to do it. So one of those rewards is that He will clarify for us His will and His way. A second reward, I want you to turn, if you will, back to Isaiah chapter forty, a very practical reward for waiting upon Him. And if you remember in this fortieth chapter, and beginning, if you will, in the twenty-eighth verse, let's read through the thirty-first verses. He says in verse twenty-eight, Do you not know and have you not heard, the everlasting God, the Lord that created the ends of the earth, does not become weary or tired?

His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might he increases power, though youth grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly. We all get tired and worn out. Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, and they will walk and not become weary. One of the rewards of waiting upon the Lord is what? He gives us strength, that supernatural strength and energy to do what He calls us to do. And so when you and I are waiting upon the Lord, He says we will mount up with wings like eagles, that is, the Spirit of God gets under us. It's like His, we have His energy and His strength to sustain us in difficult times. And when we wait upon Him, you say, well now, how do you wait upon the Lord if there's something to be done?

Because oftentimes it only takes a brief moment of waiting, sometimes a little longer waiting. And I remember one of the times that I really got tested about waiting upon the Lord, I was in New Zealand, and I think this is of all the times that I felt the strenuousness of not being able to do what I was called upon to do. This pastor said he was going to have me speak downtown in the community center there, and that I would speak several times to different groups that he had lined up to come in.

So this room would seat I guess maybe two or three hundred people, I don't know how many it was at this point, but what he did, he didn't tell me this. I would speak twenty-five minutes, wait five minutes, and the next service started. Well, I did that once or twice, and then it dawned on me to ask him how many times this was going to happen. Seven times. So after about the third time, I just said, God, I can't do this. I can't preach.

And it was around twenty minutes or twenty-five minutes thereabouts, and sometimes they got out fast because these folks were, this was downtown, they were doing their business, but he had them arranged to come in. So after about the third time, I said, Lord, I can't do this. So I remember going back and I found myself a little room, lay down, took my overcoat off and laid it down on the floor, and I laid down on this concrete floor, and I said, Now, Lord, I'm going to claim what you said. You said if I wait upon you, you will renew my strength.

I'll be able to mount up wings like an eagle and run and not be weary and walk and not faint and not grow weary and tired. So God, I got five minutes. Here's what I'd do. I'd finish speaking, go down and lie down and just claim that verse.

God, here's what you said. I got through all seven times. And I had to say the same thing over and over again for seven times. And I only had five, sometimes I had a few more minutes than five minutes, time I shook two or three hands and so forth, but I remembered having to tell him, God, I can't do this. I didn't tell the pastor that.

I figured he'd find out if the Lord didn't do something for me. But when he says wait upon the Lord, sometimes when it comes to energy and strength, it means taking the time to be quiet and stop and just tell him, God, you're going to have to do something for me. And he will do exactly what he says. So this passage is not some some passage scripture that's sort of apneatherial somewhere. It is a practical, down to earth, very, very real promise that when we wait upon him, he will renew our strength. He says we will mount up with wings like eagles. We will run and not be weary. We will walk and not faint or lose heart, not become discouraged. The third verse I want you to turn to is Psalm 37.

Look at this. One of those rewards for waiting upon him. And this is one of those favorite Psalms of all them in the scripture. Look at the ninth verse, if you will. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. And then in the thirty-fourth verse, notice what he says. He says wait for the Lord and keep his way and he will exalt you to inherit the land.

There are times when you and I go through battles, we go through struggles, we go through difficult times in our life when we can't see our way clear and we think, Lord, how in the world are you going to work this out? And yet he does exactly what he says. What we are expressing when we wait upon him, we're expressing faith in him. We're expressing dependence upon him. We're expressing our trust in him.

And so when you and I face situations that are difficult and hard for us to face, he says the issue and the real key is learning to wait. God, I'm not going to fight my battles. I'm going to trust you to fight them for me. There's not a verse in the scripture I know in the Bible where the Bible says go to war. That is for us as believers to fight our own battles.

God is the one who knows how to fight our battles. We're to wait and to trust him. And so often what I've found is if I will have the patience to wait and to trust him and not try to do it myself, usually he takes care of it in the most amazing ways.

And sometimes we want to try to manipulate circumstances. God just wants us to wait and he says he will handle what he never intended for us to handle to begin with. Of course, one of the rewards for waiting upon the Lord is we'll receive an answer to our prayer. Move, if you will, to Psalm 40, the 40th Psalm.

And all these are popular and wonderful Psalms that most of us know, some of them at least by heart. Look, if you will, in these first few verses of this Psalm. He says, I waited for the Lord and he inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction.

Out of them I'll reclaim. He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm. And he put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord. Listen to what he says. I waited patiently for the Lord.

He inclined to me and heard my cry. And so often we ask God for things and before God can do it his way, what do we do? We are impatient. We're not willing to wait.

So we go at making this come to pass in our own way. God says we're to wait. It is difficult to wait. It is very difficult to wait when we think things are falling apart around us or things need to be changed right now.

It's so easy to say, well, I'm going to, Lord, I just want to thank you and I'm just going to move ahead. He says, look at this, I waited patiently for the Lord. When you and I are crying out to God but we're waiting upon him, and you see sometimes your friends will say, well, you can't just pray. You've got to do something besides pray.

Well, that's true. But you know that sometimes when that's all God wants us to do is to be quiet and wait. I waited patiently for the Lord.

He inclined to me and heard my cry. And he brought me up out of this mire pit and set my feet upon a rock and gave me a new song in my heart. Had you and I not rather wait upon him for his timing, let him put our feet on the rock, take us out of the mire clade, the thing that's got us stuck where we are, put a new song in our heart.

What was the new song? The new song was about the faithfulness of God, that when we wait upon him, he will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He will answer our prayer. Turn, if you will, to Isaiah chapter forty-nine. Look, if you will, at this twenty-third verse because here we'll see the fulfillment of our faith. He says in the twenty-third verse, And kings will be your guardians, their princes your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth and lick the dust of your feet. And you will know that I am the Lord. Those who hopefully wait for me will not be put to shame. Now, friend, that's a very important verse. Waiting upon the Lord, what happens is when you and I learn to wait upon Him, every facet of our life seems to fall in place, and what happens is He says He's going to fulfill our faith.

That is, when we trust in Him, we're not going to be ashamed. Some of the times, one of the reasons that people will not wait is because of other people's suggestions. Well, why don't you do this, and why don't you do that, and why don't you do the other? And you know what? I'm here to tell you, you better not do anything till God tells you to do it.

Listen, there are all kinds of tough situations in life, difficulties and hardships, and it's easy for somebody to shove you in a direction or to push you here or to encourage you and to try to make you feel guilty if you don't move and do this. You wait for God, and you will not be put to shame. That's the promise of our Lord. One of the rewards of waiting upon Him is to see God working on our behalf. Turn to Isaiah chapter sixty-four. This is one of my favorite verses, because He says it so beautifully here. One of the rewards for waiting upon Him, He says in chapter sixty-four, verse one, Oh, He says, O God, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence as fire kindles the brushwood and as fire causes water to boil to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence. When thou didst awesome things which we did not expect, thou didst come down, the mountains quaked at thy presence. Look at this. Four from of old, they have not heard, nor perceived by ear, neither has the eye seen a God like you, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

I love that. Think about this. Here's the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, sovereign God of the universe doing what? Acting in your personal behalf.

Think about it. It doesn't make any difference what the circumstance is. God is ready to act in behalf of those who wait for Him, those who say, Lord, I can't. I'm trusting you. I'm depending upon you. I'm waiting upon you. I'll do whatever you say do. God, show me what to do next. He says God acts in behalf of those who wait for Him.

Now, I don't know about you. It's good to have friends and it's good to have people who love you and it's good to have people who are supportive of you. But listen, when you've got God acting in your behalf, you cannot lose, amen? You can't lose when God says, look, He says, you wait upon Me and I'll act in your behalf. What you have is you have all the sovereign power of the universe behind you to act in your behalf. There is no way to lose when He is the one who's acting in your behalf. That's why He says those who wait for Him, they're not going to be ashamed. Why?

Why not? Because all of heaven is behind those who place their trust in Him. And the truth is you can go from Genesis to Revelation and every time one of God's saints had a victory, they were trusting God. Every time they made a mess of things, they were not trusting God. You can go all the way through the Scriptures and it's the same thing over and over and over again. Waiting upon the Lord requires our trust.

Now, in light of that, let me just come to one last part here that I want to share with you. And that is the requirements for waiting and there are just four of my belief. Four major requirements for waiting upon the Lord and the first one is faith. And that is we must be willing to trust His ways and His timing. His ways and His timing. His timing is not always our timing.

His ways are not always our ways. So one of the primary and I think the basic requirements for learning to wait upon Him is to trust Him, learning to trust Him. We must be willing to trust His timing and His ways. One of the requirements of waiting upon the Lord is faith. I must be willing to trust Him.

The second one is humility. I must be convinced that I need Him. I must be convinced I cannot do without Him. I must be so convinced that I am willing to submit my way and submit myself to two things. We just mentioned them.

What are they? To submit myself to His what? His ways and what else?

His timing. If I'm going to humble myself before Him, that's the two things I must submit to. Your way, Father, and your timing. One of the requirements for learning to wait upon Him is to trust Him.

The second one is humility. I'm willing to submit myself to His timing and to His ways. The third requirement is the one none of us like, and that's patience. I am willing to stand in my present position until I get further orders.

I am willing to pause until God gives me further instruction. And so one of the requirements is to trust Him. One of the requirements is to humble ourselves before Him. One of the requirements is to be patient. That is, you see, if I trust Him, I can be patient. If I humble myself before Him and wait for His timing and His ways, it's evidence that I'm patient before Him.

But there's the fourth one. That's courage. Friend, it takes courage to wait upon the Lord, especially when the pressures all around you are saying, now, why don't you do thus and so? Why don't you move here? Why don't you make this decision? And sometimes in your business or in your personal situations in life people are always saying, well, why don't you do this and why don't you do that? And sometimes there's so much of that if you're not careful, listen, what will happen is instead of listening to God, you'll listen to something else. You'd better keep your ear tuned to the voice of Almighty God.

So I don't know what you're facing in life and where, but I can tell you this. These simple principles work every single time. And you don't have to worry about being embarrassed because He says, listen, those who wait upon Him, they're not going to be ashamed. You don't have to fear failure. Even if you make a mistake, even if you blow it bad, you think, well, I thought that's what God said.

You genuinely waited. You thought that's what God said. And you make a mistake. You say, well, what's God going to do? I can tell you exactly what He's going to do. Because He knew your heart, He's going to take your mistake and He's going to turn it right around. And you know what? He's going to turn it right around for something so good that that mistake's going to turn out for your welfare.

Why? Because He's a good God. And He understands we're children. Listen, none of us just read this or listen to a sermon and say, got it.

No, you don't. We all have to learn it. And I may share something that God has spoken to my heart about. It doesn't become yours because you put it on a piece of paper. It becomes yours when you put it into action and God has the privilege of showing you the same thing.

This is how I operate. Then it's yours. Then you can say to somebody with the same kind of confidence, let me tell you, you'll never be ashamed if you wait upon the Lord. You'll never fail if you wait upon God. Just trust Him. Just trust Him. Trust Him, trust Him, trust Him.

Don't move, trust Him. You'll have the same sense of courage and confidence and absolute, unalterable, unchanging, listen, unshakable assurance that waiting upon Him is a very, very wise move. It's not yours until you put it to the test. And when you put it to the test, it'll be yours.

Listen now, I'm going to say this again. It's something you learn and you learn it by experience. And you say, well, how do you get experience? By failing.

That's the way you get experience. And so you see, somebody says, well, but suppose I fail. Listen, I have failed.

You're going to fail. That's the way you learn. You learn by trying and failing and trying and failing. Well, God, I thought I heard.

And the interesting thing is I want to say it again. He takes our failures because He knew our heart was pure about it. And He turns it around and turns it for our good. He'll turn every failure into something good when the motivation is right. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-20 03:08:37 / 2024-03-20 03:16:44 / 8

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