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The Grace to Wait - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2023 12:00 am

The Grace to Wait - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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January 25, 2023 12:00 am

Find out why God sometimes requires us to wait.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, January 25th. If God asks you to pause, remember that it's always for your good. Today's podcast teaches us to look to God for the grace to wait. Do you enjoy waiting in line at the checkout counter, the big grocery chain?

There are about four or five people in front of you with baskets just loaded with groceries. Do you enjoy that? Do you enjoy that kind of wait? Do you enjoy waiting at that traffic light where you live that lasts about five minutes on read? Do you enjoy that? Well, do you enjoy waiting in the doctor's office when you've been there an hour after your appointment? Do you enjoy waiting for that? Well, do you ladies enjoy fixing this beautiful, wonderful, delicious meal?

And about an hour and a half after that, the folks are still not there who are coming to be your guests. Do you enjoy waiting for them while your food is getting cold? No. If you've answered no to all of those questions, you're just a normal human being.

That's what you are. Now let me ask you one other question. Do you enjoy waiting on the Lord to answer your prayer?

You're still normal, aren't you? None of us like to wait. Now, why don't we like to wait? Because waiting on somebody or anything implies that we're not in control. Somebody else is in control of our life.

Whether it's in the grocery store or in the traffic or whatever it might be, we don't like not being in control. When we have to wait, it says it appears to be at least somebody else is in control. Well, waiting just happens to be one of those aspects of our life that all of us have to deal with. Especially when we think that somebody could move along if they would, but somehow they don't seem to desire to do that.

And so, when it comes to waiting, we just don't like it. Well, when it comes to the Christian life, the principle of waiting is a very, very vital aspect and a very extremely vital principle in the whole Christian life. Because until you and I learn to wait upon the Lord, we'll never be able to walk in obedience to Him. It's going to affect your prayer life.

In fact, until you learn the principle of waiting, it's going to affect every single aspect of your Christian life. So what I'd like for you to do, I want you to turn to a passage scripture in the Psalms, the sixty-second Psalm. And I want us to read just a couple of verses in the beginning and then toward the middle because he repeats, David repeats the same thing twice here. And if you'll begin in this first verse of Psalm sixty-two. And what I'm going to do is to take you through a number of Psalms because I want you to understand and see how very vital this whole issue of waiting really is in the Scripture. So he begins by saying, My soul waits in silence for God only. From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold. I shall not be greatly shaken. Here is a verse of confidence, assurance, boldness from someone who's learned to wait upon the Lord.

Look, if you will, in the fifth verse of the same chapter. My soul, now it's a prayer. My soul waits in silence for God only. But my hope is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold. I shall not be shaken. Well, if you talk about the idea of waiting, to wait means, of course, we pause. And to wait upon the Lord means that I pause for further instruction.

It also means that something active is going on. This is purposeful waiting. This is directed waiting.

This isn't passing, just letting things happen. This is waiting for God to intervene in your life. Now, learning to wait upon Him demands at least three things of me, many things. But number one, it certainly requires that I become sensitive to Him.

How am I going to wait upon Him if I'm not sensitive to the fact that He said at this time the answer is wait? If I'm not sensitive to Him, how am I going to be sensitive to Him? I must learn to listen to Him. And how do I learn to listen to Him? I get in the Word of God and ask Him to speak to my heart.

And God will answer that prayer. And so we learn to listen to Him, but we become sensitive to Him. Not only sensitivity to Him, but also trust Him.

If I'm going to wait upon Him, I must be sensitive to hear what He's saying. Secondly, I must trust Him. I must trust His judgment. I must trust His wisdom. I must trust the fact that He knows every detail of my circumstance. And therefore, it is wise on my part to wait for His timing. But likewise, I must be obedient to Him.

Sensitive to His voice, trusting in what He says, what He requires, and obeying what He requires of me. And so if I'm going to learn to wait upon Him, remember, the implication is I have a relationship with Him, and I have made some requests. All of us have desires of our heart.

And it may be that you have expressed your desire many times and nothing has happened that appears. There's a reason. Maybe we can help you understand what that reason is. God loves us. He's provided the best for us. Waiting upon the best is a key element. So I want us to look at some Scriptures for a moment.

Let's begin, if you will. Let's go back to Psalm 25, a wonderful Psalm. They all are good.

They all are great. Some of them are just more personal and applicable to us and our life and our lifestyle. And so listen to this Psalm, if you will. Psalm 25, beginning in verse 1.

And here is David's prayer. To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust. Do not let me be ashamed. Do not let my enemies exalt over me and criticize me and laugh at me and jest about me. Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed.

Listen to that. You never have to worry about coming up short and being ashamed about waiting upon the Lord. Your friends may say, well, what in the world, what's this waiting business? What do you mean you're waiting upon the Lord? Time is going to go by. You're going to miss your opportunity.

It's all going to be over with. And if you have the temptation of being ashamed because you waited and God didn't show up, you can lay that one down forever. God is not ever late under any condition, under any circumstance. He says, indeed, none of those who wait for you will be ashamed. And I want you to look, if you will, in the twenty-first verse of the same chapter.

Listen to what he says. Let's begin in verse 20. Guard my soul and deliver me.

Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in you. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. Waiting upon God. Listen now.

Watch this. Not waiting upon others. Not waiting upon people who've promised you this and promised you that and are going to do this and going to do that. We're talking about waiting upon the Lord. Then let's turn, if you will, to the twenty-seventh chapter for a moment. And look at this, if you will, beginning in verse thirteen of the twenty-seventh verse, chapter of the Psalms. David says, I would have despaired.

Listen to that. I would have despaired. Remember, he's running for his life, hiding in caves and so forth. 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. Let your heart take courage.

Yes, wait for the Lord. He'd been in enough difficulty, hardship, trial, persecution, and fearful moments. Listen.

He said, if it had not been for God, he said, I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. And he says, here's what I've learned. I've learned if you wait. He says, learn to wait. Be of good courage. God will give you the grace to wait if you will trust him. If you will wait upon him, he will bless you with his goodness.

I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord. Wait upon the Lord. Be strong and courageous. Sometimes it takes courage. It takes a whole lot of courage to sit still. It takes a whole lot of courage to do what appears to be nothing. Waiting upon the Lord is never nothing. It is always an act of obedience to him. Well, let's look, if you will, also in the, look in the sixty-second chapter for a moment, back where we were a few moments ago. And with these verses in mind, listen to what David says here. My soul waits in silence for God only. Now I want to repeat this.

I'm going to repeat several things again and again because I want you to get this. Listen, who are we waiting upon? And oftentimes when we have made our request to God and our request involves other people.

Maybe it involves a decision on their part, some relationship with them. Oftentimes what happens is our focus gets off of him and we're waiting for them and for him and for her and for that and for this and so forth. He says, my soul waits in silence upon God only. He must be the one we're waiting upon because listen, he is in absolute control. If you don't believe that God is in absolute control, more than likely you're not going to learn to wait on him.

He's in absolute control. Therefore, we'll be sensitive to him. We will trust him. We will obey him and we will look to him. My soul is waiting in silence upon God only. Not him, her, them, that, but upon God only. And you see, this is the reason for David's boldness. He says, I am certain that I will never be greatly shaken.

Why? Because he learned that God is always there. He is forever and eternally there, present, reliably there, listen, ready to meet the needs of our life, ready to answer our prayers, ready to grant us the petitions of our heart if we are wise enough to wait for him. Then I want you to turn, if you will, to the hundred and nineteenth Psalm, the hundred and fourteenth verse. Listen to what he says. You're my hiding place and my shield. I wait for your Word. What is he saying?

Simply this. He says, you and I don't have to fear when we're waiting for him. We can trust him. He's our shield to protect us. He's our hiding place.

I'm waiting for your Word. How many times David must have felt that. When he was waiting upon God to do something in his life, he had been anointed as king and yet being king seemed to be a thousand miles away. He said, you're my shield to protect me.

You're my hiding place in these difficult moments. I'm going to wait for you. He learned the awesome lesson of learning to wait for the Lord. And then if you'll turn to the hundred and forty-seventh Psalm and notice what he says. There is something good about waiting and he says to us here, this is one of the good things about waiting upon him. He says in verse eleven, the Lord favors those who fear him, those who wait for his loving kindness.

That is, listen to that. He says, he favors those. That is, God reaches out to, willing to provide, willing to grant the needs and the desires of our heart when we fear him, which means to reverence him. That means we acknowledge his lordship. We acknowledge he has a right to tell us to wait. We acknowledge the fact that he is God, that he is in absolute control.

He says he favors those people. He doesn't favor the one who acts instantly, immediately, without thinking, without asking for God's direction in their life. And sometimes he allows us to make a big mess of things to remind us he is the one who is in control.

He has our best interests at heart. He's planned the very best for us and if we're willing to wait for him, he will grant us the goodness that we desire. Look, if you will, in the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, just a couple more verses. Fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, listen to what he says. In the twenty-ninth and the thirtieth and the thirty-first verses, words of real encouragement to us. He says, for example, remember, sometimes when we are waiting, we get a little discouraged and we get sort of strung out and we want to get impatient and we want God to do something and we start sort of wringing our hands over the whole issue. Now, God, it's time you did something and what happens? When we get that way, we wear ourselves out emotionally, fretting over something that God is willing to do and ready to do in his timing.

Listen to what he says. He says in verse twenty-nine, he gives strength to the weary. And sometimes we get weary in the walk. He says, and to him who lacks might, he increases power.

He's ready to do that. Though young people shall grow weary and tired, vigorous young men shall stumble badly when the pressure gets on. Yet those who wait for the Lord, they'll gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired.

They will walk and not become weary. Look at that. He says in those troublesome times, we will mount up with wings like an eagle. Now, you say, well, I don't have wings like an eagle.

Listen to this. You know what holds the eagle in the sky? Not big wings. It's all of those air currents that that eagle is flying above and on.

And so what does he do? He just lays them out there and he soars down and he soars up and we watch all the awesome freedom of that majestic bird and we think, oh, if we could just fly like that. I want to remind you of something. The Holy Spirit, the very word, pneuma, is the word wind. You and I have the Holy Spirit to lift us up. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us, to lift us above those difficult troublesome times when we are waiting upon the Lord and we want God to do something and he doesn't do it and we get our focus off of him. We get our focus on what we want him to do, the desires of our heart and the needs of our life and what we petition. And before long, he's up there in all of our needs and we are down here. He says, listen.

He said, you don't have to get that way. Wait upon the Lord. What will he do? In those moments when you feel troubled and difficult and disillusioned and disheartened and you want to give up and quit, he says, those who wait upon the Lord, keep their focus upon him. He says, listen, he'll give you wings like the eagle. He'll give you energy. He'll give you strength.

You won't get tired. He says God will give you a supernatural energy that keeps you going, keeps you trusting, keeps you waiting. He is willing to do that for his children. He's more than willing to help us through these difficult times. Look, if you will, in the sixty-fourth chapter of Isaiah for a moment. And this is our last verse to begin with here.

The sixty-fourth chapter. And look, if you will, in the fourth verse. One of the most reassuring, comforting, helpful, exciting, challenging, motivating verses in the Bible to me. And there are lots of wonderful verses here that all of us can find. But listen to this verse.

Look at this. Sixty-fourth chapter of Isaiah. Verse four, for from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye sin of God beside you.

There's nothing like God. Listen to this. Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Do you understand what that means?

Here's what that means. This Almighty God who created the heavens and the earth, who knows everything about every single circumstance of life, who knows every detail of your life before you are born past, present, and future, who knows every single need, every desire, who knows every want, every wish, who's heard every prayer, and who knows what you're going to pray for and what you're going to need, who's already planned and prepared for it all. You know what He says?

He says, look at this. He says, He's a God who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. That means that God is committed to getting involved in your life. It doesn't make any difference what you're involved in, what you're dealing with. He says, I'm willing to get involved in your life if you wait for me and let me do it my way. What an awesome verse. The God of the universe is willing to involve Himself in your life.

He's willing to act in what? In your behalf. What He's saying is this. He says, I'm on your side. You're one of my children. I'm on your side. If you'll wait for my timing and your decisions, I will act in your behalf.

I will work out details. Let me do it. Don't manipulate things.

Don't get out of my will trying to do it your way. I will act in your behalf if you will allow me to do it. That's the kind of awesome God we have. If we reverence Him, He says He will act in our behalf. Trust Him. He will act in our behalf. Wait upon Him. He will act in our behalf.

And He is willing to see us where we are, understand us where we are, and get involved in your life. So think about this. If you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, do you know how you're having to live life if you've thought about it or not? You have to do it on your own. You say, well, I've got lots of friends and lots of helpers.

But you know what? If you don't have God, you don't have a godly sense of direction. You don't have God's wisdom. You don't have God's supernatural power. You don't have His security. You don't have His confidence. You don't have anything really apart from Him but what you can do. Now think about what can you do apart from God that matters in life very little? What can you do when God says, I'm about to act on your behalf anything you desire to do that fits the world?
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 05:50:30 / 2023-01-25 05:58:44 / 8

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