Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, January 26. Nobody likes to wait, but impatience can make a mess that's not easily corrected. Today's message challenges you to wait on God's timing to reach His goals that are truly satisfying. 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.
And I think one of the primary reasons that so many people are sort of dissatisfied and don't have the peace, don't have the assurance and confidence and security that they could have is because this is one of those principles they've never learned. Now, they've heard about it, and many Christians have heard about waiting upon the Lord, but what in the world does it mean? Well, that's what I want to talk about in this message entitled The Grace to Wait. It takes grace to wait. It takes God's help sometimes, oftentimes, to enable us to wait in difficult circumstances, and especially when you and I have made a very strong request to Him. When we have a deep yearning desire of our heart for something we want God to do, and it looks like that God's not even paying any attention whatsoever, but remember this. While you and I are waiting, God's working.
Don't forget that. While you and I are waiting, God is working. So what I'd like for you to do, I want you to turn to a pastor's 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. 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.
Now, let's think about it for a moment. David was out in the field with his sheep, and one day one of his father's servants came running out and said, Your father is calling for you. So he turns his sheep over to the servant or someone else, and so he comes to the house and he opens the door and to his great surprise, here sits Israel's prophet. Here sits the prophet Samuel. And when he walks in, here's his father and his mother and all of his brothers.
And so he's no doubt wondering what in the world is going on. And more than likely, according to some other things David said in his life, he probably said, What have I done now? And so when he walked in, Samuel said to his father, He's the one.
Samuel anointed David as king when he was sixteen years of age. Well, from that point on, shortly after that, he was in King Saul's court. And at first he played for him, played music for him, and he was going through some difficult time emotionally mentally.
And finally, demonic spirits got the best of him. And before long, his friend, his young friend David, who was a very strong and godly young man, not only was his friend, but suddenly he became a threat to him. And he became very jealous of David. David and Jonathan, Saul's son, became bosom friends. And Saul found himself between these two. And Jonathan found himself between the two of them. Finally, Saul tried to kill him. He was so jealous of him. And he couldn't kill him. And so he began to track him down. So from the ages of sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight. And David had to be thinking, What happened back yonder when I was a teenager, when Samuel anointed me to be the king of the nation of Israel?
And here I am, twenty-eight years of age, and since I've been about sixteen or seventeen, I've been running from my life. Twice he could have taken King Saul's life, but he didn't do it. What was he doing? He was learning one of the most valuable lessons of his life.
And what is that? My soul waits in silence upon God only. He learned to wait for God to do his awesome work in his life. You see, he could have manipulated the circumstance. He could have killed King Saul, especially after he became so emotionally upset. He could probably have taken the throne, but he dared not do it. He got so close, he cut a piece off of his garment.
But he would never take his own position and manipulate his circumstances and make himself the king of the nation of Israel. He learned one of the most valuable lessons in the Christian life. Now, a lot of people talk about waiting upon the Lord, but if you ask them, what does that mean, more than likely they could not tell you. So what I want us to do is I want to think about this very valuable principle.
Some of you, for example, you've lost your job. You don't know what you're going to do. And so you're trying to find out, what shall I do?
And more than likely, you're going to be prone to be tempted to take the first thing that opens up because you have a need. You have some desire in your life, some strong desire or some need in your life, some request that you've made of God. You've been petitioning Him and petitioning Him and you're about sick and tired and fed up of praying.
And it's time you took things in your own hands and you make it work. What I want you to understand is this. Listen carefully.
This is one of the most valuable lessons to be learned in the whole Christian life. So let's think about what we mean when we talk about waiting upon the Lord. 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. So what we have to ask is this. Why is it that sometimes we've prayed and we've said, God, here's the desire of my heart, crystal clear.
You know exactly what it is. Then why doesn't He do something about it? Remember, when it looks like nothing's going on, God's working. But there are some times when God requires that you and I wait. So let me just name a few of them and then you think about what you desire today in your life. What is, what's that real strong desire in your life? What is it you've really petitioned Him for? What are you expecting Him to do? What are you anticipating God doing in your life? Why is He still waiting?
Well, one of the reasons is this. He wants to refocus our attention from the desire to Himself. He says, delight yourself in Him.
He will give you the desire of your heart. So one of the reasons He waits is He waits until we get our focus right. Our focus is upon Him. I'm waiting upon Him. I'm trusting in Him. I'm relying upon Him. I'm seeing Him as the source.
I'm seeing Him as the one who is in control. So sometime it's a matter of refocusing our whole opinion and our whole attitude about what really matters, and He's the one that matters. Sometime it's a matter of just timing. You ask God to give you something in your life, you have a strong desire, and you feel that's what God wants.
And so often we say, well, six today is God I wanted. Well, now who are we to tell omniscience what the time is? And so if you'll think about it, and now let me, somebody says, well, does God get angry with me when I tell Him I got to have it now?
No. What does He do? I don't think He does anything because He's heard that billions of times. And He has never been impressed nor has He ever been urged or has He ever been forced into doing anything before His timing. So one of the reasons that we have to wait is because it isn't God's timing. He knows the perfect time for every desire of your heart. He knows exactly what's best for you. Sometime it's wrong timing. Sometimes He wants to stretch our faith.
Now watch this. God isn't just up there just handing out gifts. You know what He's up to? He's up to, listen, watch this. He's up to making us like His Son. He's up to growing us up and maturing us. And so one of the ways He does that is to stretch our faith. He wants us to believe Him. Now, if He did not withhold some things from us and stretch our faith and teach us to trust Him, we would just ask and keep going. We wouldn't grow up in our spiritual life. What is it that causes us to grow is to get thrown into the fire, get thrown to difficulty and hardship and we cry out to God and for a while He doesn't seem to be listening and answering and then all of a sudden what?
In His perfect time He does it and what does He remind us of? Trust Me. You trusted Me here and I did it. You trusted Me here and I did it. You moaned and groaned and fretted over here.
And then when the time was right, I still did it. What does He want? He wants to grow us up. When we walk in His way and His will, He gives us more than we ask for, more than we expect and far more than we deserve. He is a good God and causing us to wait is for our good. What's He doing?
Growing us up. Sometimes He wants to adjust our motive, a little of the motive adjustment. Well, I'm wanting this for myself and I want it now and so forth, so God has to help us adjust our motive that our motive is right for this thing that we desire of Him. Sometimes the circumstances aren't ready. And so when we think about the times we make requests of Him and the desires of our heart that involve other people, sometimes He has to change people's minds. Sometimes He has to get their eyes open.
He has to open their blind eyes to see things the way you see them and to begin to understand what's going on in their life. So God sometimes has to get us ready and He has to get the circumstance, the situation ready. Sometimes I think one of the reasons He waits is to remind us and to get us to recognize He's in control. You see, when we think we're in control, we're headed for trouble. God's in control.
And so what does He do? He waits to answer our petition oftentimes until He sees that we recognize He is in control and that we consent to the fact that He has the right to control and to send us the desires of our heart when He knows it is best. So there are reasons that He waits. Now sometimes it's just pure old sin. If you're living in sin and you're making a big request of God and you're expecting Him to answer that, more than likely you might as well stop expecting it until you deal with sin in your life and when you're, listen, when you're ready to receive the blessing, you can expect God to send it.
Delight yourself in the Lord. He says He'll give you the desires of your heart. But what does that mean? It means I take pleasure in Him. It means I trust Him. I delight in Him. I'm excited about Him. I understand who He is, what's going on in my life.
I'm praising Him. He is the key figure in your life. If I should ask you this question, who's the most important person in your life? Most people are going to look around, not here, but in their family or something. Most important person in my life.
No, they can't be. The most important person in your life must be Jesus Christ. When He is the most important person in your life, all of these things begin to fall in place so quickly, so easily, and we look back and think, God, why did it take me so long to figure out you knew better after all? You'd think we'd know that the first time we read the Bible, but we don't. So we ask the Lord, and the Lord shows us what's going on. So how should we wait? Listen to what the Scripture says, and I won't take a lot of time to go through these, except to say He says, as we saw in Psalm 37, we are to wait patiently.
Very difficult. That's why we need the grace of God to wait. We need to wait patiently. He says in that 62nd Psalm, we are to wait silently, quietly, not murmuring and fretting and fuming and telling everybody about it. In that 27th Psalm, you will recall, He said we are to wait with courage, and when He said be strong and let your heart take courage, we are to wait with courage, we are to wait with steadfastness. That is, we don't wait today and give in tomorrow. And so we wait, we wait in the right spirit, and that's something you and I have to learn. So if you're waiting upon God to do something in your life, and you're sort of agitated, and you can't figure out why, and so you said, now Lord, you know, I pray and I've done everything I know to do, maybe you should stop and ask yourself the question, Lord, why am I so agitated? Why am I so impatient about this when I know that you know best?
Now am I saying that's an easy conclusion to come to? No, it's not easy. It is not easy to have a strong desire or petition that you feel like you need or you desire in your life, whatever you've sent to God out there. And something inside of you is churning and you say, God, but I want to tell you something. You're going to have to come to the place that you lay it down and rest it with Him. And you're going to rest it with, listen, with His timing in His way.
And I'm telling you, my friend, with all of my heart, it's always best. Whenever I've gotten ahead of God, I made a mess of things. When I did it my way, I made a mess of things.
Had to have it now, made a mess of things. So have you. Because you see, God always has the best. And so we come with the right spirit, the right attitude, patiently, quietly, but boldly, courageously, trusting Him, obeying Him, waiting upon Him to do it. Now, what can you and I expect? Listen to what he says in the third chapter of Lamentations, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, a book that you don't turn to probably very often.
But look at this. It's a great verse. Let's start with verse twenty-three. We're speaking about God's loving kindness and compassion they never cease.
They're new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul. Therefore I have hope in Him. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him. To the person who seeks Him.
Listen to that. You want God to be good to you? Wait for Him. You're tempted to manipulate your circumstance and make it work out the way you want God to be good to you? He says, then wait for Him.
Because listen, what's involved in waiting? Trusting Him, obeying Him, and keeping my focus on Him. He said, you want me to be good to you? He said, what I want you to do is I want you to trust me.
I want you to wait for me. I want you to believe that I'll be there in the right time with whatever you need, whatever your heart's desire is that fits my plan and my purpose for your life. So, He says He'll be good to us.
The second thing He says is that He will answer our petition. Turn if you will to the fortieth Psalm. The fortieth Psalm, and let's look at those first three verses here. And David certainly must have prayed this prayer and cried out to God many, many times. The fortieth Psalm says in verse one, I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry. You know what that means?
Here's what it means. Let's say that God, let's put God in heaven on His throne and when He says He inclined to me, it's like God leaned over to listen very carefully. He says, I cried out to God and He inclined to me and heard my prayer, brought me up out of the pit that I was in. So when you and I learn to wait upon God, we can expect Him to be good to us. We can expect Him to answer our petitions, to answer the desires of our heart, to receive our answers and our prayers. Likewise, we can expect to see the fruit of our faith because it's all wrapped up in trusting Him. He said in the twenty-fifth Psalm, if you'll notice, He said, I know that I will not be ashamed. None of those who wait for you will be ashamed. I can expect God to be true to me and keep me in the midst of those times and that my faith will be honored.
I won't be disappointed in Him. Now when we don't wait, what can we expect? A lot of people end up in a big mess in life because they try to manipulate their circumstances.
They want to make it work their way. And my friend, there is no more profitable lesson to learn than to wait upon Him. You see what happens is when we get ahead of Him, manipulate our circumstances, we get hurt. The tragedy is we hurt other people. A lot of people get hurt. We get hurt. We hurt the kingdom of God. And listen, what happens is we put ourselves in a position to delay the very blessing that God had prepared for us at that very time if we had just waited. And I wonder how often on one simple turn of the mind, in a very few seconds, people wreck the rest of their life. And they go through the rest of their life saying, if I'd a, if I'd a, if I'd a, if I'd a, if I'd a, if I'd a, if I'd a just waited, if I'd a just listened, if I had just been there, if I had done what He said, if I had just obeyed Him.
Listen, there isn't anything in life worth spending the rest of your life regretting over, nothing. And you don't have to because He says He's good to those who wait for Him. He acts in behalf of those who wait for Him.
If we'll trust Him, He will give us His very best. And Father, how grateful we are that You are so precious to be so involved in our life. When You say that You will act in our behalf, I'm awed by that. That You purposely, personally take our circumstance and our situation to heart and begin to work in our behalf. And Father, You know the difficulties and hardships that some people who are listening are facing this very moment. You know what their needs are, the desires of their heart, the deep yearnings and hungers of their soul. Father, I pray the Holy Spirit will sink this message so deeply and that they would begin to apply these simple truths and then watch with excitement, anticipation, great anticipation to see what You're going to do because they've waited upon You, a God who says, I will act in Your behalf and I'll be good to You.
But we pray it in Jesus' name. Amen. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of The Grace to Wait. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-26 03:22:52 / 2023-01-26 03:31:41 / 9