Waiting Upon the Lord
By Pastor Rene Ely
“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him because we trust in His holy name. Let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, according as we have hoped in you.”
It has been almost three weeks since the implementation of the lockdown due to covid-19, and for many of us this seems to be a very long time already. Those who lost their jobs or stopped from their work for home quarantine worry that their resources will soon be exhausted.
Some are waiting for the time to be reunited to their family members who were separated from them because of their services as frontline workers. We all ask questions like “How long will this pandemic last? How long do we have to wait?”
We have to admit that waiting is difficult for many of us! It is in the midst of this crisis that the Lord is teaching us the precious lesson of waiting upon Him. As David exhorts, “Wait on the Lord. Be strong. Let your heart take courage. Yes, wait on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). David knew that it is in times of waiting that we are most tempted to lose hope, be discouraged and our confidence be misplaced. Brethren, if waiting to you looks like you are passively doing nothing at all then it is easy for you to be swayed by your emotions to think that something has to be done. The problem is often worry accompanies such a perspective. Are we in such a situation now?
The psalmist in Psalm 33:20 gives us a very timely admonition as we learn to actively wait on the Lord: “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” Yes, our active waiting on the Lord is a constant and deliberate choice to make Him our help and shield. Our God-honoring response in the midst of this crisis is to wait on the Lord with the confidence on who He is and what He is doing in our midst. It is being assured of His perfect wisdom, right timing and power. This will greatly benefit us as we remove focus on self and instead rest in His Word and His love no matter how long this crisis might be.
Psalm 33 is a psalm of praise so we are invited to praise God in our times of waiting. This Psalm invites all people to worship the Lord (vv. 1-3), to give praises to God for His word, His works and deliverance of His people from their enemies (1-19). As the psalmist had enumerated, there is so much we can praise God for! The last three verses (vv. 20-23) is the resolve in which the worshippers declare their intention to wait trustingly on God. This is to be the same resolve we make in these times of waiting! As the people together with the psalmist reflected on God’s power and goodness to them, they affirmed together their intention to wait in hope on the Lord and to trust in His holy name. What an encouragement for us to be worshippers of the living God as we reflect on His power and goodness as we wait in hope on Him!
How then do we wait upon the Lord? Brethren, the Lord clearly teaches us in His Word that times of waiting that He sovereignly allows (like this crisis) are not times of passive waiting or endurance in the passage of time but rather of confident expectation (Ps. 39:7, Ps. 62:5, Micah 7:7). They are to be times of patient waiting (Ps. 37:7, 40:1), hopeful waiting in God’s Word (Ps. 130:5), restful waiting on God’s timing (Ps. 145:15, Gal. 6:9) and learning to be content with God’s provision (2 Cor. 4:16-18, Phil. 4:11-13). The Scripture adds that “those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength” (Isa.40:31) and “will not be ashamed” (Ps. 25:3). As believers, our kind of waiting rests on the assurance that God is our help and shield and therefore our hearts rejoices in Him (Ps. 33:20b-21).
One writer said, “When you are waiting, you are not doing nothing. You are doing the most important something there is. You are allowing your soul to grow up. If you can’t be still and wait, you can’t become what God created you to be.”
Matthew Henry Commentary gives this insight: "Wait on the Lord by faith, and in prayer, and a humble resignation to His will".
I encourage and challenge you to do the following as you actively wait upon the Lord:
To keep meditating on the last three Sunday preachings given by our Senior Pastor which point and challenge us to trust in the sovereignty of God. The Lord continues to prepare and strengthen us through His messages and in them we are to be encouraged especially in the midst of our present crisis. As God’s children, we are not to choose the way of unbelievers who are unwise and foolish in wasting precious times to worry and complaining. Brethren, let us be still and know that our God is powerful and good as He declared to us in His word. Together, let us whole-heartedly rely and depend on our God who never fails in His works and promises to us.
To do this one resolve as the Lord is teaching us to wait upon Him actively, spend time reading and studying His word seriously. As you set aside uninterrupted times of reading and studying, earnestly desire to know God’s will and promises, meditate on who God is, examine your own heart, motives and attitudes, your values and priorities.
To spend consistent and much time in prayer and intercession individually and as a family.
To keep preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to yourself and use every possible means available to preach the gospel to others.
This crisis can bring before us golden opportunities for the Church to shine to greatly magnify our God! Brethren, our God is purposeful and we earnestly pray that His purposes be accomplished as we wait upon Him. God bless everyone!