Volume. XXIX, No. 11
Sunday, 14 September 2014


From the Pastor's Heart: Waiting on God (Part 9)


Psalm 37:7-9, “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. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 

There are lots of verses teaching us about patience.  I’ll give you a few examples.  What we need to see from such frequent teachings of patience by the Holy Spirit is that patience is important in Christian life and character.  Consider the following verses and meditate upon them.  Luke 8:15, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.  Luke 21:19, “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  Romans 8:25, “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”  Colossians 1:11, “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”  Hebrews 6:12, “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”  Hebrews 10:36, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”  James 1:4, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.  Revelation 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” 

The first lesson we can glean from verse 7a, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him,” is that there is a relation between patience and waiting for God.  This relation may offer us a few profitable lessons.  (1) We are not patient enough, and patience must be cultivated.  If patience is a natural fruit of our inner character, there is no reason for the Lord to teach us to wait for Him patiently.  We find its synonym, longsuffering, in Galatians 5:22, which is a fruit of the Spirit.  (2) Trusting in God does not imply quick fixes to all problems.  Probably, many of us are stumbled over this particular lesson.  We think that trusting in God removes all the obstacles in life and defeats all our enemies, and quick solutions are easily obtained.  However, “wait patiently for Him” teaches us otherwise.  (3) Patiently waiting does not specify the duration of waiting.  It can be very long, or it can be relatively short, but regardless of its duration, we are required to patiently wait for God by faith.  To remove problems and to make changes may be a very slow process and our expectations may not be met.  (4) Patiently waiting indicates that thoughts of God are not the same as ours.  He will do as it pleases Him.  His time is the time to see all the fulfillments, not our time.  (5) Patiently waiting honors God’s sovereignty.  He is not to be pushed.  In fact, He cannot be pushed.  He does all things according to His sovereign will.  Patient waiting is one of the ways that we show our submission to Him.  While we are waiting for His move, we do acknowledge that He is the Lord and King.  (6) Patiently waiting requires us to be faithful and steadfastness.  If we are not faithful, then we will fail to wait for Him constantly, and we will become unstable.  The time to wait disciplines, educates, and trains us to be constant in hope and faith.  When we fail to wait for Him patiently, we are showing that we desire our will to be the controlling factor and we are double minded people.  We have doubts, and challenge God and His authority over many unknowns in trying times.  (7) Patiently waiting provides us with opportunities to exercise our faith.  Waiting time is uncertain time.  Problems are prevalent but solutions are not in sight.  We patiently wait for God, it is the very picture of faith.  (8) Patiently waiting is an internal declaration that God is wiser than us and nothing is hidden from His eyes.  Thus, instead of relying on our own understanding, we submit ourselves humbly before Him.  More problems and trials we have, more submission and obedience to Him we offer. 

The second lesson we may glean from the passage is that life is real and our faith should not blind us from the real life with obstacles and seemingly unfair events.  Living by faith does not mean living in cozy world.  (1) Patiently waiting for God in such trying times is a confession that we are truly nothings.  Trials and problems are real, but there is nothing we can do about them with our own efforts and strengths alone.  We have no means to overcome problems at the present moment, our expectations cannot be met, and we are helpless.  We confess that we are nothing, and we cannot but depend on God.  (2) Patiently waiting for God is a confession of faith.  God can be reached only by faith.  There are so many unknown factors in life, and our desire and efforts produce nothing but hopelessness.  Unless God interferes, nothing will change.  God seems to be in the distance, and injustice seems to everywhere.  God, His people, their suffering, and injustice do not make good matches practically, intellectually, and spiritually.  Apart from the mighty hands of God, there is no way to resolve the uneven tensions in life.  However, He can neither be seen nor be touched.  Only by faith we can come to Him for help.  If we believe in the seen, it is not faith.  We are not to walk by sight but by faith.  Patiently waiting for God is a real practice to live by faith.  (3) Patiently waiting for God presupposes that there are circumstances or conditions of life in which we may struggle, and many a time we may not fully understand the logic behind such trials and struggles.  In fact, Psalm 37 is full of such exhortations.  (a) We should not fret ourselves because of evil doers in verse 1.  “Fretting” means “burning anger.”  We are not to be hot in anger because of them.  On the one hand, there are legitimate reasons for them to be angry with the wicked and evil doers.  The evil ones are plotting against the just and righteous in verse 12.  They borrow but do not pay back in verse 21.  Thus, the good people suffer under the hands of the wicked, which is unreasonable and illogical.  (b) We should trust in God.  God knows all things and is able to deal with the wicked justly.  Therefore, there will be due compensation made against the evil doers.  We must patiently wait for God because there is eternal justice by eternal God.  (c) We should neither misunderstand nor misjudge God by finding present trials unreasonable and unmatched with our theology of the justice and goodness of God.  Patiently waiting for God presupposes that waiting will not be endless but only temporal and limited in time. 

The third lesson we may glean from the passage is that there is a proper attitude we must cultivate as we wait for God.  Psalm 37:7a says, “Rest in the LORD.  The ESV and the NIV translate it as “Be still in the LORD.”  Another translation says, “Be silent in the LORD.”  Resting in the LORD is the spiritual attitude we ought to cultivate.  We may be frustrated and discouraged at first when we experience evil deeds by wicked people.  However, we must recognize that such people and such problems must be dealt with by the LORD of holiness and justice.  We ought to rest in Him.  The LORD will do His divine work against such people and situations because of two reasons: One is the necessity of justice against the evil and wicked ones.  The other is to protect His people from such evil doers or to reward His people.  Probably Philippians 4:6-7 are the fitting verses for our meditation: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Rest not in anything else but in Him.  Patiently wait only for Him!

Lovingly,

Your Pastor

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster - Leader: Today: Bro Phil Surman. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Raphael Ng

*Theology Class - Catch up – for those who missed lectures on Saturdays.

*Latest Bible Witness magazines available. Please help yourself to a copy.

*All worshippers are encouraged to attend Bible study groups & fellowship activities.

*Service rosters for Oct-Dec: please let Bro Lucas Yiew know of your availability.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren; Bro Seng & Sis Arum Ma & family; Bro Raymond & Sis Swee Yee Chia; Bros Joseph Selvanayagam, Chee Wee Tan, Lucas Yiew (Adl) & Houston Li (Adl/Mt Gambier); Sisters Christabelle Selvanayagam (Syd), Sally Teng & Yu Yuet Teng (Adl) & others travelling.

2. Church activities in the past week.

3. Visitors & new worshippers.

4. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev George van Buuren; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bros Herbert (Dilly) Anderson (Kenya), Raymond Ang’s father (S’pore), Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (Sis Felicia’s father - S’pore); Sisters Margaret Hooper, Grace Gan’s father (healing), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Iris Surman’s brother, Corinne Teng, Susan Weng & Mavis Wong’s mother (salvation & healing); Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong; Mr Lucas Lee; Mr Tony Zhang; Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Mumbai); & others in affliction.

2. Post-op recovery: Bro Jason Teng & Sis Myung Ki

3. God’s strength, guidance & provision: Sis WolHee Kim & her two daughters (S Korea).

4. Chemotherapy: Sis Queenie Lau (Canberra).

5. iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim.

6. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry; Bro Sun Sokha & Ministry (Phnom Penh).

7. New Life BPC (London) - strength & encouragement for congregation; Resident Preacher Mok.

8. Batam Missions: Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry; Filadelfia BPC, orphanage, kindergarten & school.

9. Providence B-P Church, Valley View - Bro David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.

10. Youth Pastor for Hope B-P Church.

11. Journey mercies: Bro Houston Li (Mt Gambier/Adl); Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam (Adl); & others travelling.

12. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

13. Postnatal recovery: Sis Heng Yee Lee; good health & development of baby Pinn Hsien.

14. AFG - YAF Retreat - Speaker: Rev Mark Chen; organizers & participants.

15.  Preparation for marriage: Bro Daniel Ki & Sis Clara Sim.

 

 

 

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