Volume. XXIX, No. 35
Sunday, 01 March 2015


From the Pastors Heart: Wait on God - Part 19


Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” 

 

In the previous article, we have considered that God waits on His people as in Isaiah 30:18. Our great and kind LORD waits on His people to be gracious and merciful to them. He desires to be exalted in the midst of such unworthy people, which is an inexpressible honor and privilege to them. Despite their sinfulness and disobedience, the goodness and love of the Lord does not cease, and He longs to bless them. He is waiting for their return to Him. In times of troubles and trials, we ought to remember that God waits on us to be gracious. Thus, our waiting upon Him will not be in vain. If He is waiting, He is ready to meet us, if we come to Him. There is one unforgettable blessing we ought to cherish. When we wait upon the Lord, it is not just His blessings and gifts we shall receive. It is the Lord who will turn Himself to us. Thus, it cannot but be true that all they who wait for Him are blessed ones. Jeremiah says so in the midst of sorrows in Lamentations 3:25, “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” It is inevitable for us to suffer in this life. How true it is when Job said in Job 5:7, “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.”  However, there is a blessed and undiminishable hope that God is waiting on those who are waiting for Him. Thus, our waiting for Him cannot be nothing but everything. 

 

Having such a blessed thought in mind, we move into Isaiah 40:31, which is another encouraging truth, worthy of our meditation.  Isaiah 40 is like a beautiful flower finally fully blossomed and giving off a breathtaking aroma to the onlookers. This chapter is like a spark starting a fire to bring forth a light to cast darkness away and to shine forth the way of life. We even dare to say that the first thirty-nine chapters are only a preparation to lead us to this chapter. There are stories of judgments and foreign enemies’ supremacy over the people of God in the first thirty-nine chapters. Chapter 40 proclaims a message of liberation and deliverance from all such miseries. This chapter begins with a message of consolation. Verse 1 says, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.”  We need to understand this message carefully. (1) This message was not given to the people in the Babylonian exile.   Although there are messages about the Babylonian captivity in the first thirty-nine chapters, they are all prophetic words, which were not yet fulfilled. Isaiah was written roughly around 700 B.C, and the Babylonian captivity began either 605 or 586 B.C. depending on the point of view. Whatever the figure, one thing is for sure. Isaiah wrote about the Babylonian invasion and captivity at least one hundred years beforehand.  Therefore,  both the messages of judgment and of restoration are prophecies. The all-knowing God saw the suffering, pain, and misery that His people would experience, and He also made provision for their restoration beforehand.  It may comfort and encourage us that we ought not to be in despair even in times of trials.  As we are waiting for God in such times, so He is waiting for us.  (2) God is calling Himself “your God.” The people who  disappointed God and even rebelled against Him are still in His heart. He also calls them “my people.” The comfort they need has to come from their God who considers them as His people. 

 

Behind such comforting messages, there are many promises following. His promises are His words which will stand forever, though the grass withers and the flower fades (verse 8). His promises come with His strength (verse 10). He will be their shepherd, and His wisdom is infinite (verse 14). All nations are  like a drop in a bucket before Him (verse 15).  In fact, all nations are like nothing before Him (verse 17). There is nothing to be compared with God (verse 18). He is the Creator God who rules over all things (verses 22, 26, 28). This God is mighty and never wants (verse 28). This God is the source of all the strength we need (verse 29). 

 

We can be very sure that our waiting on God is not in vain.  It is because our waiting is on the person of God, who was, is, and will be forever. The eternal God is our help and refuge. Thus, our hope in Him will not vanish away.  Waiting on God is closely tied with our faith in Him.  However, simply confessing Him as our Lord may not be enough. Though we confess Him as our Lord, our faith may be little. We must be reminded that even the disciples of Jesus were rebuked for their little faith. Though the Lord of lords and the King of kings was standing before them and ready to demonstrate His power and might for their benefit, they doubted Him. They did not deny Him. They did not refuse to receive Him as Lord and Savior, but had only a tiny little faith. Therefore, we may say that the maturity of our faith surely matters when we wait for Him in times of trouble. Some of us may not understand this matter clearly. Why do troubles happen? Can’t we believe in God when there are no trials and problems ?  Why must there be  so many  uncertainties in life? There may be many answers to such delicate questions.  If we consider just one of them, we may say that we may know the level/size of our faith only through uncertainties and trials. With a truth that no one will suffer to be tempted above that which he cannot bear (1 Corinthians 10:13), we  know that troubles in the lives of the believers will not destroy them but rather establish them in the faith. Until we face troubles, we are not able to measure and fathom the depth of our faith in Him.   

 

Look at verses 27-28, “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? 28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.” Doesn’t it sound like our own words? We may have times when we have to walk in the shadows of the valley of death. We may not find any strength in us to overcome trials alone.  However, the provision of God is available and great. Proverbs 20:29 says, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.”  Though a young man equipped with strength may become weak and weary, our God will renew the strength of those who wait upon Him. He will strengthen them. They will not faint. The Lord will supply them with the wings of eagles. We all know how powerful the wings of eagles are. They can fly far and fast. As the eagles soar high in the sky, so the believers of God will soar high toward heaven. 

 

Andrew Murray describes the eagles as follows: “You know how the eagles are taught the use of their wings. See yonder cliff rising a thousand feet out of the sea. See high up a ledge on the rock, where there is an eagle’s nest with its treasure of two young eaglets. See the mother bird come and stir up her nest, and with her beak push the timid birds over the precipice. See how they flutter and fall and sink toward the depth. See now how she ‘fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings’ (Deut. 32:11), and so, as they ride upon her wings, brings them to a place of safety. And so, she does this once and again, each time casting them out over the precipice, and then again taking and carrying them. ‘So the LORD alone did lead him’ (v. 12). Yes, the instinct of that eagle mother was God’s gift, a single ray of that love in which the Almighty trains His people to mount as on eagles’ wings. He stirs up your nest. He disappoints your hopes. He brings down your confidence. He makes you fear and tremble, as all your strength fails, and you feel utterly weary and helpless. And all the while He is spreading His strong wings for you to rest your weakness on and offering His everlasting Creator strength to work in you. And all He asks is that you sink down in your weariness and wait on Him.  Allow Him in His Jehovah strength to carry you as you ride upon the wings of His omnipotence” (The Andrew Murray Collection: 21 Classic Works, Kindle Locations 19681-19691). 

 

Lovingly,

Your Pastor


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster - Leader: Today: Dn Colin Gan. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Daniel Volvricht.

*Next weekend’s “Voice of Martyrs’ Talks” are by Mr John Wilson, CEO of VOM Australia. Mrs Wilson will give a VOM talk on Saturday afternoon. All are encouraged to attend these talks.

*There will be no Basic Bible Knowledge & Adult Sunday School Classes next Lord’s Day.

*Session thanks all those who contributed food, drinks, transport, etc. to the Welcome Night on Friday evening.

 *2015 Easter Family Bible Camp registration & diet forms are available on the foyer table.

*Church picnic on Monday, 9 March, is at Kensington Gardens Reserve

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Please refer to hard copy of Lively Hope.

2. Church activities & Working Bees  in the past week.

3. Church Welcome Dinner & AFG-Sparks-YAF Welcome Dinner/Activity.

4. Visitors & new worshippers.

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

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Please refer to hard copy of Lively Hope.

2. Special Prayer: Rev Edward Paauwe (post-surgery); Bro Tien Lee’s father (post-surgery in Penang); Bro XiHeng Wu (in-patient in hospital in Jinan, China) & Sis Yashu Qin’s father (Wuhan).

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

4. iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.

5. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Life School & University (Sihanoukville).

6. Cebu Missions: House of Hope - pastor, staff & in-patients. Salvation of drug addicts.

7. New Life BPC (London) - Encouragement for congregation. God’s guidance & provision of a pastor.

8. Providence B-P Church, Mawson Lakes - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.

9. Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.

10. Journey mercies: Please refer to hard copy of Lively Hope.

11. Health in pregnancy: Sis Emily Zheng.

12. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

13. Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.

14. God’s wisdom & guidance - for our Federal & State political leaders.

15. Internship in Bundaberg: Sis Wendy Liang.

16. Studying in Tasmania: Sisters Kai Jun Chua & Agnes See.

17. Those affected by Cyclones Marcia (Qld) & Lam (NT). Australians to turn to God.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063