Volume. XXIX, No. 44
Sunday, 03 May 2015


From The Pastors Heart: Wait for God (Part - 20)


Isaiah 49:23, “And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”

 

Isaiah 30:18, “And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.”

 

As we open up another talk about waiting for God, we may learn some invaluable lessons from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”  “Wait” and “times” are closely interrelated in this passage.  There are times for everything, which reflects the wisdom and providence of God.  Some of the life events listed in the passage are pleasant, including births, planting, healing, building, laughing, dancing, gathering, embracing, loving, or having peace.  However, there are sad and desperate times like dying, plucking up, killing, weeping, breaking down, casting away, and so on, which are times to wait for God’s sustaining grace and His comforting presence. 

 

Returning to the first two verses quoted from the book of Isaiah, we find great promises from the Lord in times when we ought to wait for God.  These are the times of struggles and trials.  Even without going into the context of such verses, they themselves are indicating this point quite clearly.  For example, Isaiah 49:23b says, “for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”  “Be ashamed” means “to be put to shame,” “be disconcerted,” or “be disappointed.”  Verse 14 in the same chapter speaks of the condition of the people of God when they had to wait for God: “But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.”  We may see an implication from the verse that the evil situation was beyond breakable and that there was no possibility of deliverance, humanly speaking.  It was the time when God invited His people to wait for Him.  It is a spiritual dilemma that the people of God fail to wait for Him when they need Him the most.  They depart from God in despair and disappointment, and they are suppressed under the burdens of life.  They need Him the most in those circumstances but fail to keep their eyes on Him and to trust in Him.  They fail to believe in God because they fail to believe in who and what He is.  We are often doing the same thing.  We look at the circumstances and judge God and His wisdom accordingly, as if God is not beyond our circumstances.  While we believe in God, we fail to see His unfailing love for us and His unchangeable attributes.  His promises are based on His attributes. 

 

Westminster confession of Faith 2.1 says of God as following: “There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments; hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.”  If we understand and believe in God in the way that this confession explains, there is no way that we cannot wait for God in times of our desperate situations, even critical moments like life and death situations. 

 

God who has revealed Himself to us with such attributes has promised with His own Word that all who wait for Him will not be ashamed.  Isaiah 30:18b says, “blessed are all they that wait for him.”  Who will doubt it when God promises?  How slow we are to learn this lesson!  Though we have seen and experienced His helps and interventions so many times before, we are still hesitant to wait for Him to act in all our circumstances for His glory.  There are at least three attitudes we must develop to practice what we have just learnt: (1) the spirit of dependence on God, (2) unceasing yielding to Him for His perfect will, and (3) firm conviction and faith that he who waits for God is blessed. 

 

We need to look into the minds of the people waiting for God in times of troubles.  Are they fearful?  Of course.  Are they despondent?  Of course.  Are they frustrated and discouraged?  Of course.  Are they anxious?  Surely.  We are living with lots of uncertainties including job securities, shaky relationships, health issues, world economy and politics, or current situations we are facing.  There are many uncertain things in life.

 

We must not forget that uncertainties in life do help us see the strength of our faith in God.  Or, God gives us a test through uncertainties, by which He sees if we truly trust in Him.  It is a test of our dependence on Him.  Waiting for God in times of troubles is a means to exercise our faith.  Deuteronomy 8:1-3 is a good example: “All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. 2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” 

 

We must know that the living God has given His promises to His people, by which He binds Himself to them.  That’s why the promises of God are precious, and we ought to cherish them by faith.  He calls us to wait for Him.  We often measure our faith with wrong measurements.  Sometimes we think we have great faith in God because we have some beautiful thoughts and visions of God.  We even attempt to convince ourselves that our faith is great.  We say words of faith and praise of our own faith.  However, all of them are wrong measurements.  As the Lord revealed in Isaiah passages we have been studying, we shall know of our faith by knowing that we are trusting in His promises in times of uncertainties.  Our faith will tell us that we are blessed if we wait for Him.  Our faith will speak to us that we shall not be ashamed if we wait for Him.  Though you and I may have to wait for God now, we are the blessed ones, because it is the promise of God.  If you are struggling with trials and challenges now, know that it is a time to wait for Him.  Let our hearts continually sing a song of God’s promises: “blessed are all they that wait for him.”

 

Lovingly,

Your Pastor


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

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

*Congratulations to Bro Houston & Sis Jen Xin Li on the blessing of their marriage yesterday.

*A new kitchen cleaning roster is being prepared & volunteers are required. If you can assist, please put your name on the list on the notice board in the foyer.

*Family Camp Media order forms are available on the foyer table.

*Mother’s Day Lunch is not restricted to mothers & grandmothers. All daughters (girls & women) are encouraged to come. Please see Sis Sally Law for details.

*Maranatha B-P Church (S’pore) is organising a Reformation Study Tour to Germany, France & Switzerland, 8 - 20 November. For details about itinerary, package prices & flight details, please see any Session member.

Praise & Thanksgiving

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

2. Church activities,  in the past week.

3. Visitors & new worshippers.

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

5. Wedding yesterday: Bro Houston Li & Sis Jen Xin Lau

6. Graduation as doctors last week: Sisters Michelle Ee, Wendy Liang & Mable Quek.

7. Interim Pastor (Rev Dr Carl Martin) - New Life BPC, London.

Prayer Items

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

2. Special Prayer: Rev Edward Paauwe; Mrs Janet Jara (Chile); Bro Tien Lee’s father (Penang); Bro XiHeng Wu (Jinan, China); Sisters Nita Chong & Yashu Qin’s father (Wuhan).

3. God’s healing: Sis Wol Hee Kim & DaHee (S Korea). 

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

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

6. New Life BPC (London) - God’s guidance & encouragement for congregation.

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

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

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

10. Health in pregnancy: Sisters Julie Tan’s daughter (Katrina), Josephine Wong &  Emily Zheng.

11. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

12. Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.

13. Persecuted believers in Islamic & communist countries. This week: Turkey, Syria & North Korea.

14. God’s guidance: Sale of The Stone Mansion & future purchase of property for church.

15. God’s guidance & provision: Bro Tze Yen & Sis Shiau Chin (Ashley) Chang & family - in the US.

16. Nepal earthquake: comfort of survivals & those who lost their loved ones. Salvation of the Nepalese people.

17. God’s comfort for families of the late Andrew Chan & Myuran Sukumaran executed recently in Indonesia.

 

 

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