The Advent season is a time of anticipation, waiting, and preparation. During the month of December, Time With God will break from its regular format to explore selected passages and characters connected with the coming of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with Us.
People waited hundreds of years for the Messiah to come. We, too, are called to wait on the Lord. We wait for Jesus to return (his second advent), and we wait for him to act in our hearts and circumstances. For some, waiting has a negative connotation to it. But God works through the waiting process; it is an active endeavor of faith.
The writer of Hebrews defined faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). This certainty doesn’t preclude mystery; in fact, it includes waiting on the mystery of God. Waiting is inextricably tied to authentic faith. One can wait unfaithfully, but one cannot be faithful without waiting.
READ THE WORD: ROMANS 8:24-25 (ESV)
24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
RESPOND TO GOD
As Christmas approaches, it is a time to celebrate Jesus as Immanuel, meaning God with us. Christ promises his presence to us in good and troubling times. Waiting is the acceptance of his presence when we would rather cling to something else.
What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them… We must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly. (A.W. Tozer)
We must be willing to allow the presence of God in our lives as we learn how to live with the problems of this world. We wait not just for things to be made right, but also for the calming, enduring presence of Christ within all of the wrong. Let us wait upon the Lord together, believing that such patience and attunement builds our faith like the saints of old, while also creating unparalleled intimacy with our God.