Waiting patiently for the Lord

Recently I have been reading the book of Habakkuk.

Like the Old Testament prophet we too live in confusing times. And like Habakkuk we too may be tempted to complain to God.

How long must we endure the current coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions placed upon us? How much longer must we continue to hear daily about death and disease? How many more must lose their jobs and suffer financial hardship?

We do not know the answer to these questions but we do know this.

Because of the utterly amazing salvation that was secured for us at the cross when Jesus bore there the punishment our sins deserved, we can have confidence that there is a day coming when we will all be utterly amazed. again. For there is a day coming when God ‘will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things [will] have passed away.’ [Revelation 21:2-4]

Covid-19 will not last forever. We may never fully understand what God is up to in these days but, just as as in the days of Habakkuk, God is working his purposes out.

As he does so may we continue to trust that the judge of all the earth will do what is just. Because that, as chapter 2 of the book makes plain, is what the righteous do. They live by faith [Habakkuk 2:4] and as they do so they wait [Habakkuk 2:3] hoping in a God who they know, though he may linger, will certainly keep his promises. They are convinced that, despite what they may currently be experiencing, God will come and he will act just as he has promised to. And so even as they wait they rejoice. As Habakkuk goes on to remind in Chapter 3, ‘though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet [we can still] rejoice in the LORD; [we can still] take joy in the God of [our] salvation.’ [Habakkuk 3:17-18].

As these verses make clear though, it won’t be easy for people of faith – they rejoice in the midst of sorrow. But, though they may be weary with their crying out; though their throats may be parched and their eyes may have grown dim with waiting, [Psalm 69:3] even so, still they wait patiently. For they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. [Isaiah 40:31] For the LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. [Lamentations 3:25-26]

And that salvation will surely come, just when God knows that the time is best. For when we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. [Romans 5:6]. And Jesus is coming again. We do not know when that time will come for concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. [Mark 13:32]

And so we too must wait patiently for the LORD, and in his word we must hope. [Psalm 130:5] If we do we know that he will incline to us and hear our cry. [Psalm 40:1] Our souls then wait for the LORD; for he is our help and our shield. [Psalm 33:20]

Therefore be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD! [Psalm 31:24] None who wait for the LORD shall be put to shame. [Psalm 25:3] and we can be confident that, like Abraham, having patiently waited, we will obtain all the promises God has made to us. [Hebrews 6:15]

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