Advent 2018 – Faith
By Jesse Packard
January 8, 2019
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
Reader 2: Waiting is hard. Our culture has perfected the art of instant gratification. We can watch whatever we want, talk to whomever we want, buy whatever we want, and be whomever we want, and it can all come whenever we want it. Why should we wait for anything when getting what we think we want is so easy?
Reader 1: But maybe we have to wait in life for the things truly worth having. The Israelites waited. They waited for hundreds of years for God to speak to them. They waited for God to fulfill His promise, to send them a Savior. In ages past, the people of God have waited on Him to move, to save, to speak. Why do God’s people wait for the Lord? Maybe it is because what we are waiting for is worth it?
Reader 2: But waiting is hard. How can we be sure what we are waiting for is actually worth the wait? How do we know that God will actually fulfill His promises? God’s promises are almost never fulfilled how we think they should be. The Israelites waited and waited, and God stayed silent. He didn’t show them anything to let them know they weren’t waiting in vain. How can we know we are waiting for something real?
Hebrews 11:1 says:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
It takes faith to know that what we wait for is real and that it is coming. Or rather, that HE is coming. Because that is really what this is all about. We are waiting on HIM to return, and that takes faith.
Hebrews 11 recounts story after story of the heroes of old, those who had faith that God would do what He said He would. Many of them waited and had faith for God to fulfill His promises. They waited because God’s Promised One was worth it. They waited because His coming kingdom, their home, was worth it. And when Jesus did come, they were right, His salvation was worth the waiting.
Reader 2: And we are waiting for Him to come back too. God will give us faith to wait. But the beautiful thing about waiting on God in faith is it is not passive. He has work for us to do while we wait. He will give us faith and endurance. Hebrews 10:36-39 says:
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,
“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.