“…And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father…”
When God orchestrated the redemption of mankind, He went about it in a remarkable way. He did not release lightning bolts from the heavens, shake the ground with earthquakes nor did He assign a committee of angels to strategize the plan of salvation. God simply placed a Baby in the womb of a humble virgin and then He waited.
If waiting is part of God’s nature then it should be part of ours. However, God has perfected the act of waiting—we have not. To wait is to stay in a place until an expected event happens or until someone arrives. It is to stand still until it is our turn to do something. The act of waiting is to patiently remain in hope that something will happen soon. God’s children seldom stay where they are planted and we often and impatiently act out of turn—thereby missing the opportunity to receive God’s best for our lives.
King David understood the spiritual significance of waiting when he declared,
“My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 62:5
The first part of David’s statement is an exhortation, and the second, anticipation. David was first speaking to himself—he was addressing his inner being. It is here that all sermons should begin for if we can influence our own soul by the words we say, then we can anticipate having some influence in the lives of others.
David is saying that we must make God the height of our desires and the object of our actions. Those who only exist to create successful careers, or to gain prominence in social circles, or who live to please others will eventually be disappointed.
To truly satisfy our souls we must make our relationship with God our one objective in life, stand back, and wait for everything else to fall into place. When we put Christ first then we will serve Him in love and live only to please Him. When Christ is first then we will long to advance the purpose of His Kingdom by eagerly telling the story of His Gospel.
David is urging his soul to depend on God and to trust Him only. Our faith should rest on nothing but the promise of His Word.
One of the greatest weaknesses in the church today is that we do not believe that God invests His power in His Word. We have confidence that special programs, guest speakers, inspiring books and new methodologies will produce God’s power—and even though they advance Kingdom business—the only thing that yields God’s transforming power is His Word.
The Word of God produces the power to forgive, to redeem, to deliver, to restore, to transform, to protect, to heal, and to produce everlasting life. Remember this truth: God is the Word and God is power, therefore God’s Word is power! When we wait on God, we are waiting on His powerful Word to achieve that which He intended it to achieve—it will not fail us—it never has and never will!
David further declares that his expectation is in God. No matter our need—our source is the Lord. We must acknowledge that all we possess and expect to possess is from the Father above. Our health, our livelihoods, our families, our dreams and aspirations and most importantly our eternal salvation is all provided by our kind and merciful God. Our hope should be in Him and Him alone!
Paul spoke of this supernatural hope in Romans 8:24-25. “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”
God’s children are saved by hope. Those of us that deal with God must do so in pure trust and hope.
We live in a world filled with trials and tribulations and yet God’s Word beseeches us to wait for the promise of the Father—no matter how dark our path. It is said that hope is “…like a star—not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.” We are directed to “count it all joy” when we face trouble for it brings us closer to our Savior.
Those who do not hope cannot wait. When our agenda overrides God’s perfect timeline for our lives we begin to justify our actions no matter how much they neglect God’s will. Once we disobey God’s mandates, we have personally dethroned Him and made ourselves the sole authority of what is right and wrong.
God’s will, which is defined in His Word, never changes—it is enduring and eternally the same, for all—rich or poor, powerful or meek. When we obey God’s mandates and have faith in the power of His Word, we will see the fulfillment of its promises.
Faith respects the promise and waiting anticipates its manifestation. Faith is the mother of hope—it is what defines a Christian (1 Corinthians 13:13). Waiting—even though agonizing at times, benefits us. It tests our faith, exercises our patience, teaches us submission and helps us to believe in the blessings to come. King David trusted God and believed in the power of hope, “My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold…” Psalm 62:1-2
To “wait on the promises of the Father” does not mean that we are to sit back with folded hands and stare into the starry sky waiting for our prayers to be answered or better still, waiting for His imminent return. We are to work while we wait. Believers should make every day count for the Lord by making Him first and doing what He commands.
Those that wait on the Lord in hope will discover security and refreshing newness in their relationship with God. Those that wait with a grateful heart will renew their strength and not be disappointed.
Jesus told His disciples to wait until the appointed time for the Promise of the Father. They were to wait in the appointed place, which was Jerusalem. It was in Jerusalem that the Holy Spirit would first be poured out. It was in Jerusalem where the Word of the Lord would go forth and it is in Jerusalem where Christ will soon return and reign.
We cannot forget that the grace of God first appeared in the form of a baby who eventually brought salvation to all mankind. And while we wait on our Redeemer’s return we are to “live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” Titus 2:12-13
And while we patiently wait for the Promise of the Father, which will come at an appointed time and place; we must never forget how He graciously waited for us.