“What Are We Waiting For?”
Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
“But 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
God’s declaration through the prophet Isaiah is a promise for believers. The verse is in contrast to those who appear strong like youths and those who are powerful. Those who are strong in worldly terms will all grow tired and weary. But those who wait for the LORD will not only survive but will run because they won’t get tired.
God promised to deliver His people and the prophet Isaiah began Chapter 40 with God’s word of “comfort”. “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” This Chapter of Isaiah is indeed comfort for God’s people because they are reminded of His sovereignty and the absolute truth of His word. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8 The “Servant” who would comfort and redeem God’s people, revealed in Isaiah 42 and following is Jesus! He declared that He was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, Luke 4:18-21. The Servant of God, Jesus, brought comfort which is the assurance of deliverance leading to glory for those in Christ.
Isaiah often wrote in the Prophetic Past Tense. That is, he saw future events as completed. When he wrote of judgment, he saw the total destruction of the wicked. He saw their final end. He used expressions such as, “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” Isaiah 9:7
The end is certain. On the one hand God will establish perfect righteousness and on the other He will judge all ungodliness. There will be no escape for the ungodly. But He will also lift the curse of original sin and make all things new, Revelation 21.
For His people God has promised comfort, peace and glory. This is what we are waiting for! We know that God never fails to keep His word. His word declares He has claimed His people as His possessions, Isaiah 43:1. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28
God’s people wait upon Him with eager expectation of the fulfillment of His promises. The promise now is comfort. We eagerly await His promise of final deliverance. These promises are for all those who belong to the LORD. Those who belong to the Lord wait upon Him. The word translated wait means trusting God now by obeying Him while waiting for His final deliverance.
Waiting upon the LORD is how Christians are called to live. It is an ongoing process. This principle is especially important during times of evil. We remember the reports of the evil behavior of radical Islamic terrorists. We have heard of the brutally evil behavior of an abortion doctor in Philadelphia and civil leaders who approve of the murder of infants. We see the effects of tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and other events causing destruction and loss of life.
Evil behavior and disasters will be with us until Christ returns. The evil in the world done by men is a result of the fall of Adam and Eve. Disasters, natural or otherwise, will be absent from the perfection that God has promised when Christ returns. But for now, God has promised comfort. His comfort is the certainty of knowing that evil and distortions and disasters will come to an end. Further, God’s comfort is in knowing that He is walking through these evil circumstances with us. Those who believe that Jesus is who He said He is and rely upon Him have the assurance that nothing will ever separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:35-39.
The comfort is in knowing that His word is always true. He promised never to leave us or forsake us, Hebrews 13:5. By God’s grace, the experience of Christ’s work in our lives causes us to know that He holds us in the palm of His hand.
We wait for perfect justice and glory, knowing that we have peace with God in Christ, Romans 5:1. We wait with eager expectation and the assurance of glory knowing God’s promise. We wait persevering in faithfulness to His word.