In The Meantime: Rejoicing in Hope

Monday, October 14, 2013

"Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer." (Romans 12:12)

We remember the day like it was yesterday…pulling into the McDonald's drive-thru wanting something to eat with barely $1 between us. How did we get here? How in the world could we eat off of $1? Where are God’s cattle on 1,000 hills now, we thought? The tears streamed down our faces as we drove away with one small hamburger to split.

How can you rejoice in hope when you’re hungry?

Perhaps you’ve been there.
Searching for hope when your baby needs formula…
Searching for hope when trying to get out of a dead end job… 
Searching for hope when you’ve just been given that dreaded diagnosis… 

We often wonder how to celebrate the unseen, how to praise God when our present desires are untouchable, or how to thank Him when our dreams are on hold. It’s hard, but sisters we want to remind you that God’s delay doesn’t mean denied. He wants to see you joyful even when you’re in the thickness of the storm.

Somehow you’ve settled for the pit because you’ve convinced yourself that in this pit you finally get some alone time. In this pit, people won’t see your imperfections and impulsiveness, yet that’s a trick of the enemy, to take your focus off of putting your hope in the Lord. God doesn’t want to see you wasting away in the pits.

God wants to see if you will still rejoice even when your hopes are so far away.

Usually when we’re waiting on God we’re far from ecstatic; we feel like giving up, going ahead of Him, or fulfilling our instant gratification needs. Raise your hand if you know what we mean! When we only focus on what we want, we become anxious and angry and try to work things out in our own timing before time runs out on us. We just, for some strange reason, can’t wait on God to work.

The Hebrew writer emphasizes, “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” (Hebrews 3:6)

A good indicator of how you’re feeling is connected to what you’re holding fast to. Are you holding fast to the fear that things won’t work out in time? Or is to confidence, expectation, and trust in God’s timing?

You may have to let go of something in order to hold fast. Let’s be honest, who needs to let go of the complaints, the doubts, the fretting? There is power in letting go so that you can hold fast to what God has for you! He has a peace for you when you wait. He gives grace when you don’t go ahead. For those that endure, He has life everlasting.

Matthew 10:22 says, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”

Instant gratification is never better than forever greatness. You may feel called to take this new position, or to jump headfirst into a relationship with this new guy, yet God hasn’t even given you clear direction. Wanting things to happen for you instantly may not be how God needs to grow you. He may need you to wait so that the ground that He’s planting His truth on in you, is fertile.

Ask yourself: Am I being fueled with impatience? Do I feel like, “if I let this good thing/person/opportunity go, I may not get it back?” Sisters, we remind you that the Giver of every good and perfect gift knows when and how to bless His children! Instant gratification runs ahead of His commands in order to get a quick fix. Forever greatness waits on God and rejoices in hope.

Daniel 12:12 states, “Blessed is he that waiteth.”

Is God worth the wait? If you ask for a fish, He won’t give you a stone (Luke 11:11-13). If you cry out to Him, He will hear (Psalm 116:1-2). We can rejoice because He has always kept His promises. God knows that during the wait we find our worth, we grow, and we lean deeper into Him! As we look back at our crying session in the McDonald’s parking lot, we see God’s provision and how He was preparing us for this very moment. Sharing that $1 hamburger, reminded us that we were not alone; driving up to the window reminded us that we were not on foot; that day reminded us that the righteous shall never be forsaken, nor His seed begging bread. What a GOD! What a reason to rejoice! Looking back through our tears and waiting for our situation to change, we had a reason to rejoice.

Look at your situation right now. What’s your reason to rejoice?

Let’s stop whining, groaning, and leaving God every time we find that we have to wait on something. He’s doing something miraculous in your life at this very moment. There is something about putting our hope in Jesus and rejoicing in Him that reminds us that the time we spend waiting is well worth it.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your greatest hopes at this moment? 
  2. What are you doing now as you await for your hopes to come into fruition? 
  3. What feelings will you let go of to hold fast to what God has for you?

Pray with us:

Dear God, we realize we sometimes doubt more than we rejoice. Remind us to not lose hope as we’re waiting on you to deliver in our lives. Teach us to model your Son, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame. We all have our crosses to bear and desire to sacrifice ourselves unhesitatingly, regardless of how long it will take to rise above our current situations. Lord, we trust you. We want to be led by your Spirit, not our flesh…may we find a reason to rejoice today, even if it seems strange at first. In Jesus’ name we humbly pray, Amen!

For scripture reflection, refer to our journey of 30 Days of Waiting and Patience.
Lesson 1 - In The Meantime: Romans 12:12

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  1. This is such a powerful lesson. I can really relate to this lesson. A lot of times we want things instantaneously. When we do that we tend to make rushed decisions. Throughout my life I've learned to wait on the Lord. My God is an on time God. I'm rejoicing because throughout my hardships he kept me. My God is Awesome.

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