Pastor Ron E. Thompson: Waiting on God

I dislike waiting, and Max Lucado’s article, “You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times” agrees:

“So here I sit in the waiting room. The receptionist took my name, recorded my insurance data, and gestured a chair. ‘Please have a seat. We will call you when the doctor is ready.’ I look around. A mother holds a sleepy baby. A fellow dressed in a suit, thumbs through Time Magazine.” A woman with a newspaper looks at her watch, sighs, and continues the task of the hour: waiting.

The waiting room. Not the examination room, That’s down the hall. Not the consultation room, That’s on the other side of the wall. Not the treatment room. Exams, consultations, and treatments all come later.

The task at hand is the name of the room: the waiting room. We in the waiting room understand our assignment: to wait. We don’t treat each other. I don’t ask the nurse for a stethoscope or blood pressure cuff. I don’t pull a chair next to the woman with the newspaper and say, ‘Tell me what prescriptions you are taking.’ That’s the job of the nurse. My job is to wait. So, I do. Can’t say I like it. Time moves like an Alaskan glacier. The clock ticks every five minutes, not every second. Someone presses the pause button. Life in slo-mo.”

All of us in our journey from earth to Heaven know troubles, trials, sorrows, and difficulties. Consequently, many fall into fearfulness and failure. Others try to fight it out in their own way and strength, only to become weary. But God is not weary or fearful. He wants to make us just like Him. That is exactly what Isaiah 40:31 NKJV says: “But those who wait on 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.”

Pastor Ron E. Thompson

Isaiah’s order is not “walk, run, fly,” but “fly, run, walk.” He begins with young Christians who have vision, purpose, and destiny in their souls. They soar into the blue like eagles. Here is the first phase, the ‘wings as eagles’ aspect of the life of God in the soul of man.

It is the real ‘high,’ not the painful experience among youth in today’s drug culture. Then Isaiah speaks of the mature Christian who runs without weariness, with an eagerness for love and devotion to Christ and others. Finally, he mentions those who are of old age. They walk, yet they do not faint, being in the care of the Lord through all the days of their life.

There is no time when the Lord takes our strength from us. If there is a cross to bear, He always carries the heavier end. Patient, praying believers are blessed by God with strength in their trials. They are urged to be patient and await His coming in glory. As blind John Milton, author of “Paradise Lost,” advised: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

  1. What comes to saints who wait upon the Lord? God promises to make a way out of the hills, valleys, and rough places (Isaiah 40:3-5). Verse 10 mentions the Lord as coming to us with a strong hand and a mighty arm. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). Isaiah 30:15,18 CEB concludes: “In return and rest you will be saved; quietness and trust will be your strength.” God gives power to those who will wait upon Him. The disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem until they received power (Luke 24:49).” They waited and prayed. Then came the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost. We need to learn that the bigger the task that God gives us, the longer we need to wait on Him. The victory will be given to those who wait upon God. Isaiah 64:4 NLB declares: “For since the world began no one has seen or heard of such a God as ours, who works for those who wait for Him!”
  1. What comes to sinners who wait upon the Lord? The Bible makes it clear that salvation from sin comes through waiting on God. Psalm 62:1 NIV records David saying: “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.” Genesis 49:18 NLT depicts Jacob blessing his sons and adding this prayer: “I trust in you for salvation, O Lord.” Humanity in his unfallen state, as a product of the creative breath of God, was not created to live independently of God. Neither was he to find in himself the fountain of life, joy and strength. All of his glory and happiness depended upon an Infinite God. But humankind in his fallen state is even more dependent upon God! Scriptures prove that there is not the slightest hope for recovery from man’s spiritual death except through the cross of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:12-13 NLV).

The redeemed sinner realizes that even a child of God has no inherent power or goodness. His life as a believer, if lived in the center of God’s will, must depend each moment of each day upon a God who supplies every need by Christ Jesus. Therefore, we wait on God for salvation. Then we learn that salvation is only to bring us to God and teach us to wait on Him. Salvation is something that God can only give, and we can only receive and enjoy. The sole reason that He does not work it more effectually and continuously is that we do not let Him.

What does it mean to wait upon the Lord? For the Christian, it means silence, no more complaining or arguing with God, It means letting Him live out His life in and through you. And for the sinner, it means to put your trust and faith in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Beloved, can God count on you to wait upon Him?

Pastor Ron E Thompson

Ron E. Thompson is a retired pastor/evangelist having had a ministry spanning over sixty years. He served as pastor of churches in Indiana, Virginia, Arizona, and South Carolina. As Director of Brethren Evangelistic Ministries, he held numerous evangelistic and revival crusades in twenty-two states. He led a team that conducted evangelism seminars throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Ron is author of two books: Hurricane Evangelism and Sermons in Song. He is also a musician, having studied piano under noted composer-conductor, Hubert Tillery. Music has served him well as an avocation in his life and ministry. He currently is a pianist at the Fountain of Life Bible Church in Johnson City, TN. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bridgewater College and his Master of Divinity degree from Grace Theological Seminary. He did graduate studies at Wheaton College and the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. He attended the North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in1994. Ron’s home is in Limestone, Tennessee. He is the father of two daughters: Evangeline Hales, a musician at Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA and violinist with the Lynchburg Symphony; Dr. Melody Archer, Retired Administrator and Principal of Tri-Cities Christian Schools, Blountville, TN.

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