When learning English as a child, I soon got hold of the fact that it’s the ‘action word’ (the verb) which makes a group of words into a meaningful sentence. Without the action word the other words made no sense. In our Scripture for today, taken from a little-read book in the Old Testament, there are three such ‘action words’. But for those people who like to make things happen, and get on with life ‘their way’, the third of these action words can be very frustrating, for it can seem like a ‘non-action’ word, when there is so much we want to be doing!
The three verbs in the verse – hope, seek and wait are like three keys which God gives us to help us through difficult doorways on our spiritual journey. The keys are hanging from an amazing key-ring called faith. It’s not for nothing that in Hebrews 11:6 it says that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Faith is the forerunner of God’s reward and when we use the three keys and turn them in the doorways to life, we will discover some of the blessings that God has laid up for those who love him.
The first key, HOPE reminds us that there is a source of blessing – it is the Lord Himself. The meaning of this word is a million miles away from what we usually mean when we say something like “I hope it won’t rain today”. Certainly, in the UK in 2012, that seemed like a very uncertain hope! Hope in the Lord is an expression of certainty – not wishful thinking. It is absolutely certain that He loves us and that because He loves us, He not only understands all the circumstances of our life but cares for us in them.
The second key, SEEK, reminds us that there is a requirement on us as disciples to actively look to the Lord for His Word to us for today through the Scriptures, and for every sign of His presence, His leading and His signposts, giving direction to our lives. The word seek is a very active word.
But it’s the final key that can often cause us the most difficulty – WAIT. Having done everything we can do to walk in His ways, then sometimes there is a period of waiting as we trust that in His time, God will provide the answers we are looking for. A period of waiting is not, however, a period of doing nothing.
When you go to a restaurant the ‘waiter’ is there to serve. And while we are waiting for the next step in life, then our responsibility is to serve faithfully in the place where God has already put us, as we look to Him for His unmistakeable leading. “Waiting quietly for the Lord” simply means to be at peace where we are and to carry on serving until we have heard His unmistakeable voice. If we try and rush ahead of God and make things happen ‘our way’ then we may well miss the very best that God had in store for us and He was waiting to give us!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that you are a faithful God and that I can trust You! I know that those who hope in You will not be disappointed. Help me, Lord, to be faithful in serving You while I wait for Your leading in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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