“Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” Isaiah 26:7
Today’s devotional has been prepared by Rev. Mark Roberts and can be found at https://depree.org/finding-help-to-wait-on-god/
Do you know what it’s like to wait for God? I expect you do if you’ve walked with the Lord for even a little while. We all experience the desire for God to act. We pray with expectation and hope, even fervor. Yet sometimes nothing happens. We pray again, trying to have faith that moves mountains. But, still, nothing happens. We begin to wonder if God is listening. We wonder why God doesn’t act, why God seems to be so frustratingly slow. Maybe we even begin to question our faith. We want to trust the Lord, but we find it hard to do so.
What will help us wait for God?
Isaiah 26 provides one answer to this question. As God’s people walk according to God’s laws, they wait for God. What helps them to do this? The latter part of verse 8 explains, “[Y]our name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” God’s name represents God’s revelation of his character, his identity. A paraphrase might read, “Our hearts are filled with who you are, Lord.” God’s renown—the Hebrew word could also be translated as “remembrance”—is the record of God’s actions throughout history. We might say, “We consistently remember all that you have done, Lord.”
So, then, what helps us wait for God? First, we are helped by letting God’s self-revelation fill our whole being. “Heart” in this verse is a translation of the Hebrew word nefesh, which is often rendered as soul. It refers to the whole, essential being of a person. So, the ability to wait upon God comes when we attend to how God has made himself known to us.
Second, we are helped to wait for God by remembering how God has acted in the past. To be sure, we begin by recalling God’s saving works in Scripture. But we can also remember how God has acted in our own lives. This personal recollection stirs up within us a confidence in God’s trustworthiness and grace.
When I face something scary, something that makes me worry and fret, I try to remember how faithful God has been in the past. I know that this faithfulness doesn’t mean I’ll be protected from pain or loss. But I have experienced the way God works in and through all things for our good and his glory. When I remember God’s faithfulness, I am able to trust him even with things that could be troubling to me.
As Christians, God’s name and remembrance are focused in Jesus Christ. Jesus is God’s ultimate self-revelation, God’s number one way of helping us to know him. Moreover, in Jesus we see God’s ultimate salvation and are reassured of God’s love and grace. Thus, when God seems to be slow, we are empowered to wait because we trust that the God revealed in Jesus is there for us . . . always. And “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Can you think of times in your life when it was hard to wait on God?
Are you in such a time right now?
What helps you to wait for God when God seems to be painfully slow?
Church Picnic: Rescheduled for 9/18
Our church picnic will be held on the church lawn on this upcoming Sunday, September 18th. We’re looking forward to celebrating with you, and please be sure to invite and bring a friend!
Looking for New Worship Leaders
We are looking for two new worship leaders for the coming year. If you’re interested in or cautiously open to leading worship alongside Pastor Chris, please reach out to him or our Lay Leader, Bruce LaPenta.
Fellowship Roof Replacement
Our church leadership council approved the replacement of the fellowship roof this past week. Thank you to those who worked so hard to find the right company for this important project.
Resuming Music Ministries
The Choir and Bell Choir are meeting on Tuesdays in the choir room, with Bell Choir at 4:30-5:30 and Choir at 5:45-7:00. Feeling unsure about joining? Feel free to sit in on a rehearsal any time before deciding. All are welcome – no experience is required!
Small Groups & Adult Sunday School
Our Adult Sunday School and Tuesday Small Group are starting a bible study on the Gospel of Matthew this fall! Bruce LaPenta will lead Sunday’s group, which will begin on September 25th, and will meet Sundays at 9 am in the A-Wing Conference room. The Tuesday group will be facilitated by Pastor Chris and will meet at 1 pm starting September 20th. Finally, we encourage everyone who decides to participate in this study to pick up a copy of the Matthew Immersion Bible Study. This resource will help you better understand the book of Matthew. Copies can be found in the church office.