Impatiently waiting … it is what we do so often when it comes to Christmas and, today, in pretty much everything. Because in a world where can get almost anything instantaneously, waiting has become more of an abstract reality, than an actual thing we must experience. Which is what makes our series this Christmas season so relevant to our situation—as well as for those who were waiting for the arrival of the Messiah we now know is Jesus Christ.
We see this firsthand early in the Bible with Abraham. Despite God’s promise that Abraham would have a son in his old age, to go along with the other promises God gave him, Abraham simply could not wait. He did not have enough trust … at first.
But it would not last.
As Pastor Josh Argubright pointed out on Sunday, Abraham learned through the process of his story with God to correct himself, and to put his trust in God ultimately, and without question. Though not before he took a bit of a detour getting there—something we can all identify with at some level or another.
Let us briefly revisit the situation, starting in Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV):
“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”
From the very beginning, God had a plan for Abraham. Where it would ultimately end up, though, Abraham would have to wait many years to find out.
After nearly 25 years of waiting, Isaac was finally born. But perhaps what is most shocking about how this unfolds and how long it took for this promise of God’s to come to pass, might be this in Genesis 21:1-2, 5 (ESV):
“The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. … Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.”
Make no mistake, God’s timing is NOT our timing. Where Abraham had to wait for God to fulfill what He promised him, God delivered … at the perfect time. God’s plans for Abraham’s life would not be quashed, and we can see this time and time again, including at another pinnacle moment in Abraham and Isaac’s life.
“And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of His enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.’” (Gen. 22:15-18, ESV)
Millenia later, that same blessing led to history’s greatest reveal of all: the birth of God’s one and only son, Jesus. Or, as Matthew 1:23 describes for us, “Immanuel (which means God with us).”
From that point on, our fate was determined, and if we believe Jesus is who He said He was—who we know He is—our waiting becomes nothing more than an afterthought. For the waiting only makes us stronger and more reliant on the only one who can save us from ourselves. And, ultimately, it is the waiting that makes the blessing of Christmas far richer when it helps us realize this wait for our Savior … is already over.
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.” (Isa. 40:31, ESV)
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
- How do the blessings promised to Abraham over the years continue today?
- What are some of the questions that come up for you as you read these passages highlighted?
- What have been some of the hardest things God has made you wait for?
- In what areas do you need to wait patiently on the Lord now?
- Do you understand the significance of what it means that Jesus would also be called Immanuel, like He is in Matthew 1:23? (And if you do not, reach out to someone on staff and let us know: https://www.harvestworld.com/contact-us/).
OUR “IMPATIENTLY WAITING” CHRISTMAS SERIES IN REVIEW …
Sermon: “A Star at Its Rising”
Sermon: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Sermon: “Impatiently Waiting, Part III“ / Blog post and study guide: “A Christmas Half Story Made Complete”
Sermon: “False Foundation” / Blog post and study guide: “The Joy of a Building With No Walls”
Sermon: “Impatiently Waiting” / Blog post and study guide: “Waiting With the Strength of a Child”
“BETTER THAN” – OUR STUDY OF COLOSSIANS IN REVIEW …
Colossians 4:2-18: “Our Own Strength” / Blog post and Study Guide: “Starting Out Where it Ends”
Colossians 3:18-4:1: “Our Old Relationships” / Blog post and Study Guide: “Gracious Reflections of a Savior’s Love”
Colossians 3:12-17: “Clothed in Christ” / Blog post and Study Guide: “A New Suit Pressed With Timeless Truth”
Colossians 3:1-11: “Our Old Self” / Blog post and Study Guide: “Life After Brambles of Old News”
Colossians 2:16-23: “In Christ Alone” / Blog post and Study Guide: “The Disappearing Shadows of Faith”
Colossians 2:6-15: “Freedom in Christ” / Blog post and Study Guide: “God Is There and He’s Not Hiding From You”
Colossians 1:24-2:5: “Mystery Revealed” / Blog post and Study Guide: “A Mystery Worth Discovering”
Colossians 1:15-23: “The Supremacy of Christ” / Blog post and Study Guide: “Jesus Christ Holds It Together“
Colossians 1:1-14: “The Pressure of the World” / Blog post and Study Guide: “An ‘Others’ Kind of Faithfulness”