Tuesday, October 14, 2014
October 12 – Wait patiently…
Commit your way to ADONAI; trust in him, and he will act. He will make your vindication shine forth like light, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before ADONAI, wait patiently till he comes. (Psalm 37:5-7 Complete Jewish Bible)
“If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, who guided the country through its worst struggle, the civil war between the north and the south, spoke these words and must have experienced this over and over again. As the leader of a country in conflict, and a man of character, the weakness in people’s character must have been very frustrating.
We could also say, if you want to test a man’s faith, watch his reaction to injustice. More often than not, people of faith get frustrated at injustice, blame Adonai (the Lord) for being unfaithful, take things into their own hands, get angry, get depressed, conclude that God is punishing them, and so on… It’s strange that people who claim to have faith in God do this, because faith at its most basic elements is all about taking our eyes off of the situation and focusing on God. True faith loves a challenge, and rises to the occasion. People of faith are supposed to be fighters; passivity and accepting whatever comes is not an option. Faith is based on God’s Word and has the intelligence to reason that its promises have to come true for us today.
The first phrase of today’s promise provides us with a formula that will pull us through hardship every time: commit + trust = God’s action. When He acts our vindication and justice will be as bright as the noonday sun. We will be vindicated in a way that we could never accomplish by ourselves; it will be on a godly scale, not a human one.
We cannot expect God to answer our prayers and do the miracle we want unless we first make the painful sacrifice of committing our ways to, and trusting in Him. This involves turning our backs on fear and worry, which come to us all. Faith is not necessarily the absence of fear, but it is definitely choosing faith and God’s promises over the fear. Committing our ways to Him means not doing things our own way, or getting frustrated because God is not following our plan. It’s such a temptation for us to think that we know how things ought to be done, and if it’s not done our way then it must be wrong. But God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher and better than ours. We cannot always comprehend, at the moment, how what’s happening could possibly be His will and turn out for the good. At these moments, when we can’t see our way through, we have to trust in Him.
Today’s promise ends with “be still before Adonai, wait patiently till he comes.” But like we’ve mentioned before, when this is said other times in the Bible, this doesn’t mean standing around and waiting for God to act. Being still before God means trusting in Him, which involves a lot of hard work. Waiting patiently means that we eagerly expect to see His answer each and every day, for as long as it takes, and that we fight off despair and hopelessness when our answer is taking longer than expected.
The important thing is that when we do this, Adonai’s vindication and justice are guaranteed to shine on us like the noonday sun. What an amazing thought! Isn’t it worth it?