then they returned to jerusalem from the mount called olivet, which is near jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, peter and john and james and andrew, philip and thomas, bartholomew and matthew, james the son of alphaeus and simon the zealot and judas the son of james. [acts 1:12-13]
these men, the eleven disciples had seen the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Savior of the world. they had seen too much to keep it in, they had work to do! a gospel to proclaim! but Jesus had given them instructions to wait. wait to be filled with the promised Holy Spirit. to wait together.
so these men obeyed. praying together, they waited for the promise, not knowing how long the wait would be, or even exactly what they were waiting for. they just knew to wait and see.
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. [isaiah 40:31]
there is so much beauty and growth in waiting for the Lord. our hope in him is strengthened. our trust in his promises is tested and made firm. our patience for his timing is stretched. in a culture that has been heavily taught instant gratification, it is vital for us as believers to be trained to wait for the Lord!
wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! [psalm 27:14]
the more we practice waiting for the promises of God, we are forced to let go of our own idols of control, let go of reliance on our own abilities to do good in the world, let go of the desire to bring about our own happy ending. but when God strips us of these misconceptions of the flesh, these lies of the enemy, he floods our hearts with his own strength. with the boldness of the Spirit. with the encouragement of the body. with the mind of Christ! so we pray. sometimes we fast. and we let the Lord do the work in the waiting.
but you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. [jude 1:21]
and here are our instructions for the times of waiting!
build yourselves up in your most holy faith by consistent time meeting with the Lord in his word each day and exhorting and encouraging one another daily.
pray in the Holy Spirit by humbling yourself under his mighty hand, confessing sin, and praising his holy name and his mighty works.
keep yourself in the love of God by preaching to yourself the gospel of God’s love!
and wait for the mercy of Christ by living a life of walking in repentance and restoration of joy. we wait for the Lord, for he promises to keep us to the end! praise the Lord!
Lord, help us to wait for you, and do a great work in the waiting! amen.