“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you, and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3
It was a few years ago now, but I remember it like it was just yesterday. I was sitting in a Bible study among several other ladies, and the teacher gave us all a challenge that changed my approach to studying God’s Word forever. It was a simple challenge but has had profound impact on my life since. She asked us to open our Bibles and on the inside of the front cover write these words, “I expect you, Jesus.” Short and simple but powerfully profound. The challenge was to come with a heart of expectancy whenever we engaged in the reading of God’s Word. Rather than approaching it as an obligation, a duty, a task, or even something ordinary that we’re quite familiar with, come expectant to meet with a Holy God, expectant for Him to speak, and expectant to be changed by His presence. Although a simple statement, I had never thought about it that way before. I enthusiastically wrote those words in the front of my own Bible, and every time I see them I’m reminded of the attitude of the heart that I should have when I approach the Lord and His Word.
This week, we have been concentrating on the theme of brokenness. We discussed in Bible study last Tuesday night that although not always the case, often times our seasons of wandering and sin are directly linked to our seasons of brokenness. We were reminded of God’s promise to heal and to restore what has been broken, and we were challenged to respond to God’s Word by returning to the LORD with all of our hearts. It can be so difficult, though to press on to know the LORD in seasons of brokenness. I think every single one of us would agree that while in the brokenness, we just long for it to be over. We cry out to the Lord to heal quickly and to restore immediately. “Wait” is the answer that we fear most. Yet, over and over again in the Bible we see the command to wait on the Lord. Why must we wait? Why must the waiting last so long?
I did a quick search through Scripture to find every verse that references waiting on the Lord. Amazed at the results I found, I must share them with you. First and foremost, we can see in God’s Word that waiting on the Lord is a command, not a suggestion. God tells us to wait on Him. Why? Because waiting on the Lord produces faithfulness in us and stirs the heart of God to lavish us with His blessings. Again and again I read of the promises of God to those who wait on Him. He promises His help and protection to those who wait (Psalm 33:20). He promises to hear the cries of those who wait on Him, and in turn He promises that we will hear His voice when He answers our cries (Psalm 38:15, Psalm 40:1). He promises that hope can be found in His Word while we wait for Him (Psalm 130:5-6). He promises deliverance to those who wait on Him (Proverbs 20:22). He promises blessing to those who wait on the Lord (Isaiah 30:18). And finally, probably one of my personal favorites, He promises renewed strength to those who wait on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31). What stands out to me in all of the above verses is the consistency in His promises. The broken heart, the hurting soul, the desperate one…all are in need of each one of these promises. Isn’t in comforting to know that God is acutely aware of our every need, and promises to meet each need while we wait on Him? It is in the waiting that we grow accustomed to the sound of His voice. It is in the waiting that learn to fully rely on Him to meet our every need. It is in the waiting that often times produces within us a confident expectation for the Lord (Micah 7:7).
Do you find yourself in a season of waiting, wondering if and when God will show up? Find hope today in His Word, and run to Him each morning with great expectancy that He will fulfill His promises to you. Join with me today in saying, “I will wait for you, Jesus, and while I wait, I will expect you.”
1. What is your response to the challenge to “expect Jesus” every time to you approach His Word?
2. Read through Psalm 37. Each verse calls us to either trust the Lord or to wait on Him. Underline each verse that addresses in any way “waiting on the Lord”.
3. Journal a prayer of response to the Lord, committing to Him that you will expect Him and that you will choose to wait on Him.
This is the 3rd time in recent weeks that the Lord in various ways has directed me to Psalm 37! I guess I need to spend more time there! I can’t help but think of Joseph and how he had to wait for Gods promises to come. Waiting is hard but so worth it if we decide to do it with Jesus. Expecting Jesus is a perfect message! Thanks Cherie!
Cherie Wagner says
I’m constantly redirected to Psalm 37…it’s sort of become a “go to” for me. Love you Denise!