Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Lord Is Good to Those Who Wait

From today’s Old Testament Reading, the concluding statement is made:
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord.

The Lord is good to everyone, for the Lord IS good. But to those who wait, those who look to Him in faith, the goodness of the Lord is manifested.

Those who hear the Word of God and decide that they need to act for themselves, such people do not see the goodness of the Lord. Difficulties present themselves and people imagine that they must overcome them by themselves. They seek ways to avoid the troubles, avoiding the necessity of picking up their crosses daily. They invent for themselves avenues of escape. Often these even have the appearance of being very noble. Other times they involve compromise or even worse.

Faith is the activity necessary, but faith is not something that we do. Faith is what God works in us, a work by which God empowers us to believe, to trust both in Him and on Him. Faith is not a work that we do, but it does produce works in us.

We tend to confuse this matter for ourselves. We think that we must produce faith by certain works. Then we look to ourselves and our own efforts rather than looking to the Lord. Because of this we become impatient and rather than waiting for Him to act we try to make things happen for ourselves. We imagine that we must choose to follow Him and that we must decide to believe in Him. We imagine that we must make Him the center of our lives and that we must commit our lives to Him. This leads to frustration when we discover that we do not have the power to do these things for ourselves. Then we pray harder and devise schemes by which we hope to induce ourselves to be more devoted.

But these things that we seek to make happen for ourselves come only by faith, not by works. The works that we desire to do are fruits of Faith, not the other way around.

The reason that faith is effective is because it is the gift of God, and not of ourselves. It is given by God as our possession, but it is His work nonetheless. And that is why faith does not fail us.

When we wait on the Lord we learn this. When we wait quietly on Him we see that He truly is Good to those who wait.

Today’s sermon explains this text further.

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