https://www.flickr.com/photos/long-mai/3753495573/in/photolist-6HFDsV-dai5PS-vLi6AS-ngpD79-5z7g88-hPeUry-fNqdR-gbZmce-quiV6A-2jS1Cx-9PvKC5-bGMm6z-9hidkJ-GJFaU-aeo6E-3MthhX-6yZEjX-qMxFXt-dkBT6F-6EZeat-4BFwRr-6F4o1U-biFeJM-6aUhXP-4XkbrS-dDpF4-rqMkh9-kqUGPi-75CFv3-GoGjs-qRfgcA-4QKsA-73zzHn-qvmWZm-sEJKAw-251Fag-74dbfy-jSgJ1d-deAQeE-292HLo-6uDRMU-iun5JX-675HaR-9nKgHV-675HkV-rMhEEg-9oBd6Y-4Lw8M-Du6Q5h-MV1NC

Learning the Art of Waiting is Worth It

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” (Ps 40:1–3)

Gone are the days when we have to take a trip to the local store for groceries, clothes, movies, or other goods. In our always connected digital world, we can have them delivered to our house the same day or watch on demand. There are advantages to be sure. We can get more done, relax longer, and play more with our kids.

Our Patience is Growing Thin

However, there are also disadvantages. One is that our patience grows thin. You know what I am talking about, if our movie buffers or our item isn’t delivered in a couple of hours, we feel slighted, and we take to social media to instantly complain about our mistreatment.

A Thin Patience Affects Our Relationship with God

But a diminished patience not only leads us to complain more about companies online, it also leads us to complain more about God.

We think God must work like the companies we both admire and complain about. He must cater to our needs instantly. The benefits of waiting are lost on us.

This negatively affects our spiritual growth and leads to diminished worship. Instead of praising the Lord when He comes through, we say, “Finally, what took you so long.” Instead of leading others to worship God for His faithfulness, we complain, drawing others away instead of towards God.

Learning the Art of Waiting is Worth It

Waiting for the Lord to deliver or answer us is difficult, but it is worth it. God’s plan is greater than ours. His timing is perfect. Recognizing that helps us to see that this world isn’t all about us, our wants, and our desires. Instead, it’s about God, His plan, His will, and His purposes for this world and our life.

While it is hard for us to wait, there is a lot we can learn during that time, so may we learn to wait on the Lord, and may we praise Him even more when He answers us.

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you believe our instant society is affecting your relationship with God?

Resource

Image

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkoralewski/13217172003/in/photolist-m8XsKV-ophUDj-oRtcx6-sEaS7k-qyS6iv-9vbWtp-gh8dUT-o3iMft-nKtEZm-djCTW6-4eWxHB-4qqba-s4UAvU-cvsP21-9ZpS5a-qpYwko-eTa5Qz-4ZWDhK-oRFC3A-dvNhfd-iRm2Uf-9rvyiy-8Nx6J6-oYm5PS-4YjPzB-9sn6vY-gc2RwU-acoPwx-qTusMe-gfNF3g-ozesU1-7QjX1j-8nqrzj-nZmj5o-nDLYpM-nWE7XK-fELZD1-r2pVK2-egMv3h-hCBZ65-hQ7u1s-dzLbj3-Jcm71w-xEzHWB-cNVykE-nu32cg-oRJFap-3996dK-fxcqP2-wmP6MJ

What are the True Results of Sin?

There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.” (Ps 38:3–4)

David penned Psalm 38 as he was being chastised by the Lord for personal sin. As he pours out his heart in anguish over the sin in his life, he shares the true results of sin.

What are the True Results of Sin?

(1) Sin results in a lack of health.

David says, “there is no soundness in his flesh…there is no health in my bones.” Sin brings with is consequences and sometimes those consequences result in diminished physical health.

(2) Sin results in a lack of peace.

The same word translated as health in verse 3 can also be translated as peace. The Hebrew word is shalom. While sin promises peace, it ultimately doesn’t deliver. As one sin leads to another, the result is a life of turmoil, worry, and anxiety that lacks any rest or refreshment.

(3) Sin results in a heavy burden, one that is too heavy to bear.

In verse 4, David recounts his burden, a burden so heavy that he can’t carry it. That is exactly what happens with sin. It produces psychological burdens that weigh us down. After dealing with these burdens for a time, we may find ourselves depressed, troubled, and weary.

While sin allures and tempts us with promises of peace, health, and freedom, it ultimately results in the opposite. So the next time we are confronted with a temptation to sin, we should remember the agony and despair of David, and run far away from its false promises.

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you see these truths about sin?

Resource

Image

World Map on Brick Wall

The Evil World In Which We Live

“Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil. Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” (Ps 36:1–5)

In our day, evil is embraced, celebrated, and propagated instead of rejected. The wicked don’t fear the Lord. There is no reverence for God. No recognition that He is the all-sovereign Creator and Ruler of the universe. God is believed to be nothing more than a figment of the imagination of a fragile mind bent toward a need for religion in order to cope with the world as we know it.

The Result

The result of these thoughts is self-flattery, pride, trouble, deceit, unwise actions, evil plots, walking the wrong path, and solidarity with evil acts.

The Evidence

You can see these actions today in political and court decisions. Any and all efforts to place limitations on abortions are met with extreme resistance, even from the highest court in the land. Transgender and LGBT issues are trumpeted from every post in an effort to normalize these lifestyles. All who disagree are silenced, plotted against, and are met with trouble. Lies, deceit, and corruption exist at the highest levels of government.

Moving from the courts and government to the local arena, neighbors turn on neighbors. Innocent Police officers are picked off one by one by cowardly snipers. Terrorists detonate bombs in an effort to kill, maim, and destroy peace. The world in which we live is evil, and the evil is embraced because there is no fear of God.

Steadfast Love

Thankfully, amidst all the evil, the Lord’s steadfast love continues just as it did in David’s day. Thankfully, God does not reject the faithful, those who seek refuge in Him. Thankfully, the Lord embraces the righteous and provides for them a fountain of life, a light shining in the darkness, which illuminates the path of righteousness. Thankfully, the Lord will deal with the unrighteous and set this world right.

Trust in the Lord all who are faithful! Trust in the Lord all the earth!

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you trust in the Lord?

Resource

Image