6th January 2019

Expectant Waiting

“For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
Romans 8:24-25 (NKJV)

Most of us don’t like to wait. And while most waiting does seem painful and arduous, like queuing, or sitting in traffic, sometimes waiting brings great excitement, such as anticipating a family reunion or planning a holiday with friends.

It’s easy to allow the rush toward Christmas celebrations during Advent to cause us to overlook the great spiritual excitement and advantage of waiting. It’s easy to forget that in God’s economy, waiting is of great value, because it helps us understand where our hope lies. What we dream about and our goals reveal the foundation we are building our lives upon.

Throughout the pages of the Bible we see God’s message of expectant waiting. The prophets spent their lives pointing to the coming of the Messiah. All of Judaea was in anticipation of a Saviour and King. The New Testament church was constantly reminded to look ahead with expectancy and anticipation—and to continue to fulfil the New Command Jesus gave us to love others as he loves us. The Apostle Paul said this to the church at Philippi: “And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11).

Note that this is not worry-filled, nervous waiting, trying to earn our way into the kingdom. Instead, it’s a hope-filled, standing-on-the-tip-of-your-toes, excited waiting. Paul encourages the church at Philippi by pointing out that they are to continue doing what they have been doing—letting their love overflow.

In Jesus, we already are included in the life and love of the Father. We already are experiencing his kingdom’s rule and reign. And still we wait in this tension of already-but-not-yet. Let’s keep learning and practising the discipline of waiting that challenges us all. To place our hope in Jesus, knowing that he continues to form us as we wait.

Knowing for whom and for what we wait enables our waiting to be active and expectant. We are not looking for a king or kingdom of our own—our King has come, and he invites us to help build his kingdom as we await his return in glory.

Prayer
Gracious Father, in our lifetime of following you in the Christian way of life, waiting is often still a problem for us. Human beings are impatient. Grant us the matchless gift of your patience, we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask.
Amen

Study by Michelle Fleming
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About the Author:
Michelle Fleming in an Elder in Grace Communion International and works in the International Home Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as Media Director.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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