Hope in the Waiting
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I remember it like it was yesterday. I’d find myself awake at 3 a.m. Unable to sleep, I’d go out to our family room and sit on the couch to pray, weep, and groan for our three prodigal children who were running from God. I felt hopeless. Cheated. My expectations for what my life would be like in that season were blown apart. I couldn’t see an end in sight. My husband and I prayed, wept, talked, listened... yet no breakthrough. I asked myself, what good can come of this?
Have you ever asked that? Maybe you’ve experienced a loss of relationship, an illness or a death. Have you felt cheated, ripped off, or disappointed?
This is where we need hope. In the waiting. In the praying. Scripture tells us how to wait when it seems like no good can come of our pain.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are (NLT).
A little later in the same chapter, Paul adds,
We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children.
Did you notice how we are to wait? Eagerly! With eager expectation. Not just trying to get through it, but more like Christmas morning.
As a kid, I felt like Christmas would never come. Remember trying to sleep on Christmas Eve, waking up at 2 or 4 a.m. only for your parents to send you back to bed? You were bursting with eager expectation! You couldn’t wait, couldn’t sleep, and could hardly wait to see what was in those wrapped packages! When Christmas finally came, the wait was over. You leapt out of bed in jubilation and raced downstairs to tear open the gifts.
This is how we are to live in the middle of a season of suffering, with eager anticipation for the good thing that God will do with our pain, our suffering. So how can we do that?
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God ().
We wait with the help of God’s Spirit, which is better than me trying to keep my chin up in my own strength. He takes on our groaning and communicates directly to the Father on our behalf. Prayer is not about having the right words. Prayer is often welcoming the Holy Spirit to pray through us. He knows what’s in our hearts and the will of God for us.
So, can anything good come of what you’re going through? The answer is a resounding YES!
And we know that God causes everything to works together works for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them ().
Not that all things are good, but God is at work in all things—the good, the bad and the ugly. God is working out His purposes in our lives for our good, for His glory, and so the world will see Jesus. God changed me in my season of suffering. He took my weakness and taught me to pray and wait with eager expectation for the good thing that He would do in my life and the life of my kids. My mindset changed. Instead of, “What good can come of this?” I began asking, “God, what good thing will You bring from this?”
Do you hear the difference? That’s courageous living.
Prayer of Commitment
Dear God, I ask You for a heart that waits in eager expectation for Your will to be done in my life. Where I’ve had hopelessness, I stand on Your Word.
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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