November 25, 2015

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Once again we have a passage where the Japanese seems much richer than the English. Rendered in English, the Japanese says, “Wait in hope/wait expectantly,” rather than simply “wait.” This occurs many times throughout the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, and I really wonder why the English translations seem so sterile. Waiting can be unbearable without hope. If we don’t have an expectation of something better in the future, the present can become unbearable indeed. This is why the hope of eternity is so important. We have no guarantee of how things will turn out in our lives on this earth, but when by faith we have assurance of eternity in Christ, then the present becomes bearable. When our hopes are simply for temporal things they are easily dashed, but when our hope is anchored in Christ, it is unshakable.

I am very much in need of this Psalm as a whole right now, and particularly this verse. However, I am reminded of a person who follows my blog who is a quadraplegic. I don’t begin to have the temporal struggles she has! God is perfectly faithful, and His grace is sufficient for us all. When I fix my hopes and expectations on people and events, that is shaky ground indeed. People will disappoint, and things will not turn out as planned. As a pastor I am constantly telling other to take their eyes off of themselves and their circumstances and fix them on Jesus. I need to take my own advice! After all, like Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12) I have every reason to wait expectantly for Him.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for times of depleting my own resources so that I am forced to depend directly on You. As I said in the pastors meeting yesterday, this will probably be the most fruitful Christmas yet, precisely because we all seem so burned out. I ask You to infuse all of Your shepherds in this city with expectant hope, so that we won’t just be going through the motions but will let Your Spirit flow through us in grace and power, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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