Waiting in Hope; December 6, 2019


Hosea 12:6 But you must return to your God;
maintain love and justice,
and wait for your God always.

This is yet another of the many passages that seem they would be better translated as “wait in hope,” or “wait expectantly.” That is a standard expression in Japanese, and it would seem to be so in Hebrew as well, but it doesn’t seem to be in the vocabulary of translators into English. Just waiting is passive, which is one reason it’s so hard to do. Waiting in hope is far better! Hope is very closely related to faith, whereas waiting by itself can be resigned or even despairing. When we are being called to return to God and maintain love and justice, faith would certainly seem to be essential. “Maintaining love and justice” is emblematic of the things we should be doing as we wait, and to be done right, they require faith in the God who is perfect love and justice. Those who insist that there is no God discover that there is no basis, no fundamental reason or even framework, for either love or justice without Him. That is the fundamental paradox of atheism. Recently a rather prominent atheist conceded that the world would be a much nicer place with more Christians in it! When we return to God in faith, we receive His strength to become more like Him, and that is good for everyone and everything.

This phrase by itself makes it a good thing to be bilingual! Every language has things that are easier to say in it than they are in other languages, and often, things that are essentially impossible to say in other languages. Yesterday I watched a video of a beautiful praise song being sung in more languages than I could keep track of, alternating lines and sometimes even simultaneously. (It was particularly interesting to hear one section being sung in Mandarin and Cantonese at the same time. They use the same written system, but they are distinctly different languages.) The whole point was taken from Revelation 7:9, where it talks about the “great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language” standing before God’s throne and singing His praises. That’s another thing to look forward to in heaven: knowing and understanding every language ever given to mankind! That simply adds to the hope that I have, which makes it far easier to wait for my God. The more assurance I have that He is omnipotent and He loves me, the easier it is to wait for His timing. That’s not at all to say I don’t get anxious at times, because I do, but at least I realize how silly such anxiety is. I see examples all the time of God’s perfect timing, even when I do so by realizing I have missed it! Yesterday a couple was quite late for marriage counseling. I got rather irritated with them, when actually God was making time for me to make a phone call I needed to make. However, I didn’t remember that phone call until I was in the shower last night! Waiting isn’t to be passive, it is to be done in obedience to God. Often enough His plan for that time is prayer, or meditation on Scripture, but He always has a plan, and I need to seek it consistently.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me make that phone call at Your right time, and not be anxious about it. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me to do, so that all of Your purposes for me may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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7 Responses to Waiting in Hope; December 6, 2019

  1. Archon's Den says:

    The basis, fundamental reason, and framework for love or justice without God, is empathy, instilled in social-animal Mankind through evolution.
    Since I seem to have missed it, could you please provide the name of the prominent atheist who conceded that the world needs more nice Christians? As opposed to machine-gunning, bomb-building Muslims, or Christ-killing Jewish lawyers?? It’s a rather low bar.
    Why are you, and many other Christians, always waiting for, or returning to, God? Isn’t He with you at all times? Were one or both of you away on vacation? 😕

    • jgarrott says:

      To be honest, I don’t remember the specific person, though I recognized his name at the time. And I, for one, am seeking continually to draw closer to God. Yes, He is with me, and even in me, at all times, but He is infinite and I am certainly finite, so there’s always much more. I am at times amazed at how insensitive I can be toward Him, and I am certainly amazed at how patient He is with me. I tell others about Him because I want them to have the incredible blessings I experience, and I know that their being blessed will in no way reduce my blessings, but rather amplify them.

      • jim- says:

        How can you be a finite being? You can never, not be—that goes against logic, science, and our own intuition. Somebody must have declared this, trained you to feel this finite feeling. What we misunderstand as death is our actually our most natural state. This experience is but a field trip, a blip of observation. The you that exists outside of the concept “I” in the physical sense is why “I” is so hard to define. Ego is a trained illusion that even the one claiming it cannot define it.

      • jgarrott says:

        It was a major breakthrough for me to finally get it through my head that God’s smart and I’m not. We are created for eternal life, but our abilities are certainly finite.

      • jim- says:

        God has actually gotten smaller and smaller though. Most things that were attributed to god in the past are merely fields of study now. Not 300 years ago mountains were feared for there resided the gods and devils. I think we’re a little smarter than you give us credit for. We’ve done pretty good with our teaspoon of dirt.
        One thing I know is true, and I really like the Tower of Babel story, is “god” intervened because the “people were one” and nothing could be restrained that they intended to do. Together we could do wonders, but we’d rather stick our head to belief mode.

    • jgarrott says:

      Another comment, since looking at your profile when I went back to correct a couple of typos in my response to you: It is sad that so many “MENSA-level” people allow their intellect to lead them into hubris. My Army GT score was 152, which easily clears the MENSA requirement, and thinking back, I could easily have become a sociopath. Intellect is a gift, but it is not the same as wisdom.

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