I’ve had this journal full of quiet times, devotionals, prayers, you name it, for the last two years. I’ve always loved journals but I’ve come to love actually filling them up instead of just hoarding a bunch of pretty ones. This journal is nearly full and it makes my heart happy to be able to put in on a shelf in the next few weeks.
Today I’m going to share with you all a devotional I had in my journal that was and still is ground-breaking for my spiritual walk.
This one devotional has spiraled through so many different topics near and dear to my heart that this piece will probably be one part of several. We’ll see.
For now, I’m just going to walk y’all through this devotional over the words “wait” and “hope”.
When I don’t have a plan or a study I’m doing, I ask the Lord for a word. Once I get the word, I start investigating it’s meaning; in a dictionary and in the Bible.
I like to use this app/website called the Blue Letter Bible. It’s an incredible study tool for the Bible. I looked up the word “wait” and wrote down all of the verses that resonated with me.
Lamentations 3:24 “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion ;therefore I will wait for him.”
Romans 8:25 “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Psalm 38:15 “Lord, I wait for you, you will answer.”
Psalm 130:5 ” I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”
Then, I used the app to look up what “wait” meant in the original language (this is my favorite part of this app). The picture above shows just one of the 4 verses I looked up, Lamentations 3:24.
You can see that when I looked up the interlinear parts of the verse (what each word means in Hebrew) they had changed “wait” to “hope”. Each verse I looked up afterward, I noticed that “wait” and “hope” were pretty much interchangeable.
Dictionary. com says wait is: to remain inactive until something expected happens, to be available or in readiness.
And hope is: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best, a person or thing which expectations are centered; to desire, believe, or trust; rely.
Wait and Hope derive from the words “qavah” and “yachal“in Hebrew and both have the same meaning: wait, hope, expect.
So now that I’ve told you how I found all of this out, let me attempt to explain to you what I think it’s all saying. Or at the least, explain what it meant to me.
I can think of very few times in my life where I have enjoyed waiting.
We live in society and breed a culture of immediacy. From fast food to LTE, we want it now and get it now. I know I often attempt to apply those immediate desires to God as well.
“Well I know you’ve promised this but I want it now.”
“I can see what you’re saying there Jesus but, where is the evidence of what you’ve told me?”
“I know you told me my promises, where are they?”
Asking for a promise before it’s due is like asking for the birth of a baby prematurely; it isn’t ready yet. You aren’t ready yet and your baby isn’t ready yet. There is a time and place for you baby to be born and you can’t rush it. Obviously life happens and things can come sooner than expected and still work out, i.e. a premature baby.
Regardless, taking something before it’s ready isn’t your best move.
I believe God has a general will for all Christians; things we all are asked to adhere to or believe in. General promises.
But then, there are specific promises that are just for you.
I heard Lisa Bevere on the radio the other day say that the Lord told her He doesn’t loved all of his children the same.
If God loved us all equally, that would mean there was a measurement by which He loved us that He could not surpass. Instead, God told her that He loves us all uniquely.
In the same way that God loves each and every one of us uniquely, He has given each and every one of us unique promises, specific to only you and your heart.
The beauty of a promise is the intimacy of it. I would wager that more often than not, promises come straight from the depths of your heart. God calls out that which He has created and declares a promise over your deepest “God” desires. Things you’re too afraid to say aloud, let alone think because your heart would break if they never happened.
And so, we come back to the difficulty of waiting on a big God when we’re stuck in an “I WANT IT NOW” child-like mentality.
When God uses the word “wait” in the Bible, He has so strategically intertwined it with the word “hope“. God doesn’t intend for you to sit on your butt waiting for your promise, or whatever it is you’re waiting on for that matter.
The wait is a period of availability and readiness.
This is the time He’s asking you to dive deeper with Him. Read your Bible continually. Pray without ceasing. Be in readiness and preparation for when your waiting is over.
In this preparation time, you are also told to hold on to your expectation! If you know that you know that you know what God has told you, HOLD ON TO IT. Don’t let it go. Expect God to follow through.
How great is God who loves us and believes in us no matter what? How much more should we trust that He will do what He says He will?
Put your expectation on the Lord, knowing that He always follows through. It’s in His nature; 2 Timothy 2:13 “if we are faithless, He remains faithful-for He cannot deny Himself.”
Waiting is only the half of it.
Asking for more of Him, believing, trusting, and hoping on expectancy that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do changes the game.
Don’t sit around silently waiting on God to show up.
He’s waiting for you to move.