Believing Patiently


Isaiah 25:9 “In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice in his salvation.’”

There is a flavor of waiting in Isaiah’s words here. God’s people often wait for him to keep his promises. Waiting requires faith. Abraham waited 25 years for the Lord to keep his promise to give him and Sarah a son. That’s half my lifetime. The nation of Israel waited hundreds of years in Egypt for the Lord to set them free from their slavery. The whole history of our nation isn’t that long.

Moments earlier in this prophecy the Lord promised to swallow up death. That promise was going to wait another 700 years after Isaiah put it on paper. That’s thousands of years after he had first made the promise to Israel’s ancestors. Many people gave up on the promise across the centuries. A faithful few waited, and believed. Their faith was rewarded and vindicated when our Lord Jesus came and destroyed death by his own death and resurrection.

Patience has never been a strong human trait. We probably have less of it than our ancestors. We live in an age of instant gratification. We don’t save up until we can afford something. We buy it on credit and pay with interest. We don’t save for retirement. There’s too much we want today. We get antsy if the checkout line at Walmart isn’t moving fast enough. We complain if they don’t open up a new register after five minutes.  A professor of mine once noted that the thing that makes common sense so valuable is that it isn’t all that common. In a similar way we need to keep reminding people that “patience is a virtue,” because while it may be good to have, not many of us show it much of the time.

The Lord’s timetable may seem painfully slow to people with so little patience. Believe. His answers to our prayers seem like they will never come. Believe. We have been putting up with these morons, suffering through this situation, dealing with this pain for weeks, or months, or years now, and he promises he won’t let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. Believe. Jesus promised to return and make everything right and take us home almost 2000 years ago. He still hasn’t showed up. Believe. The Lord kept his promise to destroy death and save us from sin thousands of years after he gave it. We can believe that he is good for every other promise on which we are waiting. In all of history he hasn’t missed one yet.

Imagine how your life could be different if you knew that you were going to live forever. O wait, you do know that. The Lord has destroyed death, just like he promised. Believe it.

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