Yes, I just went there. I used a technical term which isn’t very pretty and often sharp. But, it’s true. I’m confident hands shot up all over the internet with a hearty “Amen” in the appearance of those two little words.
We can count on waiting…well, being rough. It comes with the territory. Waiting can often time turn into a disaster for us. It can grow us sick. Even the great wise King Solomon understood this:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” – Proverbs 13:12
Waiting makes us ill. When we hope for things we do not see. When we struggle day in and day out wondering if something will ever happen – this is hope deferred. It makes our hearts grow weary and sick.
How do we fix this sickness? How do we make hope show up? Our natural tendency is the quick fix. In the moment we just want something to feel better. We find it in all sorts of things. But, we all know in the end, they only leave us empty.
The quick fix doesn’t cut it. There’s a better way.
In the middle of our waiting to a point of heart sickness, God is calling us to a new practice:
“But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.” – Psalm 71:14
In our waiting we praise. In the continual hope, God places and grows in our hearts for what is to come we look to the One who can fulfill all that will come.
God is calling us, while we wait, to the practice of praising him.
When we need a reminder of what God has done, we praise Him.
We remain too busy to keep our lives focused on God all the time. I’m just being honest. This is why God calls us to a posture of praise. Praise is a gathering of our focus, once again, to God. Whatever time or day our heart feels weak or barely beating we praise. Our praise to God reminds us of who He is and his faithfulness towards us.
When we believe hope can carry us no further, we praise him.
When the writer of Proverbs writes the phrase “hope deferred” he could have easily just as said, “When you are at the end of your rope.” This is what hope deferred feels like. We aren’t’ sure if another day, week or month of waiting is even possible.
Have you been there before? Are you there now? Cling to God through praise.
When hope is deferred to the point of harsh sickness, we praise Him. We turn our focus to Him.
When we believe our story is done, we praise him.
Maybe you’re waiting for the next job interview, break or career move. Maybe you’re waiting for the tests to come back negative, or for you and your spouse to bear a child.
It could be anything, but no matter the circumstance, we cling to this truth in God: Our stories are not finished. God is still at work. God is still redeeming you and me for purposes and plans yet unseen.
It’s because of this spiritual truth we live out and practice praise to God when we are sick with deferment. We fix our eyes on Jesus because Jesus isn’t done with us, yet.
When we begin believing the lie that God has no plan, we praise Him.
Our sick hearts easily can manifest itself into bitterness and jade. When this happens, with all we have – we praise Him.
We gather those closest to us and have them remind us once again – God does have a plan. He has a purpose. He has it mapped out and he is calling you to trust Him.
There is life waiting.
Waiting does suck – but it doesn’t have to. It can and should be filled with praise. Praise to The One who gives us life and is faithful beyond measure.
You and I have LIFE for us on the other side of waiting. The second half of this verse in Proverbs speaks the life given to us when longing is fulfilled.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13:12
You and I have a life to live. It won’t all happen now. We will have to wait. But while we wait, we praise.
Call to Action
- What is one area in your life where you are waiting on God for an answer? What emotions do you currently have towards it?
- Take this one area in which you are still waiting and give it over to God in praise. Turn your heart and mind towards him and see what happens.
- Do the above actions with a group of friends. Share your struggles, longings together. Share openly. Share willingly.
There is an Incredible Life Waiting...
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