In the Office: The Waiting Time

Is there anything for which you’re waiting these days? Waiting for healing? Waiting for comfort or direction? Waiting for answers to prayer and for some clear sign that God is present and active?

One of the readings from today’s Daily Office was written by a person who was waiting. Psalm 80 recounts the anguish of one of God’s people, who looks out at a nation whose glory lies in ruins and who cries out:

How long, LORD God Almighty,
will your anger smolder
against the prayers of your people? (Psalm 80:4)

Of course, waiting can be hard…so much so that we can be tempted to forsake our hope. That’s what happened in the passage on which I’ll be preaching this Sunday from 2 Peter Chapter 1. Some believers had grown so tired of suffering and so tired of waiting for God’s promises to come true that they accused Peter of “making up” all of his talk about Christ’s return and a glorious resurrection future. But Peter offered two “foundations” upon which we can anchor our hope.

First, there are the faith stories – both ours and those of others – that bear witness to God’s faithful activity in the past and the present. (“We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16)

In addition, there are the promises – inspired by the Holy Spirit and recorded in God’s Word – that reveal God’s character and God’s intentions and that restore our confidence in the future. (“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable…” 2 Peter 1:19)

Part of what this means – as I will attempt to say in my message – is that we have the opportunity (and perhaps the responsibility) to be constantly sharing with each other our faith stories and the promises of God’s Word  so that we can sustain hope – both within ourselves and others. In this way, we point each other toward the light of Christ, which comforts, guides and sustains us – even in the darkness of waiting.

What stories could you be telling of how God has walked with you in the past and continues to reveal Himself in the present? What passages of scripture always seem to encourage you? And most important, with whom could you share these treasures in the days ahead, so that all of us together can pass through our times of waiting and reach the point when the Lord’s face shines again? (See Psalm 80:3, 7, 19)

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