What are you hoping for? What are you still waiting on in your life?
What does it mean to wait on the Lord? Does it mean to put living on hold until God shows up and does something?
Hey … he did do something. He made the sun to rise today. He gave you breath today. Well, look at that … if you’ve been waiting for God to do something first, it seems to me he showed up and did something pretty darn miraculous. YOUR TURN.
I’ve waited on the Lord before. But my wait turned more into procrastination with a holy label. I prayed, then I sat. I questioned. I waited for God to do something big, forgetting all big things first start small. God had done his part by giving me the seeds to plant, in my waiting I had forgotten to plant the darn seeds. Yes, once again we’re right back to the same truth … do what you can with what you have right where you are.
Why are we back here again? Because this is how God works.
Remember how Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding. Could he have just magically filled every empty cup with wine? Yes, I have no doubt he could have. But instead he tells the men to take 6 stone water jars and fill them with water. After doing what they could with what they had, they tasted and the water had been turned into wine.
God’s finest works often involve YOUR WORK!
What is it you want? What are you hoping for? Well, what are you doing about it?
Romans 8:25 “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
We say we are hoping and waiting. Hoping and waiting. But have we lost the real meaning of hoping and waiting and gotten it confused with wishing and delaying?
There is a difference between hoping and wishing. A difference between waiting and delaying. To understand the difference, let’s look at the original text for Romans 8:25.
But if we HOPE for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently.
In Hebrew, the word for hope is tikvah. Tikvah is defined as a cord that combines expectation, hope and everything I long for. You’ve seen the twisted cord with 3 strands. Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us “a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
Hope is a triple-braided cord of expectation, hope and everything you long for, and this cannot be easily broken. Wishing alone can be broken. Desires and dreams alone can fray. Pressure and stress can weaken that which we hope for. But TIKVAH combines expectation, hope and everything you are longing for.
Hope actually EXPECTS to obtain what is hoped for.
We see this cord of hope in the story of Rahab. Rahab was a prostitute. A woman who had done wrong in her life, but the Lord chose to use her in his great plan to bring the Israelites to their promised land, and save her and her family. You can read the story in Joshua chapter 2. The Israelite spies had gone ahead to prepare the attack on the land and Rahab had taken them in and hid them in her house. In exchange for her protection of them, they promised to protect her and her entire family and save them in the battle. A sign of their covenant was after they left her home to prepare for the battle, she was to hang a scarlet cord from the upstairs window.
This was a cord of hope. And after she hung this cord of hope, expectation and everything she was longing for, what did she do … she waited.
Waiting is part of hope. In fact, Tikvah, the word for hope, comes from the root word qavah. Qavah means not only to expect, but to patiently wait and eagerly look for it.
This cord of hope hung waiting in the window. Hope and waiting is not an abstract thought, it’s not a feeling. It can be seen and we can cling to it. Like a rope, we can hold onto it.
Hope is rooted in waiting. We like the hope that’s more instant, but that’s not how hope works.
Rahab hoped and she waited. She hung the cord from her window and waited for the protection of her family. She clung to that hope as she patiently waited.
You want it … then girl you’re probably going to have to wait for it!
In today’s world, waiting is something we spend big bucks to avoid. Every new invention is to make things happen faster. Amazon prime two day delivery is like a punishment. No Amazon, we want Prime NOW. Give me that same day, 2 hour delivery.
But think about this, if you ordered a new sofa from Amazon and you knew it was on it’s way, you would start preparing for the delivery, right? You would get rid of your old sofa. You would make space. You would sweep the floor.
This is what the hoping and patiently waiting looks like in Romans 8:25 “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
We prepare! We are expectant. We get ready for it to come.
Some of us are hoping, but we aren’t preparing. If what you are hoping for showed up today, you wouldn’t be ready. That’s just wishing if you’re not actually expecting it to come.
What are you hoping for in the Lord? Hope is rooted in waiting. The very word comes from wait. Have you done a single thing to prepare for it in the wait?
As you wait, remember waiting patiently doesn’t mean to sit there and do nothing. Qavah means to eagerly expect God to act, to be ready to spring into action when he does.
About 15 years ago, I felt God tell our young family to move to El Paso to help start a church. But you see, the problem was we had just built a business in Dallas and leaving would be a sure disaster for us financially. I needed to be sure this is what God really wanted us to do.
So, for the first time in my entire life, I prayed for a sign. At the time I was reading a book called “The Dream Giver” and on the front of the book was the image of a white feather. So, I prayed and asked God to give me a white feather to confirm he really wanted us to move.
Days went by and no feather. I was hoping and I was waiting, but nothing.
Finally, my feather came. Literally a big beautiful white feather dropped from the ceiling. But do you know what I was doing when the feather came floating down? I was packing. I was preparing for that move. I didn’t know how and I didn’t know when it was going to happen, but in an act of obedience, I was patiently waiting. And remember patiently waiting doesn’t look like sitting on our hands doing nothing.
Whatever it is you’re hoping and waiting for, is there an act of obedience in preparation you could take today? Do your actions show that you’re actually EXPECTING God to do something? Are you making space for the delivery?
If Amazon will deliver the couch you ordered the next day and you would prepare for that believe they will do what they said they would do … shouldn’t you prepare for God to do what he said he would do? Should you anticipate his delivery?
Yes you should.