by Scarlett Stough
Waiting is hard. Hungry children find waiting for their meal an eternity of time, even if it's only 5 or 10 minutes. Adults have a little bit more understanding that the waiting time will soon end. But believers have been waiting for centuries, for Jesus to return as he promised. The faithful have lived and died and our generation is still waiting. Some have become discouraged, doubting to the point they have given up the faith which leads to salvation from sin and death.
Clinging to God's promise in the face of attacks on our faith is difficult, but we are reminded of his promise to return:
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
God sent his children his Holy Spirit to be in us to strengthen us for the waiting. We not only have the written contract with God's name, signed in his blood, to assure us that we do not wait in vain; we have his Spirit with us, assuring us that he is already here with us daily. We can communicate with him in prayer and by reading the Scriptures he has preserved for us, we can be encouraged to continue to wait on the Lord.
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end, the confidence we had at first.
Being isolated, as so many have been in the years 2020 and 2021, can be another discouragement to waiting with hope. Hope, along with faith and love, are God' s great gifts we need to accept and nurture so we can continue “waiting for him.”