Romans 5:2-5 (NLT)
Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Let me let you in on a little secret that I have been holding on to since late January, I will be approved on Thursday. I thought it was “that” Thursday right after the “revelation” was dropped into my spirit. The Holy Spirit whispered these words into my head and so for over three months now, I get excited when I wake up every single Thursday that it will be the day that marks the end of rejection and obstacles that delay our son’s treatment plan. It’s funny how by Thursday night I become sullen when the call does not come. You would think that after all these “Thursdays” with no answers that I would give up on such a crazy notion. But I will not, cannot, and refuse to stop waiting on Thursday.
There is this nifty new application called “Timehop” that my children have introduced me to. It reviews your Facebook statuses and pictures over time in comparison. Three years ago, my status was that of carefree living. Two years ago, it was markedly different having just overcome our son’s first cancer battle but losing a sweet cousin to this dreadful disease. Life in review can be a good thing, other times it makes the heart sad. I must admit I was a little sad yesterday. Nothing has changed and everything remains the same. Our son is doing well but in less than 72 hours – two sweet souls met Jesus because cancer came calling in this life. Both woman who left behind two beautiful children. Who will be their mama now? How can this work together for the good Lord? My heart is broken for the young husband who will raise his two little miracles while mourning the loss of his beautiful wife and soul mate. I do not know them personally but have prayed for them during her struggle with cancer. When she went to be with the Lord, it was a devastating blow. I am friends with the mother of the other woman. Being a woman with many words and a gal with the gift of gab, I am stricken helpless when they escape me. All I wanted to do was wrap this precious lady in my arms and cry with her with sadness at her tremendous loss and relief that her precious daughter is now with Jesus. She has cross the line into the realm of hope that defies all logic. It is faith that holds her to the Lord when most would run from Him in confusion and pain. Because of our faith, the Word of God tells us that we are placed in a position of undeserved privilege. It promises that we will enjoy a life filled with the Glory of God. This is hard to see through tear-filled eyes and impossible to contain with a broken heart. Problems and trials develop endurance. The Bible also says that He who endures to the end will be saved. But where is the end? How does one hold on if it is not in sight? Endurance develops strength of character. Who can endure when they are just trying to survive? God did not create you or call you to survive but to thrive. He wants you to be successful and prosperous in everything that you do. While you are just trying to get by, God is making you thrive. Faith worked over becomes confident hope. Hope in Jesus Christ NEVER leads to disappointment. Defeat only is possible if you give up on your dream, vision or His Word for your life. Will Thursday ever come? Yes it will because God loves me. Will I make it? Yes, if I put all my love and trust in the Lord.
Proverbs 13:12 (NLT) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
Hope deferred makes me sick. It really does. I can feel it drape over me like a soggy, wet blanket as it holds me down, overburdened and barely moving at times. Nobody likes postponements or delays. Doctor’s offices are the worst. We have a set appointment time, but still must wait an hour past that time just to get in. Once inside, we spend fifteen minutes with them before being shuttled out the door with a prescription and new wait ahead on our scheduled return. When we schedule a time to meet with friends but that person is running late, we don’t get mad but wait on them to arrive. Some friends are chronically late due to being chronologically-challenged (to all my friends and loved ones, I apologize) so they never make it to the desired destination on time. In my case, I try to cram too many things into too little time. When I was a teenager, I was supposed to meet my dad somewhere. When I arrived late, he was quite agitated and decided a lecture was in order. He told me that when I am always late, it tells the other person that I do not value their time as much as my own. It is an act of selfishness on my part not to respect the other person enough to honor their time as well. Scathing set down that it was I will never forget his words. My Heavenly Father has a plan and purpose for my life that is good with a future and hope. As a Child of God when I wait on the Lord it is out of profound respect and confidence that He knows exactly what He is doing and will fulfill His Promise when it is ready. When hope is deferred unlike my plans that are temporary, His Plans are eternal. He is always encompassing today in my future and the total outcome of my life making the Lord worth the wait. Consider Joseph who was just trying to survive slavery, never considering a potential palace destination or saving the very people who put him there. (Psalm 105:16-22) His Plan is so much greater than our temporary circumstances. His Promise more fulfilling than whatever it is that we are asking for today. His Potential in each one of us is to produce His Glory which is not a momentary mindset but an Eternal Experience.
Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NLT)
I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.
I feel like I have climbed this proverbial watchtower so many times. I feel like I am living in it these days. There are some days I have every intention of stepping down and throwing up my hands with the whole thing. But I can’t until Thursday gets here. Just the idea that it is coming, keeps my eyes fixed on the horizon from where my help comes from. The Lord promised to come and bring His Approval. This hope keeps me waiting. The gym has become my sanctuary of sorts. When my mind takes over by body and my spirit longs for a release, I pull on the comfy workout clothes, tie up my Nikes, and grab the membership card. Blocking the world out with little ear buds and cranking up the IPod, I begin my journey for release. In the gym, there is a piece of equipment that towers over the rest. For months, I have watched folks climb on and off of it. It assists you in doing a maneuver called a dip and also helps to do a chin-up. Both are the same concept of using your arms alone to lift your body. Just for the record, I have very little arm strength to match my very small shoulders so I have never been able to lift the bulk of my body with my arms. This machine assists you to build your strength to do a dip or a chin up with a tension bar offering adjustable support. Truthfully, it kicks my butt every time. My arms shake and feel like jelly when I am done. But each time, I do a set of this particular exercise I get a little stronger. However, the walk to the machine is very long and to climb the three steps is tough because my body knows it will be punished in this process. To reach my goal, I must overcome such apprehension and press through the pain to reach fulfillment. This is life in general. Sin introduced hardship, suffering and pain into our life. That was our choice. But God chose to give us a way out – His Name is Jesus Christ. But God did not decide that we would just get by but reach our full potential so He gives us dreams and visions of what our life could be like. We fight to make it come true. Faith is the potential for prosperity in our heart. When we decide to wait for faith to become confident hope – we begin to prosper in the promises and full potential of God for our life.
Hebrews 10:35-39 (NLT)
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.
I must be fully convinced that the Lord is coming enough to trust Him while I wait and remain faithful until He gets here. The Word of God says that He withholds no good thing from the righteous. (Psalm 84:10) This means that if I maintain right standing with God through Jesus Christ by faith and refuse to let go but totally trust the Lord I will have all the good things that He has promised me. I just have to endure. I must hold on. I must keep waiting on Thursday even though it seems like it will never come. Who are the righteous? We are. Jesus Christ gave me right standing with God as an automatic response to repentance when I called His Name and turned my life over to Him. (Romans 8:29-30) Jesus Christ overcame the world. (John 16:33) No weapon formed against me can prosper. Who can be against me when He is for me? I show the world and God that I believe this is absolutely true when I wrap my life around His Promises and refuse to move until they come to pass. I fully accomplish this task on the watch tower of confident hope that keeps me praising and praying until He comes. Abraham was made righteous by his faith. (Genesis 15:6) It is through faith that a righteous person finds life. (Romans 1:16-17) Abraham NEVER wavered from believing that God would do exactly what He promised. His faith grew stronger. Now that does not mean that “Ishmaels” do not happen in life when we try to help God with producing His Glory, but the Lord did not change or deviate from His Word. It is impossible for God to lie. (Numbers 23:19) His Word will never return to Him empty or void. It must do what it set out to do. (Isaiah 55:10-11) God gave us an advantage when He entrusted His Living, Breathing Spirit inside of us. (Galatians 5:5) His Spirit is a constant reminder of our guaranteed inheritance and blessing the Glory of God will produce in our life through faith and confident hope. He seals the deal and binds our heart with Jesus. (2 Corinthians 1:19-22) So what next…
James 2:21-24 (NLT)
Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
Well, I guess I will just have to wait for next Thursday. During the wait, I will work on my friendship with Jesus Christ. See we do not get upset when we wait on our friends, but hate to wait on total strangers. We are eager to be in the presence of our friends, to spend time with them and enjoy their company so we are willing to wait for them to arrive. How much more does the Lord have to offer us? He is definitely worth waiting for. The doctors although caring and compassionate cannot take care of my son currently because of insurance restrictions. They do not have the personal means to offer independent treatment so as long as the insurance denies, the hospital refuses to allow them to treat our son to hopefully end this war against the cancer wages war against his flesh. In the beginning of this ordeal, I thought that I was waiting for healing. God did not heal him once but on four separate and very different occasions but I am not satisfied because the threat is still real. Over time I began to think if we can just hold out until the end, it will all be okay but it is not because I am still not satisfied that this is over. Since January, I have believed that approval was just around the corner and though it may very well be just a day or two away – it is not what I am waiting for. What I am waiting for is already here – His Name is Jesus. He is EVERYTHING that I need and want, more than I could even think to ask for. His Glory is filling my life but while I hold a cup – He is flowing enough for a pool. As the pool begins to crest, I realize that His Glory is like the ocean unfathomable and endless. I must increase the size of this vessel, not to contain the Glory of God that He has for me but to become a conduit of His Overflowing Grace, Mercy and Love. By increasing the intimacy of my friendship with God by faith in Jesus Christ, my hope is no longer deferred even though I am still waiting on Thursday!
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 6:18-19 (NLT)
So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.