Think About It: Waiting

Psalm 62:1

“For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.”

Picture the last time you waited in line for something. Maybe it was to get a cup of coffee from Starbucks. Or maybe it was to go see “The Dark Knight Rises.” Either way, the things we wait in line for are things that we deem “worth the wait.”

You’ve probably heard the phrase “worth the wait” all the time. My friends will tell me about a new restaurant in Minneapolis and say, “oh, it’s like a 40 minute wait, but it’s worth it!” Or, “I had to stay up until 2 am to order my iPhone 4S online, but it was totally worth waking up exhausted the next day.”

The simple fact is this: We don’t wait for things that don’t matter to us, and our willingness to wait is an indication of how much we value something.

Now take a moment to re-read what David says in Psalm 62:1, “For God alone my soul waits in silence.” This simple little statement says a lot about the Psalmist’s heart. It reveals how much he valued God. It shows that God was “worth it” to David.

Are you currently waiting for something? A boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife? A job or internship? Satisfaction in where the Lord has you?

The real question for you is this: “Are you willing to wait on the Lord?”

If we’re hesitating even for a second on this one, it might mean we lack confidence and trust in God, and even our value in Him. But if we’re like David, if we’re willing to silently wait on the Lord, then it speaks volumes about how much He means to us and how much we appreciate Him. From Him is where our salvation comes.

Now I’ll admit, I hesitate on this one. I’d LOVE to believe that it is simple and easy for me to “wait on the Lord,” but sometimes it just isn’t. Sometimes you look to God and ask Him “is this really worth the wait?”

It should always be the goal to trust in Him so much that you’re willing to wait outside His doors like those guys who camp-out outside of the Apple Store before the new iPhone comes out. But are we? Are we really?

This is definitely something to check yourself on. We should all long to be more like David in this situation. We should want God more than that new restaurant, that new iPhone, the Pink Floyd reunion tour, or anything else you’ve waited in line for and said was “worth it.”

What we’re willing to wait for shows us a lot about ourselves. It shows us what lies at our core.

Think about it …

Think About It: A God of Anger

Psalm 76:7

“But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?”

When you think about the attributes of God what are some of the first ones that come to mind?

If you said something like love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, goodness, peace, or joy you’d be 100% correct. God is all of all those things.

But your thoughts probably didn’t include anger or vengeful or full of wrath, which would have also been correct according to Psalm 76. That’s probably because we tend to omit or ignore the things that we’re uncomfortable with or don’t like; and we’re generally uncomfortable with the idea of Almighty God being angry.

Yet, the fact remains that God possesses an intense rage and wrath.

There is a common saying among Christians that goes like this, “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Which is a popular way of expressing the idea that God loves His creation, but hates the sin that has entered into this world and corrupted and destroyed the perfect life He created. But sin isn’t some black smoke-cloud like on the island on “Lost”. Sin is all us. It wasn’t forced on us but it isn’t something that we can separate ourselves from on our own. Sin is something we all chose and it is as much a part of us as our body’s need for food and water.

Pastor and author David Platt wrote a book called “Radical”. In his book he received a lot of flack for writing “And in some sense, God also hates sinners.” Now, taken out of context (not knowing or reading the sentences before he states this that say, “Yes God is a loving father, but he is also a wrathful judge. In His wrath he hates sin. Habakkuk prayed to God, ‘Your eyes are too pure to look upon evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.'”) you could walk away from reading that and think, “wow, David Platt has it all wrong.” But you’d be missing his point. He explained it best in a talk I heard him give at a conference in Colorado (here’s an excerpt from it) where he says, “Does God hate sin and sinners? Absolutely. Look at the Cross. But, does God love sinners? Absolutely. Look at the Cross.”

The Cross, Jesus Christ’s suffering, wasn’t for something outside of us. It wasn’t to take the place of our sin on the judgement stand of God’s wrath. It was to take the place of sinners. I was to take our place because sin is something that is who we are at the core of our human existence. So God hates sinners, because Christ had to die on the cross for us in our place. But God also loves sinners, because he sent Christ to die on the cross for us in our place. Saying that God hates the sin but loves the sinner is cheapening the cross and all that it represents.

God sent His Son to stand in for us and receive the wrath that our we and our sins deserved. All we need to do is receive and take refuge in His Son’s sacrifice on our behalf. When we do, our sins are covered, and as Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Now God is omniscient, so we know that he doesn’t have some case of amnesia or forgetfulness. Rather, He has chosen for His sake not to hold any of your sins against you through trust in His servant Jesus Christ.

David Platt tells a story about a wealthy Englishman who purchases a Rolls Royce that goes like this:

Rolls Royce was the car of all cars, advertised as the car that never, ever, ever breaks down and will never, ever, ever have a problem. And so he purchases one for a hefty price and he takes his new car to France. When he gets to France, the car breaks down and he calls Rolls Royce, says, your car, the car of all cars is broken down, and immediately they fly a mechanic to France to fix the car. And he goes on his way after the car is fixed expecting to receive a bill from Rolls Royce. I mean it’s not every day you get a mechanic to fly out to you and fix the car, and he’s a wealthy man, he can pay his bill but the bill doesn’t come. And so he finally writes Rolls Royce and he says, I can pay my bill will you just send it to me. Rolls Royce sends him a note back that says I am sorry, sir, but we have no record of anything ever having gone wrong with your car.

Platt calls this a scandal. That God will one day look upon those who have trust in His name and the name of Jesus Christ and followed after Him and say, “I have no record of anything ever having gone wrong in your life.”

God’s anger is a very real thing, and our sin is a very real problem. But God’s love is real, His Son’s sacrifice is real, and so is the forgiveness that we find by placing our faith in Him.

Think about it …

Think About It: The Name of Jesus

Matthew 1:21

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

I’ve been studying through the different names the Bible gives to God (Jehovah-_____, and El-________). Through my study, I was reminded that “Jesus” is one of the many names the Bible gives to God (woah, how did I almost miss that?), and that it is very significant when you pick it apart.

The name Jesus is so “everyday” to most Christians that it’s difficult to imagine a time when it wasn’t a part of our vocabulary. And because of that, it has lost some of the sacredness it once held. The Hebrew meaning for the name of “Jesus” is so spot-on that we need to dive in to it.

Jesus, in Hebrew, is translated “Yeshua” or “Yehowshuwa”. Keep digging, and you will find that the name “Yehowshuwa” comes from the words “Jehovah” and “yasha”. Or — to write it like the other names written in the Bible — “Jehovah-yasha”.

“Jehovah” is the personal name of God, and the word “yasha” literally means “to be saved” or “to be delivered.”

Jehovah-yasha = “God saves”

Sound like the life and ministry of someone we know??

It doesn’t get any more spot-on than that! And it gives new meaning to Matthew 1:21, “He will save His people from their sins.”

The name of Jesus wasn’t randomly picked out of a book of baby-names. It was specifically and purposefully picked to identify God’s Son. Everything about Him, from the cradle to the grave, was about the salvation He would secure for us.

Each time we say the name Jesus, it’s a declaration of what He was all about. Seriously, take this to heart.

Pastor Bob Coy says this about the name of Jesus: “We declare His earthly mission and His eternal passion to save. He is the God who is not interested in serving Himself, but in saving others … saving us … even though we don’t deserve it. Yet despite the fact we don’t deserve to be saved, He has saved us. Not because of who we are, but simply because of who He is. And there’s no stronger exclamation mark of God’s heart to save than the name Jesus!”

Think about it …