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Waiting on God

Jonathan preached this morning on Psalm 40, focussing on verses 1-three and 11-13.  The theme of the Psalm, written by David, is on the advantages of ‘waiting for the Lord.’  This can be tough for us, Jonathan emphasised, provided that our culture’s emphasis  on ‘convenience’ and immediate access suggests that ‘waiting patiently’ is a dying art.

Waiting patiently

I waited patiently for the Lord
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm location to stand.
He place a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Quite a few will see and worry the Lord
and place their trust in him. 
(Psalm 40:1-three)

Waiting is critical! Every single great point which David mentions in the Psalm – salvation, safety, eagerness to worship God, self-assurance in God’s protection flows from his initial waiting patiently for the Lord. None of these issues are the outcomes of David’s personal efforts: they are all graces, gifts from God.

So, Jonathan continued, waiting patiently is a required spiritual discipline. This is not a quiet resignation, he mentioned – that is the equivalent of providing up. Rather, we are referred to as to active, eager, expectant waiting believing that God will respond.

God hears our cry

‘He heard my cry’ (v1) Waiting includes crying out to God, being aware of that absolutely nothing will adjust unless God acts, unless God blesses us.  ‘I am in the mud and mire. I’m stuck right here till God methods down,’ David says in impact. He is not actually in quicksand, but he feels powerless in the face of imminent disaster, his physique about to be sucked beneath.

David’s words, Jonathan pointed out, can be applied each virtually and spiritually. In sensible terms, we obtain ourselves in a hard predicament, and we can not see the way ahead. We really feel overwhelmed by difficulties.  David’s knowledge encourages us to pray, to commit the predicament to God, to cry for God’s assist, waiting and expecting divine intervention.

In spiritual terms, Jonathan describes verses 1-three as ‘a wonderful microcosm of the gospel.’  We are unable by our personal efforts to do something about our sense of guilt and shame. The Psalm encourages us to get in touch with out urgently, searching for  the blessing of God’s present of salvation.

‘He turned to me and heard my cry.’ (v1)  God does not leave God’s people today in their distress but bends down, listens.

All of God

The course of action of waiting, and crying out has constantly been ‘of God’ from the pretty starting – it is God who implants in our hearts and minds the want to seek God.  We can not earn our freedom, we can not earn our rescue from the pit of spiritual requirements. We obtain freedom only as a cost-free present of mercy and grace.

God turns, hears, lifts us, sets our feet upon a rock, provides us a firm location to stand, rehabilitates us, strengthens us, tends to make us safe.

It is, as Jonathan mentioned, ‘all of God’

Our response

We commence to sing the new song which God has place in our mouths. We can not flounder in the mud, and then, obtaining been rescued, stand silent on the rock. As St Paul says:  ‘be filled with the Spirit,  speaking to 1 yet another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.’ (Ephesians five:18-19)

These who have been saved by God, have lives filled with the song which God provides, and the beauty of this  song will encourage other people to reverence God, and seek God for themselves.

Occasions of lament

Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord
might your enjoy and faithfulness constantly shield me.
12 For troubles with out quantity surround me
my sins have overtaken me, and I can’t see.
They are much more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails inside me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord
come swiftly, Lord, to assist me.
(Psalm 40:11-13)

Jonathan concluded by speaking about these 3 verses. He told us some scholars consider this lament does not make a great deal sense at the finish of a Psalm of rescue – probably they weren’t in the original text and have been added later.

But, mentioned Jonathan, Christians know that these verses make excellent sense. As Christians, we knowledge moments of fantastic joy, when we are conscious of God’s care and faithfulness. But for the reason that we are disciples of Jesus does not imply that we will not obtain ourselves struggling with difficulties, and with sins as David was (v12)

Jonathan encouraged us by reminding us of the ‘three tenses’ of salvation.

Previous tense:  we have been saved from the penalty of sin. The theologians get in touch with this ‘justification’ – our sins have been dealt with and will not be held against us.

Present tense: we are becoming saved from the energy of sin, and God assists us to overcome temptation. The theologians get in touch with this ‘sanctification’ – in spite of our failures, our lives must be marked by a development in holiness.

Future tense:    we will be saved as we enter heaven, and are freed from the presence of sin. This is what the theologians get in touch with ‘glorification.’

So as we study verses 11-13, we can draw encouragement as Christians from the truth that we have been decisively, when and for all, saved from the penalty of sin. Day by day, even though sin tempts us and often we succumb, we are becoming sanctified by the energy of the Spirit. And we appear forward to a day when the we will be forever removed from the pretty presence of sin.  And it is ‘all of God.’

And so, day by day, might we study with David to wait upon the Lord.

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