Throughout the month of October, we've been studying what I call the best worship service ever – the raucous celebration recorded for us in Revelation 19:6-8.
I wanted to eavesdrop on eternity and listen to the voices of those on the other side, because I'm deeply persuaded that their perspective on life will help us in areas where we've tended to be weak, confused, and easily tempted.
So far, we've been assisted in the areas of Value Clarification, Worship Reclamation, and Glory Reorientation. Today is the final post in this series, and you guessed it – it rhymes with the rest! We’re going to study the significance of Delayed Gratification.
4. DELAYED GRATIFICATION
I don't know about you, but I can be very impatient. When I ask for something, I want it provided immediately! When I go somewhere, I expect you to be early and waiting for me in the car! If it doesn't happen without delay, it's easy for me to become an irritated man. I know you can relate.
Such is not the case with God. When I read Scripture, I'm always blown away by the patience of our Heavenly Father. Think of all the generations between the fall of Adam and Eve and the coming of Christ. Think of all the prophets that God sent to say the exact same thing to the rebellious and idolatrous Israelites.
If I was at the wheel, Adam and Eve would fall in the morning, Christ would come in the afternoon, and the new heavens and the new earth would appear by sunset. The whole thing would take 18 hours, max! But God had a plan, a perfect plan, and everything happened according to divine timing.
The reason why the coming of Christ was delayed and why the return of Christ is delayed (although, technically, it’s not a delay at all in the mind of God) is not because God fell asleep at the wheel. His delay was, and is, intentional. Everything happens exactly as it should happen. Every moment is part of the plan. It’s simply the best way.
The great multitude recognizes that. They're not regretting and complaining about all those moments of waiting on earth. On the contrary, they're celebrating the perfect timing of God. Look at the passage again: "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns [God was in control the entire time] ... The marriage of the Lamb has come [It’s finally here, and it’s all been worth it!]
Not In Charge
The reason you and I hate to wait is because a delay immediately announces that we're not in charge. If we could control the situations, locations, and relationships of our everyday life, we wouldn't have to wait. There would be no such thing as a delay.
Instead of frustrating you, waiting should actually encourage you. Why? Waiting doesn't only announce that you're not in charge; waiting announces that Another is in charge, and that’s the best news imaginable.
The timing of God is always right, and the ways of the Lord are always good and true. His plan is as perfect as it could be. Don’t get discouraged; the King hasn’t abandoned you. His plans are marching on, even if it seems like it's taking forever.
5 Resources To Help You Wait
I’ve written extensively on the topic of waiting before. Please use the following five resources to help you as you wait in this fallen world, and as you minister to those who have become discouraged by waiting:
- God’s Will For Your Wait (1/2)
- God’s Will For Your Wait (2/2)
- I Hate To Wait: A Poem
- Tired of Waiting (1/2)
- Tired of Waiting (2/2)