True Woman ’14 early pricing ends in: Register Now

Habakkuk: Moving from Fear to FaithWait

Leslie Basham: Waiting is one of the hardest things we’re asked to do. Nancy Leigh DeMoss explains what gives us the power to do it.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We wait by faith, knowing that God has more for us; that one day God is going to give us glorified bodies; that we will have an eternity with no pain and no sorrow and no death. We wait eagerly for that.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, October 27.

Life sometimes seems like a traffic jam. You have great hopes and ideas, but there is always something to block your progress.

There are days when it feels like you’re moving by inches on your plans, projects, or dreams. The prophet Habakkuk would understand. We’ll find out what he learned about waiting while Nancy continues in the series, Habakkuk: Moving from Fear to Faith.

Nancy: As we come to the end of Habakkuk—we’re in the last paragraph of chapter 3—Habakkuk is praying to the Lord. He’s responding to the things he has seen; the things he has witnessed; the things God has given him—of God’s character, God’s holiness, God’s glory, God’s plan, and God’s purposes.

He sees that there is judgment coming. The Babylonians are going to be God’s instrument to chasten the Jewish people for their backslidden ways.

But, God is going to judge the Babylonians. They will reap what they have sown, and it is as if the whole vision is just too much for Habakkuk to handle. In the light of what he has seen, he says in verse 16,

I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me.

We saw in the last session that Habakkuk trembles at the revelation of the glory of God—the revelation of the power of God, at the wrath of God. He trembles at the impending judgment and the coming persecution. He trembles at the judgment that even the righteous will experience because they live in a corrupt nation.

I think of the fact that it’s not only Habakkuk who trembles at that thought, but throughout the history of God’s people, many of God’s people have been persecuted, even many of the righteous.

Those who walk by faith have been persecuted for their faith, or they’ve had to suffer along with the unrighteous. Think of the apostle Paul—when he was converted, God said, “I’ll show him how many things he must suffer for Me.”

He knew that his life of serving Christ would not be an easy one, and that it would involve suffering. Paul said in Acts chapter 20, “The Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me” (verse 23).

Can you imagine being in ministry, and that’s the only thing you knew would happen for sure? He didn’t say, “I know in every city that people are going to believe or people are going to be saved or new churches will be started.”

He said, “The one thing I know for sure, because the Holy Spirit has told me, is that in every city imprisonment and afflictions will await me.”

God’s people are often taken to the edge of death and put in places where they’re put in peril of their lives. As we serve and obey the Lord, we know that there will be affliction. There will be trials. There will be struggles.

The life of faith, which is what we’re talking about in this book, “The righteous shall live by his faith,” is a life that also includes affliction (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17).

Trouble is coming, but we know that beyond the trouble, salvation is coming. God is always out for the salvation of His people. We’re still dwelling in exile. We’re not home yet. The promises of God are not yet all fulfilled. They will be, and the way we survive here is by exercising faith in what God has promised. “The righteous shall live by his faith,” even when he knows that afflictions are coming.

So therefore, as an expression of faith, Habakkuk does two things (we see these in the last paragraph of Habakkuk). We’re going to look at one of the things he does today. We’ll look at the other one in the next session.

But first, as an expression of faith, Habakkuk says, verse 16, “I tremble. I’m afraid, in a way, of what’s going to happen. I know that there are terrible things coming, yet I will quietly wait” (paraphrase).

Some of your translations say, “I will wait patiently." I will quietly wait as an expression of faith, in spite of what I know is going to happen. The Babylonians are coming, God’s people are going to be chastened, God is going to pour out His wrath on this earth.

“Yet, I will quietly wait. The thought makes me tremble.” It’s not like he’s just burying his head in the sand and pretending like it’s not going to happen or thinking that somehow he’s going to escape all this.

“I know it’s going to happen. I know I’m going to be affected, yet I will quietly wait.” What is he waiting for? He says, “I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us” (verse 16).

“We’re going to be invaded, but beyond that, God is going to vindicate righteousness; God is going to glorify Himself; the Babylonians will be crushed; God will be victorious, and I’m going to wait for all of that to happen, and I’m going to wait quietly. I’m going to wait patiently.”

“I’m not going to strive and be all tense or all upset or frantic or saying, ‘What’s going to happen?’ or ‘What are we going to do?’ I’m not going to get bent out of shape over this. Yes, it makes me tremble, but I’m going to wait. I’m going to wait by faith.”

I want to just assure you ladies—the Babylonians are probably not going to come upon this country, but between here and Heaven, you will have to walk through suffering and pain.

It may be with your children. It may be with your marriage. Some of you are walking through that now. The pain seems unbearable at times. You will walk through it in your workplace; you may walk through it in your church; you may walk through it in your relationships.

Our nation may experience it. As we’re praying for revival in our nation, I think we cannot expect to see revival in this nation that has been so blessed and so prosperous without seeing some suffering; without seeing some affliction and some persecution.

When you pray for revival, know that you may be praying that God will afflict His people, and it makes us tremble to think of what it may take, what it may involve. When you pray to God, “Whatever it takes to get the heart of my son or my grandson or my daughter or granddaughter,” it makes you tremble to think of what that might mean, what that might be, what that might look like.

When you pray, “Lord, sanctify me. Purge the evil and the wickedness out of my own heart,” it makes you tremble to think of what that might mean, what that might entail. Yet by faith, you can say, “I will endure it quietly. I will wait quietly. I will wait for the day when God will turn His wrath on all my oppressors, and God will save and redeem and rescue His people.”

Isaiah 64 tells us that since ancient times, “No one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him” (verse 4, paraphrase).

To wait on the Lord in times of trouble and affliction is an expression of faith, and how do the righteous live? “The righteous will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).

When you can wait on the Lord and not live in this perturbed mindset, you’re exercising faith, knowing that God will right all wrongs. He will fulfill His promises. Wait on the Lord.

Romans chapter 8 tells us that the whole creation, even the inanimate creation—the planet—writhes in pain (see verse 22). It groans as if in childbirth. What is it doing? It’s waiting for God to redeem the earth.

It says even we ourselves, not only the creation, but “we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit as believers, we groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption of sons, the redemption of our bodies” (verse 23, paraphrase).

There’s a groaning that’s taking place in our earth. You can see it in natural disasters, the earth groaning and writhing and travailing in pain, waiting for God to create a new Heaven and a new earth.

But we ourselves who have the Spirit within us, we groan; we writhe, but we wait eagerly for God to finish the story. We wait for God to come and vindicate righteousness. We wait for God to exercise His judgment and His salvation on the earth. We wait for God to deliver us from these weak and needy and feeble and frail bodies. We wait eagerly for that.

We wait by faith, knowing that God has more for us; that one day God is going to give us glorified bodies. We will have an eternity with no pain and no sorrow and no death. We wait eagerly for that.

When your body is wracked with the pain of arthritis or cancer, or your mind begins to go with Alzheimer’s, and you see the weakness and the frailty of these human bodies, don’t you wait eagerly?

You see it happening to those you love. Don’t you wait eagerly for the day when all of that will be past us, and all things will be new? We wait eagerly.

Paul goes on to say in Romans 8, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope” (verse 24). If you could see it, if you could experience it all now, it wouldn’t take faith.

“For who hopes for what He sees? But if we hope for that we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (verse 24b-25). Paul says we wait eagerly, and we wait patiently. How do we do that? By faith. How do the righteous live? By faith.

We wait eagerly. We wait with patience. God is in the process of making all things new. So what do you do? You wait on the Lord.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I find it really hard sometimes to wait. Do you ever find that as you’re waiting for God to move or you’re waiting for God to act, that your faith kind of gets weak and feeble and you lapse into unbelief?

Sometimes you even find yourself saying, “God, it’s hard to wait! It’s hard when I can’t see. It’s hard to wait patiently. I’m still trembling. I see what is going to happen, and I’m struggling to wait. I want to see something happen now!”

I think that waiting is hard for all of us. It takes faith, and it’s not natural to wait. That’s why we have to keep our eyes on the Lord and keep our eyes on the finish line. I struggle to wait to see how God’s going to resolve issues, and I want God to hurry. I want Him to wrap up things more quickly. I want to see the end of the story more quickly.

But God says, “No. Learn to wait.” Wait on the Lord. I came across a poem some time ago that was written by a man who’s now with the Lord.

I had the privilege of sitting under His teaching ministry in San Antonio, years ago. His name was Russell Kelfer, and he wrote a poem about waiting. That poem has now been put into a beautiful little gift book with a journal [this book is not available through Revive Our Hearts].

Let me read to you that poem, because it describes the process that God takes us through as we learn to quietly wait on the Lord.

The Wait Poem

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said,"Wait."

"Wait? You say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate,
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to Wait?"
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate, 
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting . . . for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love,
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask,
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But oh, the loss if I lost what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see,
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still "WAIT".

Wait. Wait on the Lord. Those who wait on the Lord will never be disappointed.

[Song - Wait]

It is better to wait on the Lord God Almighty
  And put your trust fully in Him.
It is better to look for His wisdom and timing
  Than lean on what you understand.

We have a Father who sees from above.
He knows when we have been tested enough.
And He'll work together all things 
  On behalf of the children that He dearly loves.

So take heart and be strong 
  Though His ways may seem long,
It is better to wait, better to wait on the Lord.
It's much better to wait, better to wait on the Lord

It is better to wait for provision from Heaven 
  Than to anxiously forge on ahead.
It’s wise to give up any idol we treasure 
  And strive for contentment instead.

 We have a Father who sees from above.
He knows when we have been tested enough.
And He works together all things 
  On behalf of the children that He dearly loves.

 So take heart, and be strong 
  Though His ways may seem long.
It is better to wait, better to wait on the Lord.

Oh, we have a Father from sees from above.
He knows when we have been tested enough.
And He works together all things 
 On behalf of the children that He dearly loves.

So take heart, and be strong
  Though His ways may seem long.
It is better to wait, better to wait on the Lord.
It’s much better to wait, better to wait on the Lord.

It’s better to wait.1

Leslie: That was John Elliott. He will make you think twice about complaining, when you have to do some waiting today—so will the message we heard earlier from Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

She is in a series called Habakkuk: Moving from Fear to Faith. If you’re always perfectly patient in the face of a long wait, then don’t order this series on CD.

But if you’re not entirely patient, you’ll find Nancy’s series Habakkuk: Moving from Fear to Faith very helpful. When you order the series on CD or mp3, you’ll have the right listening material when life calls you to be patient. You will find the CD or mp3 series at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Follow up this teaching with an engaging Bible study on Habakkuk. Our team created this resource for your daily quiet time based on Nancy's teaching. You'll find yourself learning more about waiting and trusting from the pages of Habakkuk, and you'll be encouraged to incorporate this message day by day.

Ask for the booklet, Worry, Woes, and Worship when you donate any amount by calling 800-569-5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

When it is finally time for a child to stop using a pacifier, the first night without it can be a really trying time. It is a good kind of suffering—teaching the child to let go of something he or she doesn’t need. Suffering takes away some of your pacifiers, too. Find our how when Revive Our Hearts returns tomorrow. To wrap up today’s discussion on waiting, here’s Nancy.

Nancy: Is there some impatience in your heart for God to move, for God to act? You’ve been impatient with Him, saying, “Lord, do it now! Fix it now. Change him now!”

You’ve been pushing and demanding. Are you accusing God of not caring? God says, “I have treasure I want to give you. I want you to know Me, but you’re going to have to wait.”

If your heart has been impatient or angry towards God because He’s not moving in a situation as fast or in the way that you think He should—even just this moment, confess that to the Lord.

Repent. Lift your eyes up to Him, and with faith say, “Lord, by Your grace, I will quietly wait. I will wait patiently for You to do what You’re going to do. I will wait patiently for Your purposes to be fulfilled. I know this isn’t the last chapter. I know this isn’t the end of the story, and I know the end of the story is worth the wait.”

Father, thank You for Your incredible promises; for the certainty we have that the day will come when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

We know, as we’ve learned from this book, that the righteous will live by their faith. If we didn’t have to wait for the outcome, we wouldn’t develop faith, and faith is what pleases You.

Lord, teach us to wait—to wait on You, and to wait in confidence; to wait eagerly; to wait with patience, knowing that You do all things well, and that You are fulfilling all Your purposes. Help us to keep our eyes on the end of the story, and in the meantime, to wait quietly for You. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

[Song - Wait]

It is better to wait on the Lord God Almighty
  And put your trust fully in Him.
It is better to look for His wisdom and time
  Than lean on what you understand.

We have a Father who sees from above.
He knows when we have been tested enough.
And He'll work together all things 
  On behalf of the children that He dearly loves.

So take heart and be strong.
Though His ways may seem long.
It is better to wait, better to wait on the Lord.

We have a Father who sees from above.
He knows when we have been tested enough.
And He'll work together all things 
  On behalf of the children that He dearly loves.

So take heart and be strong.
Though His ways may seem long.
It is better to wait, better to wait on the Lord.
It's much better to wait, better to wait on the Lord.1

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

1The Praise Goes On & On. "It is Better to Wait on the Lord." John Elliott, used by permission.

 

Offers available only during the broadcast of the radio series.

Topics: Struggles/Suffering

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
 
or