Every period of Church History believers expected the return of Jesus in their lifetime.
They asked how long they still had to wait. Revelation 6:9-10 No one apart from God knows the time of the return of Jesus. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit who Himself waits.
Huponomee: To remain instead of deserting. Translated as endurance, perseverance.
The Lord Jesus commends patience Revelation 2:2,19, 3:10
Patience needed to mature the believer James 1:2-4
Psalm 13:1-2 'How long will you forget me, how long hide Your face?'
Psalm 27:14 'Wait for the Lord, be strong & wait for the Lord.'
Waiting is never easy.
God waits for His own appointed time to act. Isaiah 55:8-9 'My thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways . As the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways & My thoughts than your thoughts.'
In other words a totally different sphere of operation & time scale.
1 Corinthians 4:5 'Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness & will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.'
Jesus genealogy shows God has order & planning Matthew 1:17
Return of Jesus fixed in time. Mark 13:26-27 'At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power & glory. He will send His angels & gather the elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.' Mark 13:32-37 'About that day no one knows but only the Father. Keep watch you do not know when the owner of the house returns. If he comes suddenly do not let him find you sleeping. I say to you & everyone, stay awake.'
Awake spiritually. Ready spiritually. Alert & sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Doing the will of God living with a sense of expectancy knowing that it is to the Lord alone you will have to account.
Time of stay in Egypt set in advance Genesis 15:13 'For 400 years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own. They will be enslaved & mistreated & will come out with great possessions.'
Babylonian captivity set in advance - 70 years 2 Chronicles 36:21
Arrival of Jesus planned in advance. Galatians 4:4 'When the time had fully come God sent His Son born of a woman born under the law.'
All the days of our lives were recorded in His book before one of them came to be. Our prayers fit in with His purposes . James 1:3-4 'The testing of your faith produces patience, but let it finish its work so that you may be mature, lacking nothing.'
1 Corinthians 10:13 'God is faithful who will not allow you to be tested beyond what you can bear. But with the trial provide a way of escape that you may be able to endure it.'
God never gets into a panic. Isaiah 45:15 'Truly You are a God who has been hiding Himself. The God & Saviour of Israel.'
Jesus the Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:19-20 'You were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times.'
God waited in our time zone a long time, but a 1000 years to Him is like a day.
God is called the God of patience. Romans 15:5 He gives patience or endurance.
Jesus waits patiently as He intercedes for His people Hebrews 7:25 'He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because He always intercedes for them.'
1 Corinthians 15:24-26 'The end will come when He hands the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority & power. He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.'
In the meantime, those that are waiting with expectancy for Jesus to return enjoy Isaiah 26:3 'You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you.' Psalm 16:11 'In your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures for ever.' Philippians 4:6-7 'Do not be anxious about anything but in all circumstances by prayer & petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God & the peace of God which is beyond understanding will keep your hearts & minds in Christ Jesus.' 1 Corinthians 15:58 'Stand firm brothers & sisters, let nothing move you always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord for you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.'
Relax in the Lord & let Him operate in His own time & way.
As you keep waiting, walk in the light as Jesus is in the light & His blood cleanses us from all sin. He could come at any time for any of us. So be awake, spiritually. Be ready.
2 Peter 1:10-11 'Therefore my brother & sisters (adelphoi), make very effort to confirm your calling & election. Do this you will never fall & you will receive a wealthy welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.'
What did the Lord promise about His return?
- In judgement Revelation 2:5
- Revival Luke 24:49
- Unexpected ways Hebrews 13:2
- End severe trial James 1:3-5
- To heal Luke 5:17
- Answer prayer Luke 1:13
Our state of heart? Ready for revival? Trial, mission accomplished? Healed? Answered prayer?
Ready for God to do the unexpected? Ready in times of delayed answers? Ready for God’s best?
Return to joy or shame? Blessing or rejection?
What pleases God? Hebrews 11 Without faith it is impossible to please God. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him...
Psalm 42 'Why are you downcast O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope thou in God. I will yet praise Him my Saviour & my God.' He determined to keep praising God even in difficult & lonely times. He repeated the same word of instruction to himself. Indeed there is a time when we must preach to ourselves what we know about God & His ways. We need to counter depressing negative thoughts of our total unworthiness which is a fact but we have been redeemed, we belong to the King & are joint heirs with Christ. All that we have accomplished is what He has done. He owes us nothing, we owe Him everything.
Nothing gives us more pleasure than that Jesus be exalted and glorified. It is a privilege to belong to Him. He alone is worthy. He alone achieved our salvation. In His presence is fullness of Joy at His right hand are pleasures for ever.
Elisha wanted a double portion of the Spirit of Elijah. He received that. God never intended that His redeemed should be spiritual paupers. We have been enriched in Christ in every way. Chosen in Him to be holy, adopted to be sons, redeemed through His blood, sins forgiven, made known the mystery of His will, sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, the guarantee of our inheritance, to know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance, His incomparable power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us when He made us alive together with Christ, for it is by grace we are saved.
Think of that ! How rich you are in Christ!
God is at work. He will complete what He has begun. Let God have the freedom.
Harden not your heart. Quench not the Holy Spirit or grieve Him. Allow God to order your life. Even in lockdown. Time to stop rushing around. Time to learn old truths renewed & learn afresh that this world is fading away but the person who does the will of God will endure forever.
We will be with the Lord & behold His glory & cast our crowns before Him & cry out You alone are worthy for You have redeemed us from every tribe, tongue, nation, people by Your blood & we with you will reign.