– Pastor Brandon’s article from the October 2017 Newsletter
We live in an instant world. We value high-speed, on-demand, and instant everything. Instant messaging, instant video, instant replay, instant coffee, instant mashed potatoes. If it can be done faster, then let’s do it. I admit I sometimes go crazy watching 120 seconds tick away on the microwave. Come on, why isn’t it done already? Yeah, I don’t like to wait. How about you?
As Richard Swenson puts it, we human beings seem to have an insatiable desire for “more and more of everything faster and faster.” And though not one of us imagines himself as the spoiled little Veruca Salt from the classic Willy Wonka film, we too often find ourselves in full-throated chorus: “I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It’s my bar of chocolate. Give it to me now!…don’t care how, I want it now!”
This fast paced world can be a blessing and a curse, and while advances in technology that give us instant access to information and products are not bad in and of themselves, we need to keep things in their proper perspective. When we begin to value immediate satisfaction over all else, we are in serious danger of missing the plans and purposes of God.
There are times in life when things are hard. We have pressures, problems, and stresses that build up and seem insurmountable. Because we’ve conditioned ourselves for immediate gratification, we expect instant solutions. However, sometimes the answers do not come quickly, and we can become dismayed. “This is not how things are supposed to be” we protest as we begin to waiver. “Where’s God? How long is this going to take? If God really loved me, he would have fixed this already, right?”
Well, no, not really. I say this as tenderly and gently as I can, both to you and to myself. God’s ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts. He does not give to us as the world gives, and he has not promised us worldly comforts and security. Rather, in Christ, he has given us a comfort and peace that transcends this world with all its purported happiness. (John 14:25-27)
Don’t get me wrong. God is not sitting idly by watching you suffer. He does indeed care about you and the troubles you face. He is at work, and he promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Yet, he cares more about your eternal good than your instant gratification. He demonstrated this by entering into creation and partaking of suffering himself. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way:
“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18)
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
So, what do we do in the mean time? We wait, patiently, in eager expectation to see what God will do. God meets us here in these times, and in the midst of all the difficulty, he gives peace and rest to our souls. We need only to be still and wait on him (Exodus 14:14). Yes, the waiting is hard; it is contrary to our nature, but it is the only real solution. He alone is the all-powerful lover of your soul, and in the end, he is the only one who can bring about your salvation.
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 place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. – Psalm 40:1-3
– Pastor Brandon