Hope while we wait

By Dave Henning / August 3, 2016

“God selected events to give us hope while we wait.”- Wayne Stiles

“Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”- Romans 15:4

As Dr. Wayne Stiles continues Chapter 1 of Waiting on God, he notes that we try to fill up the monotonous cracks in life with significant experiences.  However, Dr. Stiles reminds us, mundane days remain an essential path to great days.  While God arranges great days, He also arranges the gaps.

When we’re in the gaps, we wait on God.  But, as Wayne explains, we need a goal other than significance:

“We’re not waiting on God for significant days.  That never works.  If we live for the hope of seeing significant days in life, we’ll toss in the towel.  The gaps are simply too long.  We need a different goal: faithfulness rather than significance. . . . If the Lord chooses to make a day significant, that’s great.  But that’s his business entirely.  Significant days are God’s to ordain, not ours to arrange or manipulate.”

As a result, seeking significance in the midst of interminable gaps exacerbates the consequences of our fallen nature.  For example, the sin of coveting rears its ugly head.  Wanting more than others is preferable, equality acceptable.  Less than others?- no.

Furthermore, unfair situations aggravate our sense of injustice.  Jealousy oozes through our thin veneer of humility.  Hence, Dr. Stiles counters with God’s perspective:

“As we stand before the Father, we receive his generosity, not his equity.  Unfair isn’t so bad after all.  God has doted on us far more than we deserve.  He simply applies a different measure of grace to different people- for his sovereign purposes.  But it’s grace all the same.  Undeserved.”

Today’s question: Following your vocation loss, what gives “hope while we wait”?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the Annotated Bibliography of Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion

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Dave Henning

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