Take a moment and look around you. Do you realize where we sit? This planet is God's waiting room.

The young couple in the corner? Waiting to get pregnant. The fellow with the briefcase? He has resumes all over the country, waiting on work. The elderly woman with the cane? A widow. Been waiting a year for one tearless day. Waiting. Waiting on God to give, help, heal. Waiting on God to come. We indwell the land betwixt prayer offered and prayer answered. The land of waiting.

Are you in God's waiting room? If so, here is what you need to know: while you wait, God works.

"My Father is always at his work," Jesus said (
John 5:17 NIV). God never twiddles his thumbs. He never stops. He takes no vacations. He rested on the seventh day of creation but got back to work on the eighth and hasn't stopped since. Just because you are idle, don't assume God is. "Be still, and know that I am God" reads the sign on God's waiting room wall. You can be glad because God is good. You can be still because he is active. You can rest because he is busy.

Remember God's word through Moses to the Israelites? "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD ... The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace" (
Ex. 14:13–14). The Israelites saw the Red Sea ahead of them and heard the Egyptian soldiers thundering after them. Death on both sides. Stand still? Are you kidding? But what the former slaves couldn't see was the hand of God at the bottom of the water, creating a path, and his breath from heaven, separating the waters. God was working for them.

God worked for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The angel told her that she would become pregnant. The announcement stirred a torrent of questions in her heart. How would she become pregnant? What would people think? What would Joseph say? Yet God was working for her. He sent a message to Joseph, her fiance. God prompted Caesar to declare a census. God led the family to Bethlehem. "God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him" (
Rom. 8:28 CEV).

To wait, biblically speaking, is not to assume the worst, worry, fret, make demands, or take control. Nor is waiting inactivity. Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief. To wait is to "rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; ... not fret" (
Ps. 37:7).

Copyright 2013 Max Lucado. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

"Bitter to Better"

Written by Margaret D. Mitchell

"...God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth."  -1 John 1:5-6

One Morning

One morning as I was about to leave the house for a coffee meeting with a dear friend, I received a text from a distressed young woman: “I have never been so scared in my life.”

Turns out, her father had threatened to kill her, the rest of her family and himself the night before.

The Holy Spirit’s leading and timing of this text was perfect. After responding, I drove to my friend’s home with a sense that she and I should pray. We know what the Bible says about two gathering in His Name…that He is in our midst (Matt 18:20).

As we lifted this distressed family up, The Lord immediately showed us a vision (day parable) of a large pot that was boiling over on a stove. The lid had come off from the heat and pressure. This young woman’s father was out of control. And so we continued to pray and texted back to her.

The Edge

God will allow us to go right to the edge of our faith and knowledge and pride to submit to Him to deliver us out of the dark crevices of our souls.

1 John 1:8-10 tells us…

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us.”

Bitter Root

So what is God’s truth at the root of this man’s behavior or His truth regarding any of our issues?

We can know God and still have deception in areas of our hearts. Ungodly beliefs and fear lock lies away, sometimes for decades before we are confronted with our escalated behavior that springs up like a fountain from a bitter root. And when bitterness takes root, it doesn’t die on its own. It must be confronted at the root with truth.

·         Bitterness arrives to steal our joy (our strength) and by attacking our weakness of selfishness with whispers of deception.

·         Bitterness is a lie put in motion by our unbelief that comes against God’s promises to love us, protect us, provide for us and prosper us.

·         Bitterness is a false (counterfeit) shield of defense rooted in fertile fear that our circumstances are impossible and will not improve.

·         Bitterness is a cycle of self-pity that holds us in attacks of depravity and deprivation.

A Choice to Recover

When difficult circumstances cause us to feel uncertain and overwhelmed for a long time, we have a choice to run to God's Word and ascertain His truth or to believe a lie from the enemy of our soul who will use bitterness as a weapon.

Fellowship is Critical

Fellowship can be critical to recovery. Sharing our issues with trusted believers allows God to shine His light on the dark corners of our minds and hearts.

James 5:13-16 instructs us…

"Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results."

James 5:19-20 also says…

"My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins."

And You

Are you willing to help restore wandering, difficult believers? Christians who struggle in the depths of their souls to come to know God better? People who have turned away from confronting the deep, painful issues of their hearts that prevent them from living holy?

And when storms come your way, what will you choose to believe—Our God who loves you and uses challenges for your good to build you up or the hateful enemy who desires to destroy your life—and those around you—with his lies of hopelessness?

Prayer

I pray that The Holy Spirit will lead this young woman’s father to a trustworthy ministry leader of His choosing, who can help him out of the tomb of despair and the wild, stormy behavior of anger. I believe that if this man is willing, he will see the light of Christ make all things new very soon. Amen

 

Used with permission. from Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work

"God Makes Himself Available in Jesus"

After these things, there was a feast day of the Jews, and so Jesus ascended to Jerusalem. Now at Jerusalem is the Pool of Evidence, which in Hebrew is known as the Place of Mercy; it has five porticos. Along these lay a great multitude of the sick, the blind, the lame, and the withered, waiting for the movement of the water. Now at times an Angel of the Lord would descend into the pool, and so the water was moved. And whoever descended first into the pool, after the motion of the water, he was healed of whatever infirmity held him.  John 5:1-4 CPDV

Key Thought:

One of John's recurring themes is that Jesus comes to Jerusalem during important feasts to make God's love and grace available to the people.

Like he so often does, Jesus puts himself in a place that makes him accessible to everyday people. This group of people had serious health problems and had come to a place that legend had made a place of healing. John, however, will remind us once again that Jesus catches up all the legend, tradition, and meaning of his Jewish heritage and makes it all come alive in himself. He is the great healer -- not legend, not tradition, and not the feasts. This healer makes God available to common everyday folks.

Today's Prayer:

Thank you, Father, for walking among everyday folks like me. Thank you for revealing your glory in Jesus. I believe he is my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, Healer, Teacher, Lord, and friend. I believe you sent him so that I could better understand your heart. Conform my life to his example and his will. I pray this in his name, Jesus my Lord. Amen.

 
Used with Premission  - What Jesus Did!  are written by Phil Ware.

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager