We don't like to wait. Some of us remember what it was like to have a home-cooked, made-from-scratch meal. I actually remember making pizza with my family as a Friday-only treat. Those home-cooked meals progressed to TV dinners baked in the oven and then progressed further to TV dinners cooked in the microwave. The Friday family pizza making evolved into pizza delivery while eating in front of a TV watching a movie on video tape that we rented from the movie rental store. Then we began to pick up other fast food and a DVD or ordered a pay-per-view movie which has now evolved into a streamed movie via the internet. All we need now is for the food to be delivered via teletransport so we don't even have to pick it up on the way home. We just don't like to wait!
So...this makes it difficult for the believer when we serve a God who has always existed and has all the time in the world to see His plan unfold, not only for our lives but for all people for all time. "But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day" (2 Peter 3:8). Our thought might be, "I don't have a thousand years to wait for God's plan to unfold." However, God's timing is perfect whether our circumstances while waiting are good or bad. God holds all time in His hand.
In Hebrews 11 we read what is typically referred to as the "Hall of Faith". It speaks about the great saints of old who accomplished great things by faith in God. However, if you are paying close attention, the focus is not on their faith in the things that God was accomplishing in that moment. The focus was on their faith to walk through those things with an eye to the future. As a matter of fact, as you read through the chapter, you will see that some of them did not meet a glorious end. Many died horrific deaths and yet all of them ultimately died physically whether by natural causes or by the hand of mankind. Hebrews 11:13 says, "All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth"and Hebrews 11:39-40 says, "And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect."
So, why did they endure? Why did some of them suffer even though it did not benefit them in their life on earth? Because they saw something better. It was invisible, but they saw it with eyes of faith. They abandoned the good things that they could have had on earth for the best things in heaven. They delayed the immediate for the benefit of the long term.
Many people are in debt financially because they didn't want to wait to get that car, or that house or that _____________ (you fill in the blank). However, most of those people struggle to make it from paycheck to paycheck not because of the debt, but because of their unwillingness to wait. Many people are denying the very existence of God because if they accept it, then they know there is accountability for the way they are living today. They are forfeiting their eternity for pleasure today.
For those who are believers, many are forfeiting inner peace because of constant anxiety over events which God has in control. Many are forfeiting fellowship with God or even future heavenly rewards by compromising on moral or ethical issues in order to get something today rather than waiting for the greater things God has in store.
I always hated dial-up internet and was exited to see the of day high-speed internet. However, as I have used the high-speed connection, I have become discontent with it and want it to be even faster. If I get a faster connection, I eventually will be dissatisfied with that. My point is, that there are some things worth waiting for, but I just have to make up my mind that I will have to wait. If we are willing to deny ourselves some temporary comforts and pleasures, there will be a reward greater than we can fathom when Christ comes back.
For those who have not accepted Christ as Savior, Please go here and consider the message given and don't delay on that one! God is good and He has a perfect plan with perfect timing. As a matter of fact, you are one of the ones He is waiting for: "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Running to Him is the only thing worth you getting in a hurry.
For God's Glory,
Chris S. Sweet