Hello everyone and welcome to the first day of this week’s Bible Study on patience and waiting on the Lord.  Yesterday we kicked off our Summer Series called “Old School” which is going to allow us to look at and dive into some awesome stories in the Old Testament all summer long.  The more I thought about this the more excited I became because it’s another opportunity for us to learn how to apply the Bible to our lives…and this includes all of these crazy and intense stories from the Old Testament but it starts with us having the mindset that there is a lesson and something we can apply from these Old School moments even if the stories seem really different from the kind of life we all live today.

For our first Old School Story we look at Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar.  I admitted to you that it isn’t one of my favorite moments from the life of Abraham, but it does give us a lot to talk about.  It shows us the challenge of waiting on God to fulfill His promises and what can happen if we can’t wait and try to force the result ourselves.  And as rough as the story sounds once you have the context, and the magnitude of the promise, and understand the customs and laws of that time…you can see the life lesson for us all.  We must wait on God and while it isn’t easy it’s important.  Remember Abraham was promised the world…did everything God asked including leaving everything and moving to the middle of nowhere…and nothing happened for decades, and the promise wasn’t fulfilled for 25 years.  So we learn in the story about patience, we begin to think through God and His timing, and also the importance of allowing God to move rather than trying to fix it for Him and all week long I thought we could spend some time reflecting on different Scriptures that talk about this need or patience and waiting on the Lord.

I’d like to start this looking at Isaiah 30:18 in the NIV and the Message version so if you have a Bible and maybe something to write with grab it, and we will get started.

Isaiah 30:18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him! NIV

Isaiah 30:18 But God’s not finished.  He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.  He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.  God takes the time to do everything right — everything.  Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. MSG

Now I would like to ask you some questions, so let’s slow down and take the time to reflect intentionally on this verse and these questions.

  1. What can you take from this passage in the moments where you are struggling to stay patient with God?
  2. The second and third sentences really stand out to me in the Message version, think through that idea.  God takes the time to do everything right…and those who wait for Him are the lucky ones those two sentences lead to two questions.  First, Could the time of waiting be part of God doing everything right in your life? Second, Why would those who wait be the lucky ones? 
  3. How does it hit your heart to hear that God longs to be gracious to you, that he rises to show you compassion?  What could that mean for you as you walk through everyday life?

Before you move on from this moment, take some time and pray, talk to your Heavenly Father about what it looks like to turn to God, and to find strength in Him and hopefully you can keep reflecting on this verse as you go about your day.  Grab the image from social media, put it on your phone and keep centering on it, especially if you are struggling to stay patient with God’s timing in your own life.

Isaiah 30:18 …God takes the time to do everything right – everything.  Those who wait around for Him are the lucky ones. MSG