An important ‘Maundy Thursday’ verse is the promise Jesus made just after the Last Supper:
“No, I will not abandon you as orphans — I will come to you.” John 14:18 NLT
Let’s put that promise together with an older, enduring promise and encouragement to “Wait for the Lord”. This is is a more active and positive kind of waiting than it sounds at first:
13-14 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
No, I will not abandon you as orphans — I will come to you.
Psalm 27:13 NIV, John 14:18 NLT
“I must… increase my trust.’
“Wait” means to trust that what is awaited, will take place. Our local 461 bus service is known for its friendliness – and reliability. To wait, in this sense, is to be in a positive attitude about the bus still appearing round the corner and picking me up, even though it feels late – even abandoned.
“Wait” means to be ready for action — as the young girls were to be ready with lamps burning bright, expecting at any minute the bridegroom’s arrival (also a story from this season). We are charged with being ready for the Lord’s coming. It might be His final coming, heralding the end time. It might be His ‘coming through’ in response to the prayer. It might be His fresh word to us at this time. His covenant responsibility is — to do the coming. Ours — is to do the waiting in expectation.
“Wait” means to be thanking, not asking. Asking for the bus to arrive — or for what is needed — is not wrong unless we cannot move on from asking. Asking starts at the point of our anxiety that it might not. Thanking God, and raising Him for His covenant faithfulness “I will never leave you or forsake you” — starts at a different point. “Wait” means a response for who the Lord is, which is praise. It is an intentional choice NOT to respond to the circumstance — what we feel the Lord has or hasn’t done, recognising or limited perspective.
In the spiritual realm there can be many hold-ups and frustrations. We have an enemy who is intent in spoiling God’s goodness, causing us discouragement and provoking us into sin by blaming God, when all the time the problem was on our side. WE didn’t pray. We didn’t wait. We didn’t exercise faith. We lapsed into ‘poor me’ when the psalmist encouragement to “wait” would be to praise God who has heard my prayer.
“Wait for the Lord” is a choice to believe, and live as one trusting the Lord’s promise never to fail us or abandon us, but to be with us and come to us.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord… who will never fail you… never abandon you.” Psalm 27:14 and Hebrews 13:5
Prayer of blessing especially for small businesses and owners
Lord God, You are good, always working Your good purposes out above and beyond the difficulties that are confronting us. You tell us that a grain of faith is effective against a difficulty that seems the size of a mountain. So we come before You today on behalf of all in cash flow difficulty while their businesses are on hold or restricted.
We bless with Your blessing our neighbourhood businesses, our friends’ businesses, the businesses we rely on and that serve our community.
We say with them, that “Yours is the greatness… because everything in heaven and earth is Yours… wealth and honour come from You… In Your hands are strength to give strength.”
We bless with Your strength our small businesses and those who serve through them.We bless them with different ways of operating, and new sources of income, known to You if not yet known to us.
May they, together with everyone, be prompted to turn to You and acknowledge You as helper and provider: “I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord…“
On earth we are constantly hearing bad news but we choose to tune in to heaven’s channel, because Your word to us always brings good news of Your good intentions, and we choose to be influenced by what You say.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Here’s a Bible study on the quotations above. God has given us His enduring word, the Bible. He also speaks His ‘now’ word to us, and it usually comes through what we already on the record, the Bible.