What are you waiting for? Perhaps you’re in a dead-end career and you’re waiting for a breakthrough; you’re a student and you’re waiting to get on with life; you’re lonely and you’re waiting to belong; you’re single and you’re waiting for marriage or whatever is next; you’re chronically sick and you’re waiting for health or death; you’re married and you’re waiting for a child. Whatever your situation is, a question inevitably emerges, “How long, O Lord?” Although it is tempting to get impatient with waiting, Scripture reminds us that God is doing a good work in us as we wait. It’s only through waiting that we develop attributes like perseverance and character. It’s only through waiting that the writer of Psalm 130 discovers God’s unfailing love. It’s only after we cry to God “out of the depths” (Ps 130:1) and realize that our situation without God’s mercy is hopeless, that we take hold of God’s mercy. And because of God’s mercy, our situation is not hopeless—the Lord forgives and redeems (Ps 130:4, 8). Come, let us place our hope in God alone.
Music: "It Is Well With My Soul" by John Ness Beck, Katherine Lonsbrough, soloist
We are beginning a new sermon series entitled “Ascend: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.” We will be looking at Psalms 120-134, which are known as the Songs of Ascents. Three times a year, the Hebrew people were commanded to go to Jerusalem to the great worship festivals, and these psalms were likely sung by pilgrims as they traveled. Topographically Jerusalem is the highest city in Palestine, and so all who traveled there spent much of their time ascending. Climbing uphill requires much more grit than going downhill, so these songs are fortifying, encouraging, always pointing us to our prize: God.