Eagerly Await

Today’s Passage: 2 Timothy 4:6-8

What is the last thing you really wanted? I mean altered your life for, changed your day for, did anything for wanted?

Black Friday is coming up. And while it is less en vogue to be up and out in the wee hours of the morning waiting for the doors of a store to open, there will still be moms and dads and grandmas and more eagerly awaiting the sale of a special item on Friday morning. There will also be folks constantly checking their phones and computers for online deals to “save time” at the stores for Christmas shopping. There will be inconveniences, annoyances, long lines, price disputes, and more, but in the end, many will find satisfaction in getting the one thing they wanted.

What are you longing for? What are you waiting for? What do you really want?

Eagerly Await

Paul makes it clear that for his journey in the faith, his motivation was a longing for the appearing of the Lord. He wrote:

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Tim. 4:6-8)

Paul was at a point in his life where many of us are not yet. He was able to look back and assess his life and ministry, and he had peace knowing he had done all the Lord had called him to do. He had remained faithful in advancing the faith as well as holding on to the gift of his faith in all times. And despite the special legacy that we might give to Paul now, he anticipated his final reward from the Lord not because he was “special” but because he was one of many who longed for the appearance of God—for the final fulfillment of all His promises.

I believe this is a good reminder to us that enduring in the faith does not have to be drugery. It is not a woe is me, can I make it to the end kind of journey.

The journey of faith is one in which we keep pressing forward, because we are full of hope and anticipation. What awaits us is beyond anything that is a part of life on this earth right now. Our future in Him really makes all the obstacles and people problems and difficulties we face look silly. We should be waiting for, longing to press on in the faith because every step gets us one step closer to experiencing the full glory of God!

This means that enduring in the faith should:

1) Fill us with peace.
If we truly believe that the Lord has come with a plan to come again, we should not worry or be anxious on this journey. In good times and tough times, we should always remember that the Lord is coming back to make it all right. We are able to endure right now because Christ has already come once to make a way for our salvation. And when He left this world, promising to return again, He went back to heaven not for Himself, but on our behalf. Take a look at Hebrews:

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. (Hebrews 9:24)

So in the days we are here, we have peace knowing that we are fulfilling our part of the gospel story and that while we do this work, Christ is at work in us and in heaven on our behalf. There is no greater champion, no greater advocate, no greater friend we could ask for! Doesn’t that just make you feel good?!

2) Be motivated by eagerness and excitement.
Let’s look at the facts. The God of the universe came to save sinners like us. He then returned to heaven to prepare a place for us. He has promised us He will return to bring us home into His presence for all time. We should have the excitement and eagerness of children on this faith journey. I see this all the time with my son. When I pick him up from school and we head home, he is eager to know, “Is Daddy home?” There is a visible disappointment when initially he discovers Daddy is not home yet, but that shifts back to eagerness. He will quickly do homework or chores so that when Daddy gets home, he is ready to play with him and tell him about his day. And he never loses that expectant hope in knowing Daddy will be home. Oh that our hearts would be like that! That we would eagerly set about on our work here knowing that our Father is coming soon. Sure, some days we might wish that rescue, that final day He sweeps us up into His arms would happen faster, but let us not lose that expectant hope.

3) Rely on the promises of God.
God is good. His Word is true. He is the promise, and He keeps His promises. In that same chapter in Hebrews we find these words to close chapter 9:

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28)

Faith is not just a matter of will or believing with all of our might. Our faith is fed and grows when we sow it into God’s promises. He has promised to save those who eagerly wait for him. We must dig our faith deep down into that promise and never let go.

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