Many of us have spent our whole lives waiting for that special event(s) that will change the course of our lives and give us a sense of meaning and purpose. For the secular world, that’s hitting the lottery, or receiving that big (unearned) inheritance from “Uncle Jack.” One elderly lady sighed as she mourned, “My ship never came in.” She was expecting that big windfall that would make her independently wealthy and totally self-sufficient.

The secular and religious Jewish community had the same misplaced hopes in Jesus’ time. They were anticipating and praying for a Messiah to lift them out of life’s self-inflicted messes. The prophetic vision and message to Simeon was that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Simeon had waited with an earnest expectation for the consolation of Israel, the desire of the ages. I imagine he held Jesus aloft with trembling hands blessing the awesome work of God who had poured himself into a tiny babe in a miracle the theologians call, “Incarnation.”

Summer before last, we visited my brother Don’s home in Maryland. We presented Don with the family’s “child of hope,” little John Philip, our grandson who was about seven months old at the time. Brother Don held him aloft and blessed him. For a moment I saw Simeon on the steps of the Temple, holding the baby Jesus aloft, tears running down his face and exclaiming, “Mine eyes have seen Your Salvation!”

Simeon was a man of faith who was able to wait patiently for his whole lifetime for this one single event. What about you, friend? Can you wait for God’s purposes to be fulfilled in your life before you pass from this life to the next? You could be another Simeon.

Sheepfold Ministries, December 16, 2007
Pastor Phil Roland


LUKE 2:25-35
“Waiting is the process in which spiritual fruit is developed in our lives. The character of Jesus, slowly develops over a lifetime of service.” Pastor Phil Roland

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

I. W A I T I N G
A. Americans HATE to wait
1. Fast food / Services, “Wal-Mart Waiting”
2. Fast Automobiles / Traffic Jams
B. Russians wait in lines 37 BILLION hours yearly
C. Hebrew Understanding – “Qua-vah” - “Hope”
A. Waited for the “Consolation of Israel” – v. 25
B. Messiah – “Comforter” – Peace of Jerusalem / Israel
C. Told he would see “The Consolation” begin before he died
1. Waited until the end of his life
2. Waited in earnest anticipation
A. Willow Creek, Bill Hybels, “Consumer-Oriented Christianity”
1. Not sinners, but “Gospel consumers”
2. No preaching w/conviction, but preaching for information
B. MasterCard Mentality
1. Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas
2. McDonald’s RR on the church grounds
C. Religion is like a prescription drug med. “Fast, Fast Relief”
A. Why in His Greatness Does God take to Long?
1. God doesn’t operate in the realm of time – Acts 1:6,7
“. . .they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom
to Israel?" And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times
seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.”
2. His ways are not our ways – Isaiah 55:9
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than
your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
B. Why do we have to wait for Good Things?
1. Healing - Answers to Prayer
2. Spiritual Growth
C. Andrew Murray, Devotional Writer, Quote
A. Waiting makes us walk by faith
1. Through waiting we learn God’s Timing
2. Newsweek Quote on Spiritual Development
B. Waiting Makes us Seek God – Ps. 130:5-6
“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits
for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning; Yes, more than those
who watch for the morning.”
1. Addicts struggle with “Waiting” – Philip Yancy, 12-Step Frien
2. Old Testament Prophets knew how to wait – Hosea 12:6
“So you, by the help of your God, return; Observe mercy and justice, And
wait on your God continually.”
3. Simeon spent his time getting close to God
a. Prayed devoutly
b. Received messages from God’s Holy Spirit
c. Recognized Jesus when He came by
4. Are you actively, like Simeon, looking for Jesus now?
a. He may cross your path and you are unaware
b. He may be offering opportunities to bless others
c. He may be preparing you for future challenges

C. The testing of your faith produces perseverance – James 1:2,3
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the
testing of your faith produces patience.”
1. We wait, like Simeon, in patience – Romans 8:25
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with
2. We who wait will inherit the earth – Psalm 37:7,9
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him
who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes
to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it only causes
harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They
shall inherit the earth.”
A. Jesus’ Second Coming
1. We eagerly wait – 1 Corinthians 1:7
”Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord
Jesus Christ to be revealed.”
2. We wait for the Blessed Hope – Titus 2:13
“. . .while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our
great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”
3. He will return with His Salvation to those who wait – Hebrews 9:28
“so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and
He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to
those who are waiting for Him.”
B. He will Come Again

LUKE 2:25-35
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,
28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."
33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.
34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against
35 "(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."


Desperately, helplessly, longingly I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."
"Wait, you say, wait," my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers. I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened, or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked and am claiming your Word.
My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance and YOU tell me WAIT?
I'm needing a 'Yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'No' to which I can resign.
And Lord, you promised that if we believe
We need but to ask and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."
Then quietly, softly I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
and Grumbled to God, "So I'm waiting, for what?"
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun,
I could raise the dead, cause the mountains to run.
All you seek I could give, and pleased you would be,
You would have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My Love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see;
You would never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You would know that I give and save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart,
The glow of My comfort, late in the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.
You never would know, should your pain quickly flee
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee!'
Yes, your dreams for that loved one overnight could come true,
But oh the loss, if I lost what I'm doing in you
So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft may My answers seem terribly late:
My most precious answer of all is still. W A I T. "

Author Unknown


“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. . .” Isaiah 40:31



Eg. Fast Food Religion
Parishioners at Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston are singing the Lord's praises right along with the world-famous McDonald's slogan, "We love to see you smile." The church is the first in the nation to have a McDonald's hamburger franchise on its grounds. The franchise is located inside the church's new $7 million Joe Ratliff Lifelong Learning Center, named after Brentwood's senior pastor. The 75,000-square-foot building houses a basketball court, an aerobics studio, a computer center, an arcade, a banquet hall, more than 60 classrooms, and the McDonald's, which has become a hit with the church's more than 10,000 active members.

Eg. Andrew Murray Quote:
The best place for cultivating patience is in waiting on God.
There we discover how impatient we are, and what our impatience means. We confess at times that we are impatient with men and circumstances that hinder us, or with ourselves and our slow progress in the Christian life.
If we truly set ourselves to wait upon God, we shall find that
it is with Him we are impatient, because He does not at once,
or as soon as we could wish, do our bidding. It is in waiting upon God that our eyes are opened to believe in His wise and sovereign will.
We also see that the sooner and the more completely we yield
absolutely to it, the more surely His blessing can come to us.

Eg. Newsweek Quote: Spiritual Development Takes Time
Spiritual development takes time, also discipline and hard work
- virtues many churches themselves no longer seem to encourage. Thank God for faiths that can help overcome addiction, loneliness or stress, for institutions that can help raise the children among us.
But the quest for meaning and purpose does not end there.

Eg. Philip Yancy, “AA” Quote
Philip Yancey knew an alcoholic friend in A.A.
The "12 steps" led his friend back to faith in God. For someone struggling with addiction, waiting is a fine art.
A.A. friends have responded to his calls at 4:00 a.m., finding
him in all-night restaurants where he as been sitting for hours filling a notebook with the sentence,
"God help me make it through the next five minutes."