Waiting Room

waiting-room-1 Psalm 27
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27 finds David in the darkness of hardship. He’s being pursued and is afraid, betrayed and abandoned. But in the midst of the turmoil, he keeps turning to God as his provider and protector…to God to hide and protect him; to lift him up high.

Where do you turn when you are in the darkness? This Psalm can feel like just sappy placating; an effort to just try to make me feel better. But what if it’s true? What if God my Father really does hide me and lift me up? What does that look like and what do I do?

Despite being surrounded by the storm, David looked on the dark horizon for the sunrise, and was assured that he would once again “look upon” the God’s goodness. When I’m in my darkness, my head it pointed down and my hope is absent because I can’t “see it”. David’s first word to me is simple: Wait.

I hate that. I want the sun to rise right now. I want to see my hope. But often I can’t. So David’s next word is this: Be Strong. We aren’t called to a simple passive couch-waiting. We are called to actively wait. To dig deep and believe that the sun will rise. A great example of this is seen in Jesus’ followers. They stared at darkness for 3 days, seemingly losing hope in the promised revolution. An even greater example is Jesus himself. He was literally dead, the ultimate darkness. And he had to wait. Three days. We don’t know hardly anything about this period of time (did he descend to hell or not?), but we know that the end result was the ultimate sunrise (insert cheesy church “sonrise” here). And now, because of his perseverance we now have a living hope to get us through our darkness. Because he was strong, we can admit our weakness and receive his strength.

And this living hope leads to the next word David gives us:  “Be Encouraged”. We can’t be strong enough in and of ourselves no matter what talk shows and self-help books tell you. We simply cannot grit our teeth enough and push our way through. We need the Holy Spirit using other people, His Word and miraculously Himself to infuse courage into us where we are weak and afraid.


Do You Like Me?

sad faceI was at a Dave Matthews concert several years ago and there was a dude there wearing an unusual shirt with this bold proclamation: “God Hates Me”. It was really awkward and makes me wonder this: How do I think God thinks about me?

It’s super easy to go through the motions and read the posterboards at football games that tell me that “God Love Me”. And I pretty well believe it almost all of the time.

But what does he really think about me? How does he “feel” about me? (but let’s not get into a debate regarding God having or not having emotions…go read your Westminster Confession and figure it out).

When I’ve recently asked that question to friends I get two responses more than any other:



I see my own life and even a touch of my own heart and am pretty disappointed in myself. How can God, who knows me better than I know myself and has infinitely higher standards than I can imagine, feel any better about me. At the very best He tolerates my slow learning and weak following. Kinda like giving me 2 stars out of five in his review of me.

But then passages cut my disappointed knees out from underneath me:

Psalm 149:4
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.

There’s loads of other places that say the same thing, but essentially we are told that, because of the Gospel and Jesus exchanging His Sonship with ours, we have a Heavenly Father that absolutely loves us, but ALSO LIKES US! Hear that. Own that. I have pretty much never heard that preached, though it is an age-old theology called “Propitiation” (defined as returning into God’s favor)

In short….God has not just removed his wrath (“expiation”) but has imputed his favor, his “affection”. God actually likes you. He doesn’t just put up with you and wish that you would do better. He sees you as you in all your uniqueness, but with Jesus-colored glasses. Even more…he has changed us into His Son’s Image. He doesn’t just see us in a better light, he has remade us into our original image…and has returned his favor onto us. And this utterly changes the way I see Him…love Him…obey Him…repent to Him. It’s utterly freeing.



I preached on this a bit ago…here it is: