“Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our hearts desire is to glorify your name. All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right.” – Isaiah 26:8-9 NLT
Remember what it was like as a child to wait for Christmas morning? It was like torchure. You wanted to day to get here so badly that it was all you could think about. It filled your every waking moment. You thought about it at night and it was the first thing on your mind in the morning. You waited for it to come with eager anticipation. That is the feeling I get when I read the verses above. Isaiah is longing for God to come and set all things right. At night, his soul literally craved God. Which is strange because Isaiah had regular communication with God. But much of his interaction with God was dealing with coming judgment. What he longed for was the day when God would come and set all things right – the day when God would send His Son to judge the earth and establish His kingdom once and for all. Isaiah eagerly anticipated that day like a child waiting for Christmas morning. He longed for it, dreamed about it, and woke up waiting for it. And while he waited, he faithfully obeyed God’s laws as an expression of his trust in Him. His heart’s desire was to glorify God’s name with the way he lived his life – faithfully and obediently – even in the face of difficult circumstances.
As we live our lives on this planet, we are to do so with our eyes fixed on the future. If we make this world and what it has to offer our focus, we will lose hope. We will become distracted from what really matters: Christ’s coming and the restoration of the world to its former glory. If we fail to long for that, we will begin to think that this is all there is, and we will attempt to satisfy our longings here on this earth. It would be like a child losing hope that Christmas morning was ever going to come and settling for the toys and trinkets he already had. He would stop waiting and anticipating and learn to live with less. Without hope, what he already possessed would have to replace what had been promised or anticipated. Over in Romans, Paul puts it this way, “For if you already have something, you don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently” (Romans 8:24-25 NLT). Isaiah was hoping for something he did not yet have. He was waiting patiently and confidently, yet eagerly. He wanted the peace of God, the restoration of God, the salvation of God, and the kingdom of God to come. Nothing less would satisfy him. He would not be satisfied with cheap substitutes or learn to live with less. But what about us? Do we settle for less? Have we lost hope? Are we no longer eagerly anticipating the coming of Christ and the restoration of all things? Some of us have become content with what we have – this world and all it has to offer. We have learned to find contentment even in captivity, just like many of the Israelites had done. We have become satisfied with a life that is less than what God has promised. Oh, that we would learn to long for and eagerly search for Christ and His coming, so that when we think about it, it would bring a smile to our lips and a sense of eager anticipation to our hearts.
Father, I have to admit that I do not anticipate that day like Isaiah did. I do not go to bed thinking about Your Son’s coming and wake up hoping that today is the day. To be honest, I rarely think about it. I get so wrapped up in the cares of this life, that I don’t even let it cross my mind. And in doing so, I express my lack of hope. I display my lack of trust in You. Father, give me the eager anticipation of a child waiting for Christmas. May Your Son’s coming fill my mind and heart, and motivate my actions for every day. May it keep me from becoming satisfied with this world and all that it offers. The best is yet to come! Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men