Thursday, December 7, 2023

Advent Words 2023 ~ Word 3: Wait


Advent Words 2023
Day 3: Wait

“…while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13

“Advent is a season for waiting; we wait for the coming of God. We need him to come. Our world is messed up and we are messed up. We lament our condition and long for God to set things right, to make us better…we wait in hope…God is coming!” Bobby Gross, The Christian Year

The Advent season reminds us to look back and see God’s promises fulfilled in Christ while we wait for those promises to be fully fulfilled. There is still a reign that is yet to come, and a day of salvation that is still in the future, and a promise from Jesus that he will return one day on the clouds.

Paul implies in this letter to Titus that waiting it is a normal part of the Christian life. “In this present age” (Titus 2:12) we are called to wait, and we are called to a specific kind of waiting – we wait in hope. Because Hope is future oriented, it naturally involves waiting. Yet hope is also the very thing that sustains us while we wait. As we saw the other day, God has given us “new birth into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3). Our hope is active, and our waiting, while focused on the future appearing of the glory of the Lord, is not passive waiting. While we wait, we live for Christ - imitating His sacrificial love and his way of life as His people.

The Greek word used for waiting has a sense of expectant or eager waiting. This word is a verb in Greek that is present tense. In Greek, present tense describes an action that is continuing or habitual and often describes a lifestyle. (As a Bible study nerdy side note, always pause and take note when you find out the verb in a Bible verse is present tense because you are being called to make something a lifestyle, to live out the command continually.)

So, we live with a continual expectation of Christ's return. We are continually waiting; we have a lifestyle of waiting. The only way it is possible to live a life of continually waiting in expectation of Christ's return, is that we live with an eternal perspective.

In Philippians Paul reminds us that "our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ". (Philippians 3:20) We wait because our ultimate hope is beyond this world. If we stay focused only on what this world holds, only on the things we can see, then we will give up in despair. We will lose heart and fail to live as we are called to.

 Again, Paul calls us to live with an eternal perspective in his second letter to the Corinthians:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Expectant waiting means we do so with our eyes fixed on eternity. We keep our eyes on God without losing sight of the fact that we live here on earth, in this present age. Our waiting is not to be passive, but active. While we wait with our eyes and our hearts set on eternity, we live with our hands active in the lives of those around us. We live in dependence upon God and obedience to Him.  Paul's challenge to us in Titus 2:11-14 is to live in obedience now, while anticipating Christ's promised return.

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his Word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5

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  1. Another encouraging devotional. Ps 130:5 sums it up. " whole being waits..." I am waiting, expecting, and longing for Christ.

  2. Very good devotional, Mary. Thank you for the mini "tutorial" on Greek verb tenses.