by Norma Gail
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord and take heart because God is at work in our world. Hope may run low in our country and our world but God is still in control.
Wait for the Lord Because He Will Provide
When Ahab became King of Israel, he did more evil than any of the kings before him and provoked the Lord greatly. After Elijah told him there would be no more rain, God sent him to hide by a peaceful brook and ravens fed him. His needs were met.
Elijah must have thought everything was fine. However, without rainfall, the brook dried up, so God sent him to a widow in Zarephath. She didn’t have enough food but Elijah assured her God would provide. Sometime later, her son became ill. She blamed the prophet and thought she was being punished for her sin. Once again, Elijah cried to the Lord. Her son was healed and she believed.
The world condition has degenerated in 2020. Evil reigns. Coronavirus, travel restrictions, personal and business losses, school closures, violence, riots, destruction, and death fill the news reports. We don’t understand what God is doing. Hope is in short supply. Wait for the Lord who provides for His people, even when malevolence appears to rule.
Wait for the Lord Even When Things Seem Hopeless
Evil ran rampant under King Ahab. Finally, Elijah was the only prophet of the Lord not in hiding from Ahab’s sword. God told him to predict rain and he met 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. God consumed Elijah’s sacrifice with fire from heaven while the sacrifice to Baal lay untouched. The people believed in the God of Israel and slew the prophets of Baal. Then true to God’s promise, it rained.
God’s provision and the great victory on Mount Carmel should have made Elijah’s faith invincible. But 1 Kings 18 reveals that when Ahab threatened his life, Elijah ran, sat under a broom bush, and begged to die.
Elijah, the great prophet, focused on his fear rather than his faith. At times, the voices who cry there is no God sound louder than those of the faithful. It’s easy to focus on the bad when news reports follow us on our phones. Elijah retreated to a cave in the midst of a violent storm before he heard the still, small voice of God that revealed hope. No matter how hopeless the situation, God does not relinquish control.
Hold Onto Faith in the Evil Days
In our country, God led fallible men to create a republic, unlike any government the world has ever known. Though far from perfect, people everywhere envy the freedom and opportunity. The right to peaceful assembly is hijacked by those who assemble for violence. Truth gives way to lies.
In talking about the last days, Paul wrote in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
We don’t know when the Lord will return. However, Elijah offers a powerful example for us to wait on the Lord and not focus on our fear. God will reward His own in the end. Be strong, take heart, and endure the evil days in faith.
Photos ©Norma Gail Holtman