- Sermon Notes
God is Worth the Wait
November 26-27, 2022
- Some things in life are easy to wait for.
- But when it comes to things we really want, it might not be so easy to wait.
- Waiting for God can also be difficult.
- While waiting for God to move in our lives, it’s easy to be impatient or feel discouraged.
- But God has given us His Word so that we may know how to wait for God without becoming impatient or feeling discouraged.
- Today, we will study a passage that will show us why waiting for God is not a waste of time and how to be at peace while we are waiting.
Transition – The first principle to remember while waiting for God to move in your life is. . .
I. God Has Not Forgotten You (1)
It may seem like God has forgotten you, but He has not.
In fact, there is a familiar pattern in the Bible regarding God’s promises.
- First, God gives a promise.
- Then the promise is followed by a divine delay.
The purpose of the divine delay is to test the believer, to see if they will trust God and stand on the promises found in God’s Word. In many ways, divine delays are opportunities or seasons of refinement so that believers may:
- Grow closer to God; and
- Become stronger in their faith in God.
Transition – From Genesis 21, we see that. . .
A. God is watching over you
- It had been 24 years and three months of waiting before Sarah conceived.
- God had said on two occasions, just months before Sarah conceived, that she would have a son the same time next year.
a. First to Abraham in Genesis 17:21.
Genesis 17:21, But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.
b. Then to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18:10.
Genesis 18:10, He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.
- “Then the Lord took note of Sarah”
a. “Took note of” means “watch over” or to “care for.”
b. “To help someone in a manner that shows concern” because they are in a “difficult circumstance.”
- When God takes note of someone it means He is about to bring a great change in their life.
Exodus 2:23-25, Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.
APPL – If there ever was a time in recent history when God’s people needed to cry out to God it is now.
Hatred has increased as love is growing cold.
Lies are spreading like wildfire as truth is suppressed.
Wickedness is applauded while righteousness is ridiculed.
2 Chronicles 7:14, “. . . if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (NIV)
- God heard the sons of Israel’s cry and called Moses to confront Pharaoh and deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt.
- When Pharaoh refused, God sent ten plagues upon Egypt, which left the empire devastated.
- After the tenth plague, Pharaoh released Israel and God guided His people toward the Promised Land.
APPL – While waiting for a breakthrough, the silence and sense of divine inactivity can lead us to conclude that God has forgotten or is unwilling to act on our behalf.
- Nothing could be further from the truth.
Isaiah 49:14-16, But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.
While waiting for God, we must remember that He has not forgotten us, He is watching over us.
While waiting for God, we must stand on the promises found in God’s Word.
Notice what David did during a time in his life when he felt like God had forgotten him.
Psalm 13:1-2, 5-6, How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
APPL – David looked back on his life and remembered God’s faithfulness.
If God was faithful in the past, then He will be faithful in all of our todays and tomorrows.
God never changes.
Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
B. God will always make it good
- “The Lord did for Sarah as He had promised.”
- “Lord” – Yahweh, the promise making, promise keeping God.
- “did for Sarah” – meaning God did for Sarah what only God can do.
Genesis 18:14, “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?”
c. “as He had promised” – God kept His Word, He always has and always will.
Number 23:19, God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
2. But notice the fulfillment of this 25-year-old promise is recorded in only a few verses. Why?
a. Because God made the promise.
b. The outcome was never in question.
II. God’s Timing is Perfect (2)
ILLUS – Deadlines and Stress
Transition – I believe there is another great faith lesson for us to remember while we are waiting. . .
A. God’s time is the right time, all the time
- Sarah conceived and bore a son at “the appointed time.”
- Sarah was 90 years old but age and high risk pregnancies are not a problem for God; He is the Great Physician.
- Abraham was 100 years old; even better.
- It was God’s appointed time which means it was the right time.
- Again, God always keeps His sovereign appointments.
a. Jesus Christ came at the right time.
Romans 5:6, For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
b. And Jesus is coming back at the appointed time.
Mark 13:33, Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is.
APPL – When it’s time for God to move, it’s time for us to watch and rejoice.
B. God is preparing us while we wait
- Specifically, God was waiting for Abraham and Sarah to be as good as dead.
a. That is what the Apostle Paul said.
Romans 4:19-21, And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.
APPL – This is another key to the faith journey. God is waiting for us to be “as good as dead.”
- Not physically dead.
- Not emotionally dead.
- Not spiritually dead.
- “Dead” meaning when all is said and done, there is only one explanation for why His promise was fulfilled, God.
b. That is what everyone who heard this story had to conclude; it was all God’s doing.
2. But God had to work on Sarah first.
a. Sarah had given her maid, Hagar, into Abraham’s arms (Genesis 16).
b. When she heard the Lord say that she would have a child a year later she laughed and then lied about laughing when the Lord questioned her.
We do not know when, but there came a point when even Sarah believed God was able to give her a son.
Hebrews 11:11, By faith even Sarah herself received the ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.
- You see, not only can God change our circumstances; He can change our hearts too.
- I suggest that this need for our hearts to change is part of the reason why God makes us wait.
a. He brings us to the end of ourselves.
b. Then God asks, “Will you trust Me?”
APPL – When we answer this question by faith, then we will never be the same again because the matter has been settled in our hearts.
Hudson Taylor, “Let us give up our work, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all, right into God’s hand; and then, when we have given all over to Him, there will be nothing left for us to be troubled about.”
Transition – Why is God worth the wait?
III. God Will Never Disappoint You (3-7)
A. Abraham honored God with obedience
- Abraham named his son “Isaac.” (3)
- Not Terah, the name of his father.
- Not Lot, his nephew’s name.
- Nor Abraham Jr.
- As an expression of faith, Abraham obeyed God and called his son Isaac, “laughter.”
- Every time, Abraham, Sarah, or those who knew their story said “Isaac”, they would smile and remember that God is faithful and nothing is too difficult for Him.
2. Then on the eighth day, Abraham circumcised Isaac, once again obeying God’s command so Isaac may enjoy God’s covenant blessings. (4)
3. Abraham had waited 25 years for his promised son. (5)
- Once the promise was fulfilled, Abraham honored God because God made it possible.
- With great care Abraham obeyed God’s commands.
- Abraham made sure that he was faithful with the gift that God had entrusted to him.
APPL – Here again is another faith principle for us to remember.
When God fulfills His promise and blesses us, honor God and be faithful with what He has entrusted to us.
And give God all the glory.
That’s what Sarah did. . .
B. Sarah gave God the glory
- Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me.” (6)
a. God did this for Sarah.
b. You can hear her heart rejoicing as she looked into the face of her newborn.
c. People now laughed with her not at her.
2. Think about this; not only did Sarah conceive and carry Isaac to term: (7)
a. Sarah was also able to nurse Isaac.
b. She asked, “Who would have said” such a thing?
- Not man.
- Only God.
Romans 10:11, Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.
- So, if Abraham and Sarah were with us now and we had the opportunity to ask them, “Was God worth the wait?” What do you think they would say?
- I am sure they would laugh and say, “YES!”
Psalm 27:14, Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.
Genesis 21:1-7 NASB
1 Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had [a]promised. 2 So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4 Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh [b]with me.” 7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”