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Worrying, Waiting, and Worshipping

February 7, 2011

Worry, Waiting, and Worship
We establish a worry, waiting, and worship cycle in our young years. Waiting on Christmas, birthdays, sleepovers and Friday nights was so easy in comparison to the waiting process as an adult. Looking forward to a good time always brought with it the knowledge that no matter what, when the event came, all would be well. How I wish I could always have the anticipatory feeling of something good just ’round the corner in the waiting game now. A look at God’s word shows me I can.
Some of my favorite scriptures come from the Psalms. I love how the psalmist can put into words the feelings I have today. He shows us the evidence that even a man “after God’s own heart” falls right into the cycle of worry, waiting, and finally worship that I and you invariably experience.
In Ps. 119:84, David asks God how much longer, he should wait. One hears the torment in his cry. David shares his anxiousness in Ps. 6:3 when he declares that his whole being is deeply troubled. He queries God in a heartfelt plea, “How long, O LORD, will you wait to help me?” Haven’t we all been there? I know I have. Sometimes we even despair of God hearing our prayers. David was there too. Ps 54:2 says, “Hear my prayer, O God; listen to my words! “ Can’t you just hear his anguish?
He writes of his feelings of isolation due to his troubles in Psa 10:1, ” Why are you so far away, O LORD? Why do you hide yourself when we are in trouble?” Does God truly hide or does our sin of worry isolate us from Him? Ps. 37:7 speaks of waiting on the Lord God to act and the writer admonishes us about worry. Worry is sinful. It is as if we tell God that He is not big enough to handle our problems. From scripture we know God’s timing is not our own. From the Word, we know that He is able to take care of us. Do we know those things with our hearts?
In Ps 62:1, we are charged to wait patiently and depend on God alone. How do we accomplish this? The writer gives the secret to successful waiting in Ps 37:4 where he says, “ Seek your happiness in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desire.” Do we ask for our will or his? God gives us what is best for us. He knows best. Do we ask in faith, knowing he is able or do we only say the words? God knows our hearts and our intentions. Do we delight in him or in our selfish desires? God desires our full attention to His will.
A huge word used in psychology is “cognition.” What we think about people, their actions, things, and ideas has heavy influence on our thoughts and, consequently, our behavior. If we do not place God at the center of our lives, all areas of our lives are sure to suffer. Instead of behaving as God expects, our behavior will reflect the influence of the world in our lives. Do you see how worry happens? Worry then comes when our focus is on anything but God.
See the psalmist’s change of heart when he writes in Ps 35:10 “With all my heart I will say to the LORD, “There is no one like you. You protect the weak from the strong, the poor from the oppressor.”” His heart has turned to praise and worship in Ps 86:12 I will praise you with all my heart, O Lord my God; I will proclaim your greatness forever. He proclaims his happiness in serving God in Ps 119:2 wherein he says, “Happy are those who follow his commands, who obey him with all their heart.”
What brought about this change and allowed the writer’s act of worship? He repented. He gave his sacrifice of self and a repentant heart. Psa 51:17 My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart. God gave him a pure heart and a right spirit. Psa 51:10 Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me. Once again, the writer and his God were in accord.
What is the result of repentance? Ps 131:2 declares, “ I am content and at peace. As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms, so my heart is quiet within me.” Anxiety and worry are gone and the writer is once again experiencing peace. With peace in his heart, he can now worship. Ps 138:1 I thank you, LORD, with all my heart; I sing praise to you.
Ps 14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven at us humans to see if there are any who are wise, any who worship him. Will God look down from His heaven and find us waiting and worrying or will he find us waiting in worship?

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