Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we explore the disagreeable state of waiting.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
While We Wait
"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary. And they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah Chapter 40, Verse 51
Brothers and sisters, complying with the Father’’s will often means waiting. If we wait while the Father’’s will unfolds in our lives rather than acting hastily or prematurely, we will be like those who "renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
After Jesus had called the Apostles to follow him, there was a period of waiting before they launched the work of the kingdom. Jesus instructed them to return back to their lives as usual. Each night he would teach them the truths of the Kingdom. But they were anxious to get started, and he told them they would not be too ready when the Father called them. There were many reasons for the delay that the Apostles did not understand. One was their lack of training; they had to be trained. They had to organize themselves to secure funds for their families and their mission. And there were many behind-the-scene activities that had to be coordinated before they could launch their mission.
We see many of these same parallels as we wait the unfolding of the Father’’s will in our lives. We are by nature experiencing mortals. We must acquire all knowledge by and through experience. Experience only takes place in time and space, and each experience is subject to the governor of time and space-delays and handicaps. From our perspective, the pleasant times are much too short, while the unpleasant ones seem to linger. But the objective march of time is the same whether we are experiencing pleasant or unpleasant times. An hour still lasts 60 minutes regardless of what is going on.
We shall consider the time of waiting from the purely material aspects of our lives and then from the spiritual aspects. We’’ll show how they are integrated. From the purely material point of view, we are caring out material functions. We are involved in all of the things that are part of the material life. We are trapped within a material prison, and there is no escape from it save death. But while we live in this material prison, we go about our material lives, forced to obey its rules or suffer premature death. And overshadowing our confinement in this material prison is an all- eclipsing fear.
While we live in this prison, we all share a common experience. We are linked together. We must provide for ourselves while we are in this prison. We are given the raw material for survival, but it is up to us to cooperate with one another to provide the finished product. Sometimes we don’’t cooperate with each other, and this causes unnecessary suffering. And sometimes we do horrible things to each other. Sometimes these things are done out of ignorance, other times out of pure hatred.
While sojourning in this material prison, we have dreams, set goals, and make plans to actualize our material goals, but we can never be sure that we will accomplish them. Sometimes we are cut down before we have a chance to accomplish them. And in some cases we are cut down during the peak enjoyment of these accomplished material goals. We have to maintain ourselves and our families, and for most of us this means that we are involved in some sort of gainful employment. We suffer failures, disappointments, and handicaps, some of which we may not be able to overcome. In that case we must adjust our material aspirations.
Sometimes we get sick or disabled or suffer from chronic physical problems that put a break on our physical mechanism. Sometimes we lose loved ones, and our emotions are like the whirlwind in response to these vicissitudes of material living. Our emotions are up one minute, down the next. We try to get a handle on them, but even while we are trying to calm them down, some other event comes along and destroys our short lived emotional adjustment, and we have to start all over again. We are miserable, uncomfortable physically and emotionally.
We don’’t know what to expect next; we don’’t know our ““expiration date,”” the time when the sentence of mortal death will be executed. All around us we see fellow prisoners dying without explanation. We don’’t know what their crime was and why the penalty is always death. As far as we can tell, their only crime was being born. It requires a lot of courage and determination to live in this material prison until we are finally released by the executioner. And sometimes there are those who just give out and refuse to live in this material prison, calling it a charade. Why would anybody even want to live this kind of life, all of this suffering, pain, and disappointment, only to be cruelly let go at the end for all of our efforts?
There is something inside of us that admonishes us to keep going despite these trials and tribulations. There is something inside of us that craves survival--that wants to live. And this something is our faith and hope. Our faith tells us that our lives do have enduring value and meaning. Our faith tells us that even though we cannot escape the execution of our material selves, we can escape the execution of our spiritual selves. We can continue on in a higher frame with a new mechanism to manifest ourselves through--one that is not mortal.
There is a door that will allow us to escape. There is a spirit that lives within, alongside us. It is the Father’’s spirit. This spirit that is the source of faith and hope that tells us to keep going. It is the Father’’s spirit that bathes us on the inside with love and mercy, constantly revealing to us the true values and meanings of our incarceration. Because our desire to escape is so great, the heavenly Father recreates us in a spiritual form so that we can transfer ourselves to this new vehicle, which is immune to death. No, death cannot hold the Father’’s spirit or our souls.
While we live in this material prison, we discover something else. We can live another set of values and meanings. We don’’t have to be confined to the purely material values of this life. We can live the values of the next life. We can love and be loved. We can enjoy the values of the relationship of God being our spiritual Father. We can experience the joy of this relationship, even while we trudge our way through the valley of material sorrow. No, this new life does not exempt us from living the material life, but we can superimpose our spiritual values on material ones, and can find peace and happiness even while we are in the material prison.
When we are overwhelmed by the material life, we can pray to the Father and tell him all about it. And this will give us some emotional relief as this too will pass. The Father already knows what we are going through, and he goes through the experiences with us. There is great comfort in telling him how we feel and acknowledging our faith and trust in him. When we become so emotionally distressed and confused in our minds that we cannot find words to express the way we feel, we can say, "Lord, have mercy." The Father will pray for us at such times, that is, he will answer the true needs of our souls at such times. And when we have gone as far as we can go to alleviate the distressing situation, we can exercise faith in the goodness of his divine plan for our lives.
Yes, while we wait upon the Lord to finish the work he has started in us, we can seek to know his will and execute that will in the very face of our waiting, being transformed in the process. We know that trouble does not last always, though it may appear on the contrary. In the final analysis, we receive strength and power to continue to keep faith and hope alive. While we wait upon the Lord, his divine will unfolding in our lives, we can rejoice forevermore as we realize what a joyous and enthralling future awaits us.
This concludes today's message on understanding what it means to wait upon the Lord. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.