envelop spinner search close plus arrow-right arrow-left facebook twitter
Waiting in Christ

Waiting in Christ

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.” - Psalm 62:1

by Thomas Johnson on April 19, 2023

How do you like waiting? If you are like most people, you don’t like waiting for things at all. You probably try to avoid waiting at all costs, and lament when times of waiting are unavoidable. Waiting is hard, but for those of us who follow Jesus, waiting is not just an inconvenience or an inefficiency we need to avoid. Instead, waiting can become purpose-filled time that allows us to grow our trust in God.

The book of Psalms regularly speaks to this idea, as God’s people open up about many things that are not going the way they had planned. Instead of only grumbling to friends or complaining on social media, the writers of the psalms bring their struggles to God. Some of the psalms, such as Psalm 62, deal with the struggle of waiting. Instead of waiting alone, the psalmist waits for “God alone.” Instead of trying to solve his problems by his own strength, the psalmist looks to God for salvation (i.e. solving his problems by God’s strength). The psalmist becomes so convinced that this is a purpose-filled way to deal with waiting that he commends this to everyone: “Trust in [God] at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

Hopefully you have already heard that on Monday this week, Bethany’s Administrative Board voted to pause our Discernment Process. You can learn more about details of that decision on our Discernment page. There is a good chance that you are feeling uncomfortable with this decision. After all, it was not what we had planned for this process. Waiting is hard. When we first saw the results of the second survey and realized that we might not be finished with all of this, I struggled to accept this. I was so looking forward to moving past all of this so we could return some focus back to the ministry of Bethany. But waiting is where we find ourselves as a church right now. It has taken me much prayer and intentional surrender to accept this new season of waiting. I still wrestle with all of this just like everyone else, but I am also reminded that God is often at work in times of waiting. This season of waiting can be a time of growing our trust in Christ if we allow it to be.

We started a new sermon series this week on the book of Ephesians. Paul shares a big vision for God’s people in this book, and it can be summed up in two simple words: “in Christ.” More than simply being a people who are baptized, forgiven, loved, saved, justified, or made holy, Paul talks about God’s people as those who are “in Christ.” This phrase has an abundance of meaning that we’ll look at through this series, but put simply, it means we are joined together with him in a way that changes who we are and causes the power of Christ to live within us. We are in Christ, and Christ is also in us.

Paul invites us to lean into this reality and pray for God to make us more aware of this marvelous identity and the power that comes with it. As we take time to pause our discernment process, I want to invite you to wait on God alone by leaning into what it means to be “in Christ.” Paul gives us a prayer we can pray (below) to that end.

Remember, waiting is not easy, but God is with us in the waiting, and he can do big things when we make ourselves available for the Spirit to move. Join me in praying Paul’s prayer for ourselves and for the Bethany family as we wait on God alone in this next season.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. - Ephesians 1:18-19a

In Christ,
Pastor Thomas Johnson

Tags: waiting, in christ, god alone

return to Pastors' Blog