By Jessica Van Roekel, Crosswalk.com
Waiting with Courage and Hope for God
By Jessica Van Roekel
“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield” (Psalms 33:20 NIV)
Waiting is one of the hardest things to do. We pray our prayers and wait for the answers. We act on the Lord’s leading and wait for the outcome. We love others through their pain and wait for their healing.
Rahab teaches us how to wait with courage. When the people of Jericho heard that the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea and destroyed the two kings, Og and Sihon, their hearts melted, and everyone’s courage faded. But Rahab declared her knowledge and belief that the Lord had already given her city into the Israelites' hands.
Instead of letting her courage fade like her fellow countrymen and women, she took a risk. She hid the spies on her roof and struck a deal with the spies, their lives for hers and her family’s lives. To mark the deal, she tied a scarlet rope to her window. Then the waiting began. How long until they would be saved?
How many times do you and I wonder when we’ll be saved? We know life is hard. But it’s those things that take us by surprise that knock the vigor right out of us. We go to bed at night thinking all is well, and we wake up in the morning to betrayal of someone we love. Or we find a lump and hope and pray for negative results, but the doctor calls and it’s the word we hoped we would never hear. And the waiting begins.
We wait for healing and vindication. We wonder if the Lord still cares for us if he let this bad thing happen. We question our beliefs in a good, good Father and how this horror can be turned into good. Rahab shows us the way.
If we fast forward past Joshua 2 to chapter 6, we read about Rahab and her family’s rescue by the spies she sheltered. Their lives were saved because Rahab waited in her home as she was instructed. Imagine how frightening it was for her and her family to wait while an army marched around their city. Fear probably rose like a wave, and tense silence filled the city and her apartment. Rahab believed, but did her family? And how much courage did it take for her to stop her family from fleeing her home?
Then imagine peering through the window on the seventh day to watch the massive army march silently around your city not once but seven times. Then, as they raised their voices, the walls of your city came tumbling down, but your apartment, like a chimney pipe stood tall. Do you leave in terror or wait with strength and courage for your rescue?
We have the choice with our difficulties too to be strong and courageous. God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He is good and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love. But will we stay? Rahab and her family had a choice—they could believe the spies and have faith for the promised rescue, or they could take matters into their own hands and try and escape.
It's a normal response to want to escape. We think if we don’t go through life without major difficulties, then we are blessed, blessed, blessed. But there’s a blessing that comes when we wait with strength and courage. It’s a blessing that grows our faith and makes us strong in the Lord. When we wait on the Lord in the middle of devastating circumstances, spiritual maturity happens. We realize God’s faithfulness because we experience his faithfulness. And when we experience his faithfulness for ourselves, it becomes a powerful testimony. We can encourage ourselves and others because we have the experiential truth that he is faithful and true.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Waiting on God is a way to live by faith. It’s a way to grow your courage and strength. If you’re in a situation that’s taking you down an unwanted road of relational or health issues, take hold of your heart and strengthen it with courage that the Lord is with you through it all. He carries you, leads you, and loves you. Wait with courage like Rahab. Stand strong in your belief that he is everything you need in this exact moment.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/ksenija18kz
Jessica Van Roekel is a worship leader, speaker, and writer who writes at www.welcomegrace.com sharing hope-filled inspiration addressing internal hurts in the light of God’s transforming grace. She believes that through Christ our personal histories don’t have to define our present or determine our future. Jessica lives in rural Iowa with her husband and family. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
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