- Dr. Ed Stetzer
- The Joy of the Gospel, Together
- Religion vs. The Gospel
- 10:00 a.m.
Holding On While You’re On Hold by Mary Lowman - Blog
Are you in a place right now where you feel like you’re holding on for dear life, and you just don’t know what’s going to happen? Maybe your job is being eliminated and you’re facing the trauma of finding another one. Or it might be that your marriage is on the rocks and you’re not sure if it will survive. Could it be that a prodigal child is breaking your heart, making very bad choices and wandering far away from God? Or you’re facing a financial crisis which looks like disaster to you? You might say you’re just holding on while you’re on hold.
And you know, it’s not only the more traumatic things, but life seems to be full of almost daily and unending situations where we simply have to wait—things aren’t moving like we think they should. So, we’re frustrated and exhausted from holding on while we’re on hold.
When you think of someone in the Bible who was on hold, you most likely think of Job. Nobody has ever endured more than Job did while waiting for God to move. In Job 6 he says:
Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for. What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient? Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze?
And in the 7th chapter, he goes on to say:
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.
His words may express your heart today. Like Job, you may be saying or thinking: Why hasn’t God granted my request? I don’t have any strength to keep holding on. After all, I’m just flesh! I’ve lost hope and I’ll never be happy again.
For most of us, this feeling of hopelessness doesn’t show itself outwardly so much as it corrupts us on the inside. It takes the form of what Thoreau called “quiet desperation.” You keep going, you keep saying the right things and maintaining a semblance of normalcy, but on the inside you’ve truly given up. You’re going through the motions of a marriage or a job; you’re making people think everything’s okay with your children or parents, but in reality, you’re emotionally detached; there’s no more fight left in you, and you’re almost at the place where you really don’t care.
I want to share three simple truths that will help you hold on when you’re on hold. And the first one is: Trust in God’s Sovereignty. That simply means that you continue to believe that nothing happens in God’s universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority. And you believe the same is true in your life. God is sovereign in your life. Therefore, you can trust that in his sovereignty, he will make all things work together for your good, even the evil and wrongs of others and the cruelty of this sin-infested world.
Believe me, I know it’s not easy to trust when you’re on hold, especially when it looks like your world is crumbling around you. I think of a friend who went through years of pain and suffering from an unfaithful husband and a broken marriage, death of two children, another child who walked away from God, and other significant losses. Honestly, she was a Job-story for today, and I often wondered how she made it through. Obviously all those things left deep scars and hurt, but she turned it into opportunity for her to minister to others. She completed a biblical counseling degree and now she has a voice to help others who are “on hold” because she has walked deep, dark roads. In God’s sovereignty and as only God can do, he turned her sorrow into dancing and has given her a broader, more effective ministry as a result.
So, if you can put your trust in God’s sovereignty today, regardless of your feelings, and simply repeat that you believe he is still in control, that is step one in holding on while you’re on hold.
Step two is to Trust in God’s Timing. Psalm 37 tells us:
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
God’s timing often seems so inappropriate to us. What possible good can come from waiting any longer—that’s how we see it. I can look back on my life and see how the waiting periods of my life were there for a purpose—a purpose I did not see or like at the time. But with hindsight, I can now understand that God had a purpose for the delays that seemed so unnecessary to me.
Proverbs 19:2 reminds us that “Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” In other words, impatience will get you in trouble. Running ahead of God is not the way to go. So, can you today trust in God’s timing, take your hands off, and wait patiently for him? It’s one of the most important lessons you have to learn if you’re holding on when you’re on hold.
And then, step three is really critical and that is to Trust in God’s Love. Often when we’re on hold we begin to wonder if God really cares. We sang, “Jesus loves me, this I know” as a child maybe, but can we really sing it again? Are you at the place where you have begun to doubt that God loves you? That could be because accepting love is hard for you. Perhaps because of parents that were not very loving, you have a hard time believing that your Heavenly Father loves you.
We know that nothing can separate us from the love of God—nothing! We read in Romans 8:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You may not feel his love, but it doesn’t change the fact that he still loves you and always will.
I love this song by Babbie Mason which says:
God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His Heart
I just want to encourage you today—if you’re holding on while you’re on hold—to trust the heart of God; to let go of your doubts and fears and simply choose to believe that God is sovereign, his timing is right, and his love will never let you go—never!