Summary: While we wait, do we get frustrated and anxious or do we realize that only through times of waiting can our Lord accomplish some great stuff.

Don’t you just hate to wait? I do. Patience is not something that I am exceptionally good

at and as a matter of fact is one of the main areas in my life that God is having to work

overtime to bring into line with His will and plan for my life. Christmas is the worst when

it comes to waiting. Some of us are as fidgety as a five year old at a doctors office at this

time of year. Someone said that “good things” come to those that wait? Do they really?

Sometimes I wonder!

I don’t think that I am alone in my impatience. There’s the guy who was grumbling and

grousing in the line at the grocery store. And, the lady who honked at me and said hello in

a rather strange way when I slowed to turn into the mall parking lot the other day. And of

course we cannot forget those that have to jump in front of us in line at the store in order

to stand there as the clerk has to do a price check on register one because the bloomers

that they were buying for Aunt Bessie had no price tag. I am sure that in some way you

are a lot like me and just hate to wait, you don’t care to stand in line, or desire to sit in a

“waiting” room, or wasting time standing around and simply hanging out. And, I thnk

that you will agree that we have kindred spirits all over town, especially at this time of


Waiting, I have never been especially good at waiting. But, it’s the season for waiting.

And, it’s just exactly what an over-scheduled, over anxious, over-committed soul like me

needs right now. Waiting is the antidote to a world gone mad in the holiday rush.

That is why advent and this season in the life of our church and in the life of our world is

so important. Advent means waiting. Well actually advent literally means coming. We

are waiting on the coming of the Lord. At Christmas, we wait to celebrate an event that

has already happened - the birth of the Christ child, Jesus. During advent, we wait for an

event that is yet to happen - the second coming of that same Jesus as Lord and King.

regardless of which we recall first, it’s all waiting.

You know as much as I hate to wait -- I’ve discovered something remarkable about

waiting. There is much that God cannot do in my life unless I wait. There is much God

will not do in my life, until I wait. At least as important as the things for which I wait is

the work God wants to do in my life while I wait.

With this amazing thought in mind, I want to focus on a passage of scripture this morning

that might at first glance seem strange for this time of year. But I assure you that it has

everything to do with what we are going through as we approach Christmas and the

celebration of the birth of Christ.

I Thessalonians 5:16-24! This is good council for all who wait, for the Thessalonian

Christians were waiting - they were waiting for the Lord to return. They just knew that

He would come back very soon. However, there was a problem. Some of the members

of the church were dying and those who remained were surprised and terribly disturbed by

this. Had they misunderstood the Lord’s promise to return. Was it all just wishful

thinking, was he ever going to come? Paul wrote to assure them that those believer’s who

have died would not be left out of the great day of Christ’s return. In fact, they will be

raised from the dead to meet Him. Then, those who are still alive will join them in Christ’s

Presence. The things that Paul says in this passage are intended to strengthen and

encourage folks like you and me - folks who are waiting on Jesus. Join me as I begin in 1

Thessalonians 5:16.


This is a bunch of stuff isn’t it? There’s a whole lot that Paul seems to be requiring. But,

before we get overwhelmed by the size of it all and before you simply hit the off switch on

your mind this morning - I want to crumple it up like a ball of Christmas wrapping paper

and give it to you in a size you can handle. Here it is, are you ready? ------ Waiting on

Jesus can have an amazing effect on our lives!

1. Waiting For Jesus can Help Us Experience The Transforming Purposes of


I can remember one late winter’s day when I was about 7, my grandmother had taken a

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