St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church

Waiting for God's Time

Podcast Version

Acts 1:6-8—…when [the disciples and Jesus] met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled with the timeline and plan in response to the Coronavirus on a national, state, and local level. You’ve struggled to one degree or another, and for various reasons. Even now as we’re moving out of greater restrictions and hoping to see an overall drop in percentage of cases, it isn’t over yet.

The apostles had some of the same struggles when it came to Jesus’ ascension. There was so much they still didn’t understand. There was so much bad information they were working off of. They though Jesus was finally going to restore an earthly kingdom of Israel. They were looking for an easy life on earth, now that Jesus had suffered, died, and rose again.

It is so easy for us to get caught up in false expectations like the apostles. It happens when we focus too much on earthly results instead of spiritual truths. There’s a whole host of ways we do this, but over the last few months you have probably focused a lot on this pandemic. “Why don’t you bring this to an end, Lord?” “Are you now going to enlighten everyone to your truth?” “Are you finally going to give our medical professionals the perfect answers and methods?” The list can go on and on where we sound just like the apostles with our heads in earthly clouds instead of our hearts fixed on the solid rock of God’s Word.

That’s when we need to just stop, and listen. Listen to Jesus. And marvel at what he
does have to say. “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”

The promises Jesus made on ascension weren’t just for the apostles, they are for all believers of all time. The power you received at your baptism is the power that connected you with Christ forever! The power of God in your baptism caused you to die with Christ and to be raised again with him! The power of God ruling in your heart is what causes you to be a child of God to this day! The power of God is what has secured your eternal home in heaven by his side! The power of God is the comfort that is yours in trying times such as these, or when things are going well. And you have that comfort because you have listened to Jesus who says,
“Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Heb. 13:5-6).

And now, because of the power of God in your heart and life through faith, you can be just like the apostles, listening to Jesus and then living in calm confidence, knowing that God has everything under control. You now can wait for God’s time. And, as you wait, serve as his witnesses to this lost world.