Waiting on the Gift
Waiting… it is often one of the most difficult challenges we face. In today’s world, we expect instantaneous results. Waiting for a program to load or even our names to be called for a reservation can take all the patience we can muster. We constantly check our watches or phones, counting every second that ticks by, often complaining about the long wait.
After Jesus had suffered the cross and risen from death, He showed himself to the apostles many times over a period of forty days and spoke to them of the Kingdom of God. On one of these occasions, while eating with them, He gave them this command:
Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
He also instructed His disciples not to begin their ministry until they were “clothed with power from on high” (Luk. 24:49) they would receive from the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told the disciples to wait because the Day of Pentecost had not come yet. God is a God of order, and the Bible repeatedly shows us that He has appointed times. Jesus made this clear to His disciples when He told them, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority” (Acts 1:7). They were to wait until the Father’s appointed time when they would receive this special gift.
After receiving their instruction from Jesus, the disciples returned to the Upper Room to wait. Soon they were joined by the women; Mary, the mother of Jesus, his brothers, and other believers until their number reached about 120. They did not know how long it would be, but they knew what to do while waiting. They prayed!
At the time of the feast day of Shavuot, also called Pentecost, Jerusalem was filled with Jews from every nation. As the 120 gathered, the appointed time arrived, and the Father’s gift was poured out on His children. They began speaking in other tongues, praising God, and those in the crowd heard in their own native language.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance
Acts 2:1-4 NKJV
This amazed and perplexed the people; some even made fun, asking if they had drunk too much wine. “Clothed in power from on high” (as was promised), Peter began giving the divine message of salvation. Over 3,000 people accepted this message and were baptized that day, receiving the gift of eternal life in the Kingdom.
The wait had paid off. Waiting on the Lord is not always easy, but it is always rewarding. We must remember this as we eagerly await the Great Day of His Return. Jesus has promised He will return and although the wait may seem long, eternal life with Him will be the best gift we will ever receive. Be encouraged while you wait, stay in prayer, and continue spreading the gift of the Gospel to all the world.
The best is yet to come!