Luke 24:46-53 (NKJV)
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.
Pentecost is May 20, 2018. The celebration of the Promise. I see promises in three parts: the promise, the waiting, and the delivery. For me, the best part is the delivery. The delivery of a good promise is not just a blessing in itself, it’s a confirmation of my belief in the promise-giver and a relief from the work of belief. Once I have received what was promised, I know experientially that the promise-giver is trust-worthy, and I retire from believing the promise will come—I enjoy its advent.
Jesus has just finished opening the understanding of His disciples about the salvation of the world and the importance of His sufferings for them. They had seen it all unfold. Now, what was their responsibility with what they had seen and now understood? Tarry. Wow. That doesn’t sound exciting does it?
The word tarry means to stay longer than intended. I hate tarrying. My expectations are dashed and my hopes of accomplishing anything are spoiled making my heart sick with frustration and grief. Think about it; the disciples had just experienced the delivery of a long-awaited promise of a Messiah. They were on a high and now were told to tarry. Why? Because another promise was given.
Like every good leader, God always has the next goal in line before the completion of the current goal. God had promised many things, not just a Messiah. And He intends to deliver on every promise.
If you are in that waiting period between the promise and its delivery, be encouraged in the fact that joy is possible in the waiting. The disciples returned to Jerusalem with great joy because they knew that the delivery of the Promise was sure. How could you doubt it when the promised resurrection had been delivered? The new work to believe in the Promise of the Father was easier this time around because God had shown them that He is a Promise Keeper. He is trustworthy. God hasn’t just promised what you’re waiting on now; He’s promised you many things. And many of those things promised have been delivered. Tarry with great joy. You’re not alone in your waiting. I am waiting too.
What part of promise are you in today—the giving of a promise, the waiting, or the delivery?