Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr.
Delivered On
March 9, 2014 at 10:45 AM
The Patience to Wait on God


Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr.

Sunday March 9, 2014

The Patience to Wait on God

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart, wait, I say, on the Lord" Ps. 27:14

Human nature includes the mental capacity that houses
innumerable functions, some of which are the ability to
receive stimuli like sight, heat, knowledge, and retrieve
earlier stored experiences. This nature, also, encompasses
a psychological dimension that governs the perceptions,
attitudes, motivations, justifications, and general outlooks
on and responses in daily living.
This mental phenomenon varies among and between
individuals. Thus, humankind include individuals whose
outlook on life is filled with optimism, others are rigidly
pessimistic, some are assertive, many are passive, a
segment is timid, and an aggregate is courageous.
This diversity in mental outlooks leads to a wide range
in attitudes and interactions within the human group. Of
particular interest for the sermon today is the role of
patience in individual survival within the highly complex
and impersonal contemporary world of today. Undergirding
the sermon, topic to soon announced, is the reality that
human survival is anchored by a personal mind set that
ranges between anxiety and patience. In the first category
are individuals who crave an immediate solutions to their
desired goals. They are driven by " a feeling of worry,
nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event
or something with an uncertain outcome." ; at the other
polarity are those persons who face life with optimism
and seek, where ever possible, to implement changes in
their surroundings for themselves and others. Further,
they possess the capacity to accept or tolerate delay,
trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
The sermon, in this connection, will address a critical area
in which humankind needs to have patience; it has been
entitled, "The Patience to Wait on God. As noted in the
earlier read textual anchor, the sermon is based upon the
Psalmist’s call to wait on the Lord. It will include the
following dimensions, namely: the role of anxiety in daily
life, selective biblical teachings on averting anxiety, and
an evaluation of our position on waiting on God.
Since components of the text will permeate the
sermon, the focus will preclude an historical anchor
and move, rather, to the first dimension which is - the
role of anxiety in daily life. An array of professionals that
include clinical social workers, psychologists, physicians,
psychiatrists, clinical pastoral counselors - all document
the widespread of anxiety in the human group. Sadly, this
troubling malady is on the increase and it is being
manifested across the demographic lines of race, ethnicity,
social class, neighborhood, and even religious affiliations.
This anxiety is driven by incessant worry about self image,
economic security, access to worldly possessions, and for
many, personal health status. Many years a Frenchman
described Americans as being more concerned about
access to material possessions than both religious and
ethical values. Sadly, that assessment is becoming more
widespread while the societal reaction is to allocate
funds and privatize facilities for the fortunate few to have
access for service to cope with their anxiety. Unfortunately,
there exists, as noted in the text, a remedy for most of the
worldly driven anxieties; however, it is frequently
overlooked and too casually used. This fact will lead to the
second dimension of the sermon which is - biblical
teachings on adverting anxiety. While there are numerous
teachings and illustrations for this problem, only two will
be cited herein. The first one is lifted from the text in which
the Psalmist penned, "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart, wait, I say, on the Lord"
Ps. 27:14. Beloved this verse is especially applicable to
individuals who are in great need of relief: economic
necessities ( food, clothing, shelter ), employment,
and peace of mind. But there is another category of
people who were originally affluence, healthy, and
held in high esteem; however, adversity crept into their
life. Within America, the economic collapse of 2008 left
countless individual in this category. Their lifestyle was
drastic changes and many are yet enduring the aftermath
of that economic disaster. Without attempting to assess
the appropriate response for such individual, the focus
will now be directed to the biblical personality whose
fate was changed through a series of disasters. His name
is Job. The Bible contains a narrative of the losses that
Job experiences; they included his cattle, his children,
his wife’s compassion, the confidence of his three friends,
and, worst of all, his health. Amidst all those heartbreaking
realities, Job uttered statements of patience that included:
Thou he slays me, yet will I trust him and all my appointed
days I will wait until my change come". These two
assertion clearly show that Job’s life was consistent with
the Psalmist’s assertion to wait upon the Lord, to be
of good courage and he would strengthen the believer.
This episode of Job leads into the final phase of the
sermon which is - an examination of our stance on waiting
on God. Behavioral Scientists, long ago, coined the
expression instant gratification to describe the American
fascination by and efforts to obtain immediate goals and
prestige. Instead of adopting a deferred gratification
approach, many individuals work incessantly, over extend
them selves with credit obligations, and soon become
anxiety ridden. Hence they begin to have interpersonal
and medical problems that include: irritability, digestive
disorders, restless nights, alcoholic proclivities, and even
disharmony with the family. Beloved, while it is prestigious
to display symbols of success, it is more important to have
peace of mind. Hence, this sermon offers a biblical model
for daily living. Essentially, its prescription is a selective
list of Scriptures that include: what does it profit a man
to gain the whole world and lose his soul?; seek ye first
the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all other
things will added unto you; the love of money is the root
of all evil; we brought nothing into this world and we shall
carry nothing out; give and it shall be given unto you; be
thou faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life;
and, lastly - They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their
strength, they shall mount up as an eagle...; and the
textual anchor - "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and
he shall strengthen thine heart, wait I say, on the Lord.


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