In the Waiting

12.21.23 Devo Image

“Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’ The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’”—Luke 2:27–35 (NIV)

I think we can all relate to Simeon in having a hope for the fulfillment of something that we have waited upon. Luke 2:25 (NIV) says that Simeon was, “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” He had spent his entire life listening to the history of the Israelite people and their covenant relationship with God, awaiting the promises of God concerning the Messiah. Simeon was a person just like you and I, accustomed to waiting and hoping.

Simeon was not just a patient man who sat around waiting upon the fulfillment of his hope, but he was also a dedicated servant. The Scriptures say that he was righteous and devout. He was advanced in age, which means he had lived an entire lifetime before encountering Jesus in today’s passage of Scripture. Simeon was a person just like you and I, accustomed to praying and serving.

Imagine Simeon’s delight upon heeding the prompting of the Holy Spirit. He got to see and hold the Messiah—the fulfillment of his personal hope, and the fulfillment of all humanity’s hope. He says, “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:30–32 NIV). Simeon was a person just like you and I, accustomed to praising and worshiping.

The journey of faith isn’t an easy one. Waiting can be excruciating, especially when we consider what’s at stake if we don’t see the fulfillment of that hope. Praying can be such a frustrating practice when you’re only looking for outcomes. Serving faithfully can eventually tempt us to feel like we’re being used. Praise and worship will feel inauthentic when we’ve shifted our hope and belief to something or someone else other than God. However, the journey is well worth the reward as evidenced by today’s Scripture.

The entire chapter of Hebrews 11 provides example after example of others walking along the same faith journey that you and I are on. It starts by saying, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). Key in on these two words: confidence and assurance. We can have confidence in our waiting, although it’s painful. We have assurance that although we cannot see Christ now, as Simeon did, one day we will see Him just as Simeon did: face to face. 

Regarding hope, Romans 8:24–25 (NIV) says, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” When the fulfillment of a promise has come, there’s no longer a need to hope for its fulfillment. Until that time, we wait with confidence and assurance in the promises of God, just as Simeon did.

And lastly, 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) declares, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” One day our faith will become sight when we see Jesus face to face. We will no longer hope for that which He has accomplished before our very eyes. All that will remain is love. The love of God will completely envelope us and fill our hearts to overflowing. We will be with Him and He will be with us, united together forever. Until that day comes, let us go boldly after those who do not know Christ.

Pause: Consider all those who do not have the hope of Immanuel, “God with us,” and pray about how to share that hope you have with them.

Practice: Think of ways to serve others this Christmas. Invite a friend, family member, or neighbor to church or an outreach.

Pray: Lord, I thank You for Your promises and that I can have confidence and assurance in my waiting and my lack of sight. I thank You that You will never leave me nor forsake me and that Your Spirit indwells me. Amen.

About the Author

John Madge

John Madge has been on staff with Calvary for over 4 years, serving as the Digital Systems Manager in the Communications Department. In 2019, he went on his first mission trip with Calvary Chapel to Hungary in order to support local missionaries and churches and share the gospel with locals. John enjoys living an active lifestyle through sports, fitness, and the occasional Zumba class. He has a deep desire for others to know the love of God in Christ Jesus and is a huge mental health advocate. He also hopes to be fluent in Spanish one day.