Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel. Luke 2:25 (NIV)
Let’s attempt to put ourselves in Simeon’s sandals. For centuries, Israel had been waiting for God to keep His promise that the Messiah (Christ) would come into the world “to bind up the broken hearted.”
But after centuries of waiting, the Messiah had not come, and I can imagine that the fire in the hearts of many had burned low. Many (I’m sure) had given up hope… but not Simeon! He was “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” His longing heart was joyfully expecting the Lord’s comfort and consolation in a personal, life-altering way!
What about you, dear one? Are you waiting on the Lord? Are you joyfully longing for His presence? Beloved, the church of our Lord does not experience revival and is presently burdened with fear, sin, and restlessness because we are not “waiting on the Lord.” The deep, perpetual longing to experiencing the presence of Christ in our hearts and lives is so buried beneath our “to-do list,” it is no wonder why God’s people very often miss the Lord’s presence and promised consolation.
Beloved, let us repent and be like Simeon; longing for God’s consolation to be revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ afresh and anew as we wait upon the Lord with patient (yet fervent) anticipation! Let us sing from our hearts that old Charles Wesley hymn:
Come thou long expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation joy of every longing heart.
O troubled soul, in the midst of a darkened world; a world where it seems like God is not working; a world where sorrow is around every corner; a world where we must suffer pain and loss; a world that ever since the sin of the Garden has been defiled and broken: let us remember that the graceful consolation of God through the appearing of His Son has come!
Therefore, let us (like Simeon) cast ourselves before the God of hope! Let us seek His face with a renewed longing (by the power of the Holy Spirit) that every broken and troubled soul may be “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” through faith in God’s consolation (Jesus Christ) who is indeed the “JOY of every longing heart!”
– Bro. Will Ramage is pastor at Second Baptist Church located at 1021 Grand Ave NW, Fort Payne, AL 35967. Services are broadcast live every Sunday at 11 a.m. on WZOB 100.9 FM & 1250AM.