Putting Pleasure on Hold

  • July 12, 2018
  • #9444

Refusing to indulge in today’s pleasure strengthens self-control and faith to wait on the Lord and His plans for the future.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada. And welcome to Joni and Friends.

Have you ever had a cup of the coffee they serve in hotel hallways or lobbies? Early in the morning, the people at the front desk put a pot of coffee out on a little table with powdered creamers next to some Styrofoam cups. As you are leaving the hotel you know it's not the best-tasting stuff, it may have been sitting there for hours, right? Sometimes when I'm traveling, and heading out the door of the hotel to the airport, I'll spot the coffee, sniff the aroma, and often I'm tempted to scarf down a cup. If I'm in a hurry, I'm thinking less about quality and more about caffeine!

But if I know I am at an airport where I know there's a gourmet coffee kiosk in the terminal, serving up a fresh ground heavenly brew, then I say, "Hmmm, I think I can wait a half hour." Because I know it will pay off. A big, tall cup of that roasted flavor with real cream or half and half to me is worth waiting for all because I remember it’s all about higher quality. It takes a little self-control, sure, and it means putting pleasure on hold, but I do it in anticipation of an even greater pleasure on the horizon. And friend, this is at least some of what it means to "wait on the Lord." Psalm 38, verse 15 says, "I wait for you, O Lord, and you will answer, O Lord my God."

You see, waiting on God does not mean passive indifference, you know, hanging around and doing nothing. It has more to do with saying no to impulsive, spur-of-the-moment actions or decisions, and by doing so, saying yes to something you know is going to satisfy you much, much better on down the line. A teenager says no to raging hormones and moral impurity, because he knows that something much, much better, and more satisfying, and more honorable to God is waiting on down the line. So, he puts pleasure on hold because he anticipates a greater pleasure on the horizon: that is, his wedding day. You may say no to the temptation of a Dunkin’ Donut or two, or a box of Crispy Creams, all because you anticipate a greater pleasure on the horizon; and what’s that? Seeing yourself in a full-length mirror able to fit into your favorite jeans. So waiting in this regard is an active kind of waiting.

Those who have not yet learned how to wait on the Lord that way may tend to indulge in something immediate that only half-satisfies. But Christians who have fostered a degree of self-control – that is Christians who know God better – don't mind putting pleasure on hold. They know something better is brewing on down the line. And here’s the point. Here’s the lesson: God is always worth waiting for. God is the supreme pleasure, better than rubies, the Bible says He is. Better than life itself. Saying no to immediate pleasures is one sure way to cultivate the spirit-blessed fruit of self-control. And the more we are able to control our passions, the happier, the more fulfilled and satisfied, the more pleasure we’ll find in the Lord Jesus.

So, please take time to be still before Him. Wait on Him; seek His mind and His desire for your today and all your tomorrows. So praise God for what Peter called the Lord’s "precious and magnificent promises." Wait on Him today, believing that what God has planned for you in the future is so much better than what you could ever grab for yourself right now. Friend, if this little insight today has been helpful, then please let me encourage you to visit joniradio.org and download the transcript, share it with a Facebook friend and follow Joni and Friends on Facebook where you will always, always find plenty of inspiration and encouragement in the Word of God.

© Joni and Friends

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