All of us hate to wait. Waiting in traffic, at the doctor’s office, or for that pokey family member can cause even the most patient among us to become frustrated. Frustration occurs when something out of our control gets in the way of our plans and goals. And let’s face it, waiting causes frustration because we’ve done all we can do and are out of control in the given situation. We can only wait on God to work and answer prayer. However, if you have been a Christian for very long at all, you have realized that waiting on God is a major part of our lives. Why do we have to wait, and how do we wait without getting frustrated?
Why do we have to wait?
1. God tells us to. Often parents tell young children to wait; and, like it or not, they must obey.
Look at the many commands and verses that imply that God, our loving Father, tells us to wait.
Psalm 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
Proverbs 20:22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Hosea 12:6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.
Psalm 33:20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
Psalm 130:6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning:
Isaiah 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
2. God’s ways and plans are wiser and better than our ways and plans. We wait for His time, which is the best time, whether we realize and understand that or not. Consider these verses from the Bible.
Isaiah 55:9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God has all power, wisdom and an eternal plan that he is executing flawlessly.
Job 9:12 Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?
Psalm 29:10 The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
Psalm 47:2 For the LORD most high is awesome; he is a great King over all the earth.
Psalm 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
Psalm 93:1 The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
Psalm 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
Daniel 2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
How do we wait? When you are in a position of waiting on God, perhaps this acrostic, using the word “wait,” will help you know and remember how to wait.
Watch without anxiety. We are told to watch and pray often in the Bible. The words associated with the Greek word “watch” in these passages means to keep alert and yet remain calm and collected. It seems to have the idea of expectancy as well. Continue to pray and watch for the answer. Do not be anxious and nervous when it does not seem to happen according to your reasoning and timing.
Act on what you know to do. We must continue to function according to what God has called us to do. We must go about the normal responsibilities given to our care by the Lord. If the burden is great enough, the temptation for some is to “shut down” and do nothing but pray and fast. God may lead you in this direction, but be careful here, especially if you are of an anxious and fearful temperament. In most cases, the best solution is a combination of praying and fasting, and yet still working at what you know God has already given you to do. Be cautious of prayer that is nothing more than “sanctified worry.” This is when we find ourselves not really praying to God, but rehearsing our problem over and over again in our own minds in the guise of prayer. Often it is best simply to pray a short prayer, leaving the care with the Lord and then continuing with our business of the day, trusting God to do the work we cannot.
Instruct yourself in the things of God. Spend time seeking God while you are waiting. This is when God will reveal new things about Himself to you from His Word, preaching, good Christian books, godly friends, and even through the moving of the Holy Spirit in your heart. This is not a time to complain, but to “Be still and know that I am God.” Keep a journal, especially through very trying times, and write down all that God teaches you. This is a prime blessing of waiting. You will grow closer to God!
Trust. God is all-wise, all-powerful, and all-loving. His whole plan is for His glory and the good of His children. We know this from Romans 8. Sometimes all will seem chaotic and confusing as we try to wait for God to answer our prayer and lift our burdens; however, it is during this time that we must trust God. Someone once said, “When you cannot trace God’s hand, you must trust God’s heart, power and wisdom.” Most of the time we cannot trace his workings, but with the help of the promises in His Word and the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we can learn to trust Him.
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