Confession. I find it very difficult to be patient. Perhaps you are the same. Quite honestly, I don’t know of a more important lesson for God’s people to learn than that of waiting on the Lord.
One of the most valuable lessons in the Christian life is learning to wait upon God. In our frantic culture, there is something about waiting that we don’t like. We don’t like to wait in long lines. When we pull up to a red light on a 4-lane highway, we look quickly to see which lane, the fast lane or slow lane, has fewer cars in it. Let’s admit it. We are very impatient. But it is not that way with God. And unfortunately, to violate this principle of waiting on God can be very expensive for the believer.
Consider Isaiah 64:1-4 for a few moments:
“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembledbefore you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”
From this passage we see that God is a God of action. He does indeed act on behalf of those who wait on Him. The Bible says that God rested on the 7th day of creation. I’ve often thought about that. What was God doing resting? Was He doing nothing? Was He tired? No. Resting is actually a deliberate sitting still; it is an action. God has a desire to work in your life. In fact, He has a will and purpose for your life, and He is willing to reveal that purpose personally in your life. He reveals His will to us. He gives us clear direction when we need it. He even guides us to make wise decisions in our life, and then He protects the outcome of our obedience to Him. He often shields us from situations we’re not even aware of. He heals us, comforts us, teaches us, answers our prayers, empowers us, enables us, and strengthens us. It is certain; He is personally involved in our lives. He always has our best in mind. We, on the other hand, don’t always have our best in mind. We sometimes make devastating choices. He has the wisdom, right, and power to say to us, “Not now! This is not the time. Just wait. I have the best in mind if you will wait for Me.” Many people absolutely ignore that idea.
There are some things God wants to do in our lives that He wants to do in our behalf, but God requires us to wait. This doesn’t mean that He is not doing anything. What is it that we wait for? This is a major principle of the Word of God. Two things. We must learn to wait for God’s timing, and we must learn to wait until He gives us further instruction.
Think about that thing in your life you really want. You have attempted to make it happen yourself. Isaiah 64:4 says that God in all of His sovereign power acts on behalf of those who wait on Him. Waiting means to be patient. It doesn’t mean to do nothing. Waiting is specifically and deliberately pausing and waiting on God to do something, which is an action. It means also I am willing to have a calm acceptance of what God is doing in my life. We often get way too overanxious. A calm acceptance says, “I will wait for God’s timing.” The Scripture says He is always acting in righteousness. We never have to worry about Him making a mistake. God doesn’t forget anything but our sin, so He hasn’t forgotten about your request.
It is waiting on God. Letting go of what I think is an immediate need. God would not have taught Paul and the saints of the OT to wait upon the Lord if He didn’t know that was the best for us. What is patience? I am willing to wait upon God and remove all the deadlines.
“Wait for the Lord, be strong, let your heart be encouraged, wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14).” It takes a strong person to face the temptation for something God has for them later and say, “I am willing to wait.” That takes strength and courage. Anyone can jump in and say, “I gotta’ have it now.” There is no character in that person. Character is in the person who as the strength to wait for God’s best in their life.
“None of those who wait for you will be ashamed (Psalm 25:3).” If you are thinking, “If I don’t get it now, I will never get it so I am going to make it happen.” You don’t even have to worry about what people think or say when you are being obedient to God. It doesn’t make any difference because you can’t be put to shame when you are waiting.
“Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season, he will honor you with every blessing (Psalm 37:34).” That’s what He has planned for us!
It’s this simple. If I am wise, I will wait.
But what things should I wait for? More on that in a blog to come!