There is a pattern to the life of faith that often follows a sequence of promise –> excitement –> waiting –> doubting –> testing –> refining –> reinforcement and –> eventual fulfillment. This is essential to grasp if we ever hope to serve God as mature women in the faith.
Instant gratification and impatience have become hallmarks of our society. We only have to “tolerate” 5-15 seconds of advertising before getting to a Youtube video. We are promised “instant weight loss,” “instant success,” and “3 Easy Steps…” to achieve just about anything.
Waiting, enduring, and learning patience, exercises of the will and character that have been integral to Biblical faith for thousands of years are not exactly hot topics in an age where we can scroll through our boredom at the rate of 13 Instagram pictures a second.
For now, I just want to highlight 3 appropriate responses to God during a season of waiting, waiting….and maybe even waiting some more:
1) Gratitude for God’s Abundant Mercy
When God asks you to wait for His perfect timing you have to recognize that this is actually a form of His mercy to you. By forcing us to wait, God protects us from becoming spoiled children and develops our character. We will never be effective servants of the King if we are too much like the spoiled rich girl who has Daddy wrapped around her finger and always gets what she wants, right when she wants it.
He wants us to be people of character who recognize that the world does not revolve around us. So He often asks us to wait and learn patience. You should thank Him for this, because when God asks you to wait, He is actually doing you a favor.
As Paul says, when we are waiting on God,
“we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.” (Romans 5:3)
2) Hope in God’s Anticipated Action
Although this is one of the more counter-intuitive aspects of our walk with God, it is actually the case that the longer God makes you wait for something He has promised the more your faith and expectation in the fulfillment of His Word should grow.
The longer you wait, the closer He is getting to fulfilling His word and the more that reality should propel you to even more faith and hope in what is about to come to pass.
Even as you are waiting on God don’t miss the opportunity to praise Him for what He is about to do.
For “salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (Rom 13:11).
Even though seasons of waiting can tend to wear us down, forcing us to face our own doubts, fears, and insecurities, always remember to praise the Lord in the midst of your waiting.
3) Surrender to God’s Perfect Purposes
We all start out in our relationship with God wanting to be more or less in control of the operation. This is called idolatry.
Yes we want God, but we kind of want Him on our own terms. We want a God we can fashion and shape, a God who will serve our needs and our agenda. It is especially in the moments of waiting on God to do things His own way, in His own time, that reveal to us just how deeply entrenched the idolatry truly is within our hearts.
Part of why God is making us wait, is for us to fully let go of our own will.
And in that surrender you will find a comfort in knowing that God is God, that He does not need your advice, that His ways are higher and better than your ways, and that He is good to the deepest core of His being.
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36).
And the Joy of Fulfillment is coming…
Whether you are currently waiting on a personal promise God has given to you specifically, or are simply longing for the promise of eternal salvation and deliverance that we all share as followers of Jesus, always remember that no waiting on God is in vain.
He never forgets, He never goes back on His Word, and the joy you will experience on the day of your vindication will be that much greater simply because you waited well.
“And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation” (Isaiah 25:9).
“So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. As surely as the sun rises He will appear. And He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth” (Hosea 6:3).