When God Says Wait

Does anyone enjoy waiting for anything? No, I personally hate it. And yet, forty-three times in the Old Testament, we are instructed to “Wait on the Lord!”

Isaiah 40:29 – He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. (Verse 30) Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, (Verse 31) but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Has God ever been silent when you are desperate for an answer to your prayer? I’ve been there as many have. You get alone, pour your heart out and wait. The only thing you hear in your spirit is, “Wait!” We get so frustrated because we feel like we have been waiting already too long. We need so many things to line up and work out, but it all goes away and nothing changes if the Lord doesn’t come to our rescue immediately.

But God says if we wait on Him, He will renew our strength to endure where He’s taking us. It’s all right there in Isaiah 40. God always answers His children. We are to walk out that calling and not give up. He is faithful to complete His purpose for our lives.

We on the other hand just want the crises or nightmare to end, but we end up waiting some more. Have you ever waited, not days, weeks, or even months, but years on an answer from God? I have and it’s the hardest thing a person will ever have to do and not lose faith. How about while going through something and turmoil starts to break out in your home church and you have to find a new church family right in the middle of your crises? That can begin a new struggle. We pray, we ask, and we wait, all to no avail, so it seems. The only thing that will sustain us during a time of waiting is that we know that we know God has spoken to us!

Patiently waiting is a part of God’s nature.

2 Peter 3:8 – But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. (Verse 9) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

God is on a different time table than we are. We want God’s blessing, but not His timing; we want His help, but we’re not willing to wait. There is always a purpose behind the waiting.

John 11:5 – Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. (Verse 6) So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. (Verse 7) Then after this, He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”

They had to go to Bethany, which was about two miles, to meet with Mary and Martha. Jesus and Martha have a conversation and then Martha goes to Mary and tells her Jesus is here. Then Mary has a conversation with Jesus and Mary leads Him to Lazarus’ tomb.

John 11:38 – Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. (Verse 39) Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” The sister of him who was dead, said to HIm, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” (Verse 43) Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” (Verse 44) And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

What was the purpose of Jesus delay? The Jews believed that when a person died, the soul would hoover around the dead body for three days. But after three days the body would start to decay and the soul would leave. The Jews believed that absolutely no one could come back to life after three days because the soul was gone. They also knew that the only person that could possibly resurrect a dead body after three days would b the true Messiah. So Jesus waited for two more days before He went to Lazarus’s tomb.

Even as Jesus was moving toward His own death, He wanted them to know that God can turn death into life even after the third day. Waiting on God always has a purpose.

When God says wait there are always lessons to be learned. God’s desire is greater in what He wants to do in us, than our situation we are in at present. The waiting is more about the lessons and testings that we need to learn. We are not always ready for what God plans to do in our lives because our faith needs to be tested at times.

We also don’t always see what lesson we should be learning while going through the situation. But I do know this: If we don’t realize what God is trying to teach us, we will either stay there until we get it, or we will repeat it. Look for the lesson and ask God what He’s trying to show you. We can’t force it any sooner than what He has planned.

Waiting on God requires absolute trust! Sometimes we are in a place that if God doesn’t come through, we will utterly fail. Most of the time the situation calls for a miracle or we’re done for it. I’ve been there. No one could get me out but God, so we wait and we trust. Our confidence in money and others doesn’t matter because it or they can’t fix what we need. Are we willing to trust Him through the waiting?

Waiting on God will humble us.

In our society today, the more status a person has, the less waiting they have to do. However, that’s not how it is in God’s economy. Waiting on God means, “I’m not in charge!” We cannot wait on the Lord without being humbled in the process. Have you ever went through a situation where no matter what you did, how hard you worked, you still lost everything? If you have, that will humble you.

Waiting on God will change you.

We usually ask God to change our circumstances instead of changing us. But first He wants to change us.

Do you remember the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus? He was rounding up Christians to be persecuted. And on that road God strikes him down and a bright light appears and out of that light Jesus says, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” In that moment, Saul is converted. As Saul stands up, God blinds him and for three days Saul is lead by his own men. 

Why do you think Saul was blinded? Could it have been that God needed to give him a new set of eyes, a set of spiritual eyes? When we are in a situation, we can’t see it the way God sees it. We have to gain God’s perspective or the stress and the pressure will destroy us.

There is a blessing at the end of waiting.

Genesis 21:2 – For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. This was 24 years after God’s promise to Abraham and the blessing was fulfilled. 

Anna had lived in the temple 64 years as a widow form the age of 20 to the age of 84, believing when God said your eyes will see the Messiah. And then one day, that 84-year-old woman held the promised Messiah in her arms (Luke 2:36-38).

There is always a blessing when God brings us through the waiting. He renews our strength while we wait, but the blessing is better than anything we may endure. It’s worth it all if we can help one person’s life to come to know our Lord and learn to wait on Him because His timing is always perfect.

 

 

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