Waiting around is not fun––especially if your phone’s battery has run out! What is the longest wait times you experience? For some, the doctor’s office seems like a never ending delay. Other people have spent hours waiting for their turn at the Department of Driver Services. The weekend lines at Six Flags go on and on. Of course, a wreck on I-285 turns rush hour into rush hours.
Waiting on God is a prominent theme in the book of Psalms. Consider these examples: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Ps. 27:14); “I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly” (Ps. 52:9); and “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him” (Ps. 62:5).
The concept of waiting on God is directly connected to hoping in God. While people use the word hope to mean wishing for positive things in the future, like “I hope the weather is nice for our picnic tomorrow,” the Bible connects hope to God’s character, so the meaning becomes a confident expectation of God’s blessings in the future. There is confidence in biblical hope, because there is certainty in the character of God and the promises of God.
When a Christian hopes for the return of Christ, for example, there is never a doubt in the fact of his future return or the blessings associated with that return; the only question is the timing. We wish the doctor would speed up his schedule as the time drags on in the waiting room, but usually we make it to see him or her. Sometimes it is hard to be a patient patient. There are other times, however, when the doctor is called away to an emergency surgery or he or she is overbooked, and your awaited appointment has to be rescheduled.
God is never uncertain. Although you don’t have access to God’s calendar or watch, you do know his heart and you have his Word. Your hope for God’s work in future events is just as sure as what God has accomplished in the past. But until God comes through, you must wait for him. “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Rom. 8:24-25).
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning” (Ps. 130:5-6).
Times of waiting on God are good from God’s perspective. The fact that you have to wait on God is not accidental. He designs these times. God likes to see his children in the position of waiting. It shows him you recognize your dependence upon him and you are actively trusting in him to come through.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam. 3:25-26).
Times of waiting on God are also good from your perspective. You know that God is working while you are waiting. God is not only working, he is working his good, wise, and sovereign plans out in detail. You assume while you wait in the DDS, that someone must be working on someone else’s driver’s issues until it is your turn in line. With God, you can know for certain that God is working. “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will (Eph. 1:11).
God is even using your attitude of expectant waiting in your life while you wait. He is building patience and strengthening your hope muscles. Have you considered that God may be intentionally delaying the answer to your prayer so that your testimony of waiting on him can help someone else who is watching how you wait on God?
Look at the ways God actively uses his comfort in people’s lives. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Cor. 1:3-4). In this letter, Paul describes God giving comfort to one person so that he or she will be equipped to pass on that comfort to someone else. He does the same thing with your times of waiting.
God is working his good will out in so many lives in so many ways all simultaneously. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
Your waiting upon God is never in vain. He will come through. He will deliver on every one of his promises. Your godly desires will be satisfied, according to God’s perfect will, in God’s perfect timing.
By John Crotts