Waiting on God for answers to our prayers is one of the most difficult aspects of faith. Everyone must face times of waiting...it's not a question of if it will happen. There are so many scriptures that talk to us about waiting, so we know we will all be called on to wait on the Lord. The only question that remains is how we will wait. Will we wait with bitterness, anger, discouragement, or fear in our heart... or with an eager anticipation of what God is going to do? God has promised to take care of us and to meet our needs. He wants only the best for us and He always has our best interests at heart. Waiting time is not wasted time. It always serves a purpose.
You may feel like you are the only person who has had to wait for things to change or to see answers to your prayers. It may seem to you like God has abandoned you or forgotten you because you've had to wait for what seems like an unreasonable amount of time. The Bible is full of examples of many great people of faith who had to wait many, many years to see the fulfillment of God's promises in their lives. Think of Noah...he had 120 years to wait before the flood came. Abraham had been promised he would be the father of many nations, but he was 100 and Sarah 90, before they had their son Issac. Joseph endured many years as a slave and then languished in prison, before he saw the fulfillment of God's revelations to him. These are just a few examples. God is never in a hurry... but He is always on time!
What can we learn in our waiting? We learn about trust, patience, obedience, endurance, how to quiet our minds and to be still before Him. We can learn more about God Himself. We are not alone in our waiting...He is with us, giving us His strength, comfort and grace. He encourages us and is working in us things that have lasting, eternal value. The Bible says that God knows every day we live before we have even lived one day. He knows what each day holds in store for us. He has a plan in place to redeem all the enemy means for harm and to work for our good and His glory. Sometimes the waiting time is strictly so we can learn things we need to know... other times it is so he can orchestrate things behind the scenes so He can fulfill His promises...sometimes it is so he can do things that are even greater than what we ask.
In times of waiting, we learn to trust Him like never before... when our faith has been tried and tested we gain first hand knowledge of His faithfulness... During times of waiting, we learn that the Lord sees things that we can't see. He sees the bigger picture of our lives. He sees from beginning to end, while we can only see the small portion right in front of us. We learn to lean on Him and not our own understanding. We can learn to live without fear and to walk by faith. There are so many things that we have no control over in this life. The only things we truly have control over are our attitude and how we choose to respond to situations that impact our lives. We can let our times of trials and waiting make us bitter, or we can choose to allow them to make us better.
Asking God to help us "wait well" makes our times of waiting much easier. Waiting time is not passive...it should be spent in prayer and in God's Word. It is seeking Him and His will and what He wants to show and teach us while we are waiting. It's asking Him to work on our attitude and our faith so we can trust more and let go of our fears, our doubts, our need to be in control...it's asking Him to use the time to make us more like Jesus so we respond like Jesus would while we wait.
Messages on Waiting
SCRIPTURES ON WAITINg
Waiting On God's Timing message by Dr. Charles Stanley, Pt. 1