Summary: There are countless verses about the benefits of “waiting on the Lord,” BUT…I’ve found quoting the verses to be a whole lot easier than the actual “waiting on the Lord.” Sometimes it seems like God is running late. What’s the deal? Why is He making us wait? Why is He allowing this delay?
Talk about Delay / Times of Waiting
DMV (Number Ticket)
Emergency Waiting Room
Allegiant Airlines (Airplane Ticket)
Fishing (Fishing Pole)
Delays: Some are self inflicted…some are a result of others…some are actually a part of God’s plan.
Delays / Times of Waiting are:
cause you to want to give up
Steve Farrar - “Waiting is like eating gravel. Nobody in their right mind wants to do it.”
Proverbs 13:12 (NIV) - “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
(LB) - “when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.”
Hope deferred can cause our faith to waiver or cause us to lean to our own understanding and try to “help God” by creating our own path to what we’re hoping for.
Can you think of a time when you tried to hurry something up and you ended up messing it up?
Abraham & Sarah did that. They became impatient. The result was Ishmael. Their hope was deferred and the actions they took are causing problems still today.
Patience can be hard to have when you’re waiting for something or someone. But impatience always gives birth to Ismael…troubles…with a capital T.
There are countless verses about the benefits of “waiting on the Lord,” BUT…I’ve found quoting the verses to be a whole lot easier than the actual “waiting on the Lord.”
Sometimes it seems like God is running late. Seriously…sometimes we all wonder what’s going on. What’s the deal? Why is He making us wait? Why is He allowing this delay? I mean…with a single word (probably just a look or a thought)…He could make what we’re hoping for happen…but that’s not usually what happens…is it?
Remember on the old Bat Man & Robin show…there was a “bat phone?” Has anyone else ever wished you had a “hot line” from heaven to earth that provided instantaneous results?
But we all know…Delays are inevitable. Waiting is part of life.
A man was visiting a local department store with his wife. They had just purchased an item of luggage and a new cooler. As he was waiting for his wife to finish the rest of her shopping…he dragged the suitcase and cooler around while looking for somewhere to sit. Soon he saw an empty bench in the shoe department. As he sat down, the salesman asked if he could be of assistance. “No, thank you,” the man replied, “I’m just waiting for my wife.” At that point, a man seated on the bench across from him said, “I’m waiting for my wife too…but I never thought of bringing a lunch and overnight bag with me!”
In what situations are you most impatient? When is waiting the hardest?
Have you ever prayed for patience? “Lord give me patience and give it to me right now!” When you ask God to give you patience…you are really asking God to send you some delays / hassles.
Things don’t always happen as quickly or work out in the way we’d hoped they would. Even though it’s hard to believe…there are positive things about the delays that come into our life.
The Bible is filled with people who experienced delays. The person I want to draw your attention to today is Joseph. Joseph is a guy who spent a lot of his life waiting. It seems like his life was regularly “on hold,”…delayed…without any idea of how long.
Sadly…there wasn’t much Joseph could do about it…and even when opportunity presented itself…through helping the chief butler…nothing seemed to come of it…or so Joseph thought.
So what can we learn from the delays that come our way? I believe delays provide opportunity for us to learn the same valuable lessons Joseph learned.
(1) JOSEPH LEARNED TO TRUST IN GOD’S PERSON.
Our key verse tells us that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” What causes our hope to be deferred? Our hope is deferred when we put our hope in the wrong thing(s). Whenever our hope is bound by anything tangible…it is at risk of being deferred.
You see…like Joseph…we live in a sinful world…and regardless of how detailed our plans might be…or how righteous our walk or worthy our goals may be…things don’t always go as planned. That’s why our hope must always be based on the unchanging nature and character of Jesus. Whenever we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on our circumstances…our hope gets deferred.
There’s one basic thing that kept Joseph’s hope alive even though his life was filled with the most trying of delays. Joseph knew that God had not and would not abandon him. Joseph knew that the God he served was all-knowing…all-seeing…all-powerful…and entirely faithful. Though every delay…Joseph knew…that whatever lay ahead…He could depend on God. Men might fail him…but God would never leave Him.