Summary: We must learn to wait on the Lord and His timing
Learning to Wait
September 7, 2014
If there is anything I hate, it has to be waiting. Waiting seems to be an exercise in futility and frustration. One thing I have learned through my surgery experience is that no one seems to be in a hurry to do anything in healthcare. I had to wait three weeks for my heart cath. I waited over a week for my surgery. I have waited on nurses. I have waited on doctors in their offices. I waited for hours to be released from the hospital. I waited to be released to return to certain activities. Everything seemed to be one big long wait.
Think about times when we have to wait:
Meals – wait for dinner
Stop lights and traffic
Parents wait for school to start
Workers wait for the weekend
Families wait for vacation
We often hate waiting, especially when good things are coming. The truth is that waiting is hard. The longer we have to wait, the harder it becomes. Waiting builds certain aspects of our character. Most people hate waiting. We live in a society of instant gratification and we have eliminated the need to wait. We have on demand entertainment and are able to get movies instantly. We live on fast food. We have lightning fast access to information through the internet. When we want to buy something, we charge it. All of these things pull at the fabric of society and they stem from an unwillingness to wait.
The best things in life are often worth waiting for. Our problem is that we desire to have the benefits of God’s blessing but we seldom want to wait for them. Our timing on God and His actual timing may be radically different.
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:25-26
Biblical Examples of Waiting
Joseph waited in the Egyptian prison
Noah waited for the flood to come
Moses waited to see the Promised Land
Jonah waited in the belly of the whale
Daniel waited in the Lion’s Den
Israel waited on the coming of the Messiah
The disciples waited on the Holy Spirit
Paul and Silas waited in the Philippian jail
I. Waiting helps build maturity
Waiting helps to build our faith. When we wait on god to move or to deliver, it helps us to gain a new level of trust in Him. Whether we like it or not waiting is part of the faith building process and God often lets us wait to help us build our faith. Waiting helps us to grow in ways that nothing else could do. Our spiritual life is a series of moments when we come to know God on a deeper level.
Waiting stretches our faith and helps us to see our faith at work. The reality is that waiting is not an easy process because it tests us. Waiting tests our resolve. Waiting tests our patience. Waiting test our faith. No one often enjoys their faith being stretched but the truth is that we need faith stretching moments to learn greater dependence on God.
Waiting will help us develop patience.
Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. James 5:7
God desires that we become increasingly mature in our faith. God wants for us to become mature in our walk with Him. God wants us to grow and mature in Christ. The maturing process requires that we have times of waiting. It requires that we develop an increased level of trust in Him.
II. Waiting develops hope
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him
Hope keeps our focus on heaven while we are going through the daily grind of life. The fact is that we are waiting for the opportunity that we cross the divine threshold and enter into eternity. We live through our days and wait for the moment that God calls us home. Our hope is that when that moment comes, our faith in Christ will shine through and that He will do everything that He has promised to do. We wait for the day that we will be called to our new home. The funeral of a Christian is not a sad event but rather should be a celebration that the promises of Jesus have come through for us.
Hope helps us get through the waiting and our wait can seem never ending at times. We wait in the midst of trial, trouble and tragedy. The fact is that hope gets us through the moments that the wait gets too long. Hope gives us a new focus that allows us to keep looking to God and looking forward to the promise of heaven.