Summary: Waiting is a learned behavior because it doesn’t come naturally. How do we learn how to wait?
A. This is the second installment of our series entitled “Graceful Waiting.” There are several keys on how to wait on God scripturally. In this installment, we’ll talk about the first two: integrity and faith.
B. Even though the world around us may be dark, we can have joy, peace, and good will toward men. The Bible says it’s going to be unto you according to your faith. In other words, your faith is going to determine the outcome of your life.
C. Your belief system is going to create a decision-making process that will take your life in a particular direction. For instance, if you believe the only way to find any relief from the pressure you’re experiencing is the bottle, then you’ll go to the bottle. Your belief system is going to define the direction as well as quality of your life.
D. Faith is when you invest your belief system in the Bible. Ephesians 1:19 says, And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. When you invest your belief system in God’s Word, it releases a power beyond the natural to elevate your experience to that place.
E. You must understand that the promises of God unfold through a process of time. They’re not immediate. If you don’t understand this, discouragement and disappointment will keep you from experiencing God’s promises.
F. We’ve all heard sermons about how God “suddenly” came or “suddenly” this or that happened. But if you study the Word, you’ll discover that all “suddenlies” are preceded by a period referred to as “waiting on the Lord.”
G. One of the most well-known “suddenlies” was on the day of Pentecost when the New Testament Church was launched. The Word says that “suddenly” there came a sound as a rushing mighty wind. However, that “suddenly” was preceded by days and weeks in the upper room waiting on the Lord. (Acts 1:4)
H. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to “wait.” Our society runs on instant gratification. Technology is oriented towards saving time, enhanced efficiency, and increased productivity. That isn’t bad, but what is potentially bad is the attitude it gives us in not being able to wait on anything—and you’re not going to receive anything from the Lord unless you learn to wait upon Him.
I. Look at Psalm 37:9. For evil doers shall be cut off but those that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth. Those that wait on the Lord will inherit the earth. The phrase “inherit the earth” is a general summation of what the Bible says is yours in Christ. If you are in Christ, you’re Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise as found in Deuteronomy 28. The promise of the covenant includes virtually every arena of human life. But that inheritance is only going to come to those who wait upon the Lord.
J. Waiting is a Christian discipline and if you don’t learn how to wait scripturally, you’ll become disillusioned after a month or two and you’ll fail to receive the promise of God.
K. Waiting touches every part of our lives in God and to the extent that we understand how to wait, we will experience the promise—we will inherit the earth. Those who don’t know how to wait will have difficulties in their faith walk. To the extent that we understand how to wait scripturally, we will move in a greater level of God’s will and blessing.
L. First, let’s look at some of the other things that waiting will produce.
1. Psalm 25:3 says those who wait upon the Lord will be ashamed in nothing.
2. Psalm 33:20 says God will be your help and your shield when you wait upon Him.
3. Psalm 104:27 says your provision in this life comes through waiting on the Lord.
4. Psalm 123:2 says the mercy of God comes to those who wait on the Lord.
5. Isaiah 40:31 says strength and endurance comes from waiting on the Lord.
6. Habakkuk 2:3 says God will write His vision on the tablet of your heart, but then He says wait for it, for it will surely come.
M. Waiting is a learned behavior because it doesn’t come naturally. How do we learn how to wait? We must first see how the word wait is defined and used in Scripture.
N. Both the Hebrew and Greek definitions for the word “wait” carry the connotation of expectation. Are you waiting on revival? Then expect revival. Are you waiting on the glory? Then expect the glory. Are you waiting on healing? Then expect healing.
O. The word “wait” also denotes patience. Patience in the Greek is defined as “cheerful endurance.” You wait with the joy of the Lord and with the peace of God. So the definition of scriptural waiting is defined as expecting the promise to manifest and doing it cheerfully.