Some days, it is a lot harder to be patient. When we’re bringing our concerns to the Lord again and again, we grow tired of waiting.
It soon begins to feel like our prayers are falling on deaf ears. Often our desire is to take control and just “do the best we can;” it is our fleshly reaction to the silence.
We know Galatians 5 lists patience as a fruit of the Holy Spirit so we confess our desire to rule our own lives.
We ask the Spirit to fill us, empowering and directing us even as we continue to wait on the Lord.
This doesn’t mean circumstances change. Your only child remains sick in the hospital, the thread your marriage hangs on continues to splinter, and the hope you’ve held on to for years fades with increasing speed.
Having prayed fervently about whatever issue you are facing too many times to count, it’s easy to feel your bank of patience depleting once again.
On these days, let these reminders on the nature of patience be an encouragement to you as you continue to wait.
Here are three ways that I believe will help us wait on God’s timing.
Read the Promises of God
Next to Jesus Christ, Job may have suffered as much as anyone ever did, yet he held onto this promise: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me” (Job 19:25-27)!
Job must have had some knowledge of the resurrection and life after death and that he would see the Redeemer someday, and that is our promise, too.
Job had to wait a long time for relief but knew that eventually he would live again and live to see the Redeemer, this time in person.
Read your Bible and you can read about all the promises of God.
Believing in God’s Sovereignty
Paul wrote to the church at Rome that “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Never is there any indication that Paul ever believed that God is not always in charge over all things that happen in our life.
He is sovereign, and even the bad things will work for our own good. God is never caught by surprise. We surely know that His timing is always best.
Trust God in All Things
Just before Jesus went to the cross and later would ascend back to the Father, He knew that His disciples had some serious doubts, so He reassured them by saying, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1), and, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
He could read their hearts. He knew they were grieving over His coming departure, and told them that “now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22).
Belief is just another word for trust. When my son was young, I was in the pool and wanted him to trust me to catch him if he jumped.
He believed I was strong enough to catch him, but the timing of his jump was critical. When he saw that I was ready and that the timing was right, he jumped, and, yes, I caught him, but he had to trust me.
Be Still Before God
After Israel had fled Egypt, “Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord” (Ex. 20:10).
So Moses said “to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again’” (Ex. 14:13).
The point is that they simply had to wait (stand firm) and watch for the Lord to work. And work He did, destroying the Egyptian army.
Dozens of times we are told to “wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14) because “they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
We must remember about God that “no one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame” (Psalm 25:3). Therefore, we can say with confidence, “I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).