My five-year-old granddaughter asked me how long it would be before her family moved into their new house. Since six weeks is hard for a five-year-old to grasp, I took her to a wall calendar and showed her how long until moving day. Now, each day, as she marks off calendar squares one by one, she can see how long before the waiting is over.
I don’t know anyone who likes to wait. Do you? (I didn’t think so). Waiting is hard work and, at times, can even test our faith. It’s especially difficult when there are no guarantees that our waiting will ever end in this lifetime. Desires we long for, prayers we’ve been praying, and news we’re waiting to hear can tempt us to be impatient, discouraged, to worry, and even to wonder if God cares.
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10 Things to Do While You’re Waiting on God
Perhaps this is why the Bible talks so much about waiting. God wants us to know that waiting is far from a passive activity in which we do nothing. In fact, Scripture teaches us that God wants us to actively participate in the work he desires to accomplish. Waiting strategically can cultivate good fruit in in our lives such as patience, perseverance, and endurance. It also draws us closer to our Savior and points those who are watching us to the gospel.
To that end, here are 10 things to do while you wait.
1. Believe that the God who saved you hears your cries (Micah 7:7).
Have you ever felt like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Perhaps, like me, you have prayed for years about a concern, but God has seemed silent. That’s where God demonstrated his love and mercy towards us when we were still his enemies.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
In other words, the cross is our guarantee that God is for us and is committed to give us everything we would ask for if we knew everything he knew. We can be content with that and wait patiently for his answers.
2. Watch with expectancy, but be prepared for unexpected answers (Psalm 5:3).
While God has been faithful to answer many of my prayers, it’s often been in far different ways than I would have anticipated! God knows that the only way to do what he and I both desire will, at times, involve varying degrees of discomfort in my life.
Growing in humility means pride has to be done away with. Learning to love like Jesus requires us to say no to self’s constant demand for selfish ambition, wanting our own way, and putting ourselves first. Growing in patience inevitably involves some form of waiting, whether in a long line at the grocery story or a lifetime for a loved one to come to Christ. When we lay our requests before him, it is by faith that we wait and watch in anticipation of God’s good work in us and others.
3. Put your hope in his Word (Psalm 130:5-6).
We can be tempted to put our hope in things that may disappoint us in the end. We can hope a doctor will heal us, a teacher will pass us, a spouse will love us, our employer will reward us, or a friend will help us. But it is only when we put our hope in Christ that we can wait with confidence and know we will not be put to shame.
It seems that God allows us to experience disappointments in life to teach us that nothing else will truly satisfy or provide us with a firm foundation to stand upon. God’s Word alone is unshakable. We can wait for the Lord knowing that, no matter how dark the night is, his light will break through in our lives, bringing abundant joy through a more intimate relationship with Christ.
4. Trust in the Lord, not in your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Why is it so tempting for us to depend on our own wisdom rather than the wisdom of our all-wise God? What makes us think that we know better than he does what is best for us? Scripture speaks clearly about how to live life abundantly forever with Christ; yet, all too easily, we justify our sin, declare distasteful commands irrelevant, and do what is right in our own eyes. Seasons of waiting reveal where we are placing our trust.
5. Resist fretting, refrain from anger, be still, and choose patience (Psalm 37:7-8).
It’s easy to say we trust God, but our response to delays, frustrations, and difficult situations exposes where we are actually placing our hope.
- Are we convinced God is listening?
- Do we believe he’s good?
- Do we accept that our circumstances are sovereignly ordained?
- Do we doubt he really cares about us?
When we choose to wait quietly and trustingly, we not only honor God but encourage others to put their hope in him as well.
6. Be strong and take courage (Psalm 27:13-14; 31:24).
I’ve found that one of my biggest battles in long seasons of waiting is fighting fear and all its buddies like anxiety, fretfulness, and worry. A voice in my head asks, What if this happens? What if God doesn’t answer my prayers? It is the gospel that has taught me that enduring strength and courage will never be found in myself but in Christ. I am empowered to be courageous when:
- I meditate on the sovereign rule and power of God and his abundant goodness in sending a Savior to set me free from sin.
- I remember that my “light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Ever. He is Immanuel, God with us. That’s a promise that will sustain us while we wait for answers to prayer, but even more, as we wait for his triumphant return!
7. See it as an opportunity to experience God’s goodness (Psalm 27:13; Lamentations 3:25).
When my focus is on my problems and what God has or has not given me, I am prone to grumbling, complaining, discontentment, bitterness, and selfishness. When I define goodness by what brings me the most comfort, happiness, and gratification in this life, then anything that threatens these things will tempt me to question God’s love and goodness.
God demonstrated his goodness when Christ absorbed the wrath of God that we deserved, making a way for us to be set free from the power of sin and our enemy Satan, who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy our eternal joy and peace. For those who have eyes to see, seasons of waiting offer countless opportunities to witness God at work in and through us for our eternal good and his glory.
8. Wait for God’s promise instead of going your own way (Acts 1:4).
Scripture offers plenty of examples of saints who got weary of waiting for God and chose to do things their way. I’ve given way to that temptation as well.
God’s goodness is promised for those who wait patiently for him! No matter how long. Regardless of how hopeless things appear to us. Even when it seems to cost us everything. “God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to his power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). When we wait for him, we will never be disappointed.
9. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).
Another temptation we face when God does not seem to be answering our prayers is to stop praying, stop expecting him to act, while giving way to a spirit of cynicism, rather than thanking God for who he is and all he has done for us. While God may not answer in our timing or in the way we expect, he will accomplish his good purposes in our lives when we wait for him and persevere in prayer.
10. Remember the blessings yet to come (Isaiah 30:18).
As long as our hope is set on this life and things that gratify our flesh, we will likely feel frustrated, discouraged, and even hopeless. Jesus Christ came to offer us eternal joy and freedom from sin and, although we have been set free from sin’s power, sin’s presence is still at work in and around us. Thankfully, the gospel assures us, as believers, that God is for us and works all things together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
During long (or even short) seasons of waiting, our hearts will be encouraged to remember that the best is yet to come! One day sin will be no more! We will be free from self’s demands and temptations and experience everlasting joy. So,
Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:2-4)
You Will Not Be Ashamed
Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles Spurgeon, counseled her own heart with these words:
The Lord has strewn the pages of of God’s Word with promises of blessedness to those who wait for Him. And remember, His slightest Word stands fast and sure; it can never fail you. So, my soul, see that you have a promise underneath thee, for then your waiting will be resting and a firm foothold for your hope will give you confidence in Him who has said, ‘They shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.’”
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land; But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.” Christ is the answer! He is your rest and the treasure you seek.
Wait for the Lord.
Yahweh, You are so Holy, You are High and lifted up and worthy to be praised. Father, there are days when the darkness overpowers the light and the storm rages out of control as the rains pour down.
I am weak, I am tired, I am weary, I am burdened. Oh merciful Father, give me strength to go on.
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
I put my Trust in the Lord
I don’t see a way out of this. But, I put all my faith and trust in You that a path will open up. New opportunities and new relationships will grace my life.
Give me patience to be still and remember that You are God. Through You and Your love, everything that happens to me will make me stronger.
Psalm 27:8 My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me”. And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Give me peace
Renew my hope, Oh Lord. Give me peace within my soul, knowing that You are in charge. Oh Loving Father, I wait patiently for You, for the abundant showers of blessings that are on their way.
I will sing praises unto Your glorious name, as I am graced with love and mercy. I will be eternally grateful. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!
Psalm 130:6 My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not with Him freely give us all things?
Waiting is not actually the favorite word of many. And surely not mine. A lot of us get impatient when the line to use the restroom is 5M long or when the traffic caused us to be late despite the fact that we did our part in terms of waking up early and leaving the house at least an hour before an appointment.
Still everyday, we have to wait. And admit it or not, we get impatient.
This read is for many of us who wants to be reminded, why again should we have to wait?
1. God’s Waiting Room is God’s Classroom. We are first and foremost God’s child than we are an employee. a business man, a student. So whenever you are getting ticked off while being asked to wait, remember who you are.
Take that time to talk with your Father. After all, it is such a better use of time than to complain to your friends or post the traffic status in Facebook. God may be using this time to tell you something.
Certainly in God’s waiting room, you will continue to learn how to become more like His Son, Jesus.
2. Understanding the character of God. “What you think about God is the most important thing about you”-A.W. Tozer. I like this quote. It personalizes our relationship with our Savior. Which leads me to ask, what do you think about God? Who is He to you?
Do you know Him well enough to know that He promised you the following:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
If you know God intimately, you know that His reasons, His plans are always for your good. Then you can rest and wait.
3. It is God’s Command. Do I need to say more? To encourage you, the Bible has 43 verses on waiting. Some of which are:
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” – Psalm 37:7
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” – Lamentations 3: 35
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” – Psalm 27: 14
“But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” – Micah 7:7
David waited 15 years to become king. 8 years of which he was being chased by Saul who wanted him killed. Abraham waited 25 years to have a son; and soon became the father of all nations. Joseph waited 13 years in Egypt to be meet with his family.
May you, who are waiting on the Lord be encouraged as you continue to walk and abide in Him.
“Be still and know that I am God,” is one of the most well known and beloved Bible verses for many. I was surprised to know the meaning of the words be still and I think this meaning (particularly in the New Testament) will surprise you too.
The words – Be Still – in the English dictionary can mean not moving, and being quiet. From a biblical perspective, these two words take on much greater meaning.
Meaning One: Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
The first meaning comes from the Old Testament and the verse from Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God. God is defending His city and people. The Hebrew definition is to stop striving, to let go, surrender. The chapter begins and ends with God is our refuge.
We can take comfort in letting go and resting in God to provide help, strength and safety.
Meaning Two: Peace! Be still! Mark 4:39
A sermon at church focused on the passage from Mark, Chapter 4, where Jesus uses the words, “Peace, be still!” (The exclamation point is there for a reason.) I was surprised and actually had to laugh when our pastor illustrated the literal meaning of be still.
The story is also told in Matthew and Luke which portrays an extremely busy day where Jesus was healing people, casting out demons and speaking. While the scripture doesn’t say this, the picture is painted that Jesus was exhausted and overwhelmed. He requested a boat to escape the crowds that were coming to him.
On the journey, a huge storm rolled in. The disciples were afraid for their lives. They looked for Jesus to help them and found him fast asleep from exhaustion. They were terrified because of the storm and woke Jesus up. According to Mark’s account, Jesus was not happy. In his frustration he yelled, “Peace, Be Still!” The storm and the huge waves stopped immediately. The literal translation of, Be Still, taken from the Greek, is – Hush! And in modern terms: Shut Up!
Another pastor I met told me about that translation and used the analogy of the proverbial, family road trip. You know the one, with the kids in the back seat saying, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” The answer, of course, is be still or hush!
How often do we ask God for everything, but we don’t stop to listen or to be still? The act of being still and getting quiet becomes more of a challenge in our hectic world. The world asks us to be busy. God asks us to be still so that we can receive love, peace and guidance.
Along with busyness comes the fearful and anxious thoughts we hold onto. It’s been stated that we have upwards of 50,000 thoughts a day. Those thoughts aren’t always pretty. You know the ones, I can’t believe I messed up, I’m an idiot, I can’t do it, It’s too hard, I’m a failure, I’m a fraud, I’m too old, I’m too young…..
We must learn to tell our fearful and anxious thoughts to shut up, just as Jesus calmed the sea. Jesus immediately asked the question to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Have you so little faith?”
Quieting the mind, shutting up the mind requires practice. One powerful way to shut up thoughts that don’t serve us is by practicing meditation.
For whatever reason, meditation has not been a mainstay of traditional Christian, religious organizations. Prayer and Bible reading are encouraged as well as the occasional mention of contemplative prayer, but not so much meditation. Jesus, John the Baptist and others went off to meditate and to take themselves away from the hectic world.
Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Meditation helps to renew the mind, to be still, to let go and surrender, to shut up the thoughts that do not serve us.
Many people are intimidated by silence. Silence can cause you to address issues that you might be running from. It’s easy to fill each day with busyness and then block out concerns through hours of mind-numbing television viewing, Internet surfing or reading magazines. None of these activities are bad. However, if they are used to fill a void that is not being filled, over time, the toll will manifest itself in the form of lost relationships, lost opportunities and lost dreams never being fulfilled.
The next time you have fearful and anxious thoughts that are raging within you like a violent storm, do as Jesus did. Silence those thoughts by saying, “Peace, be still.” When you need strength and help, let go and rest in God, your refuge. “Be still and know that I am God.”
It’s not easy to be still in our fast-paced culture. The Be Still meditation will help.
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