“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” – Psalm 27:14
This mindset can leak into our spiritual life, and impatience in spiritual matters can pose a threat to our faith and trust in the Lord. The longer we wait, the greater the opportunity for our courage and conviction to waver. The human heart, after all, is a frail thing.
Wait on the Lord. Waiting is one of life’s most difficult challenges. Impatience is a common thread in the history of humanity, and in today’s fast-paced society addicted to instant gratification, waiting even just a little bit has become agonizing. We often grow tired of waiting and either give up whatever it was we were waiting for or try various other methods to achieve the result we wanted.
There are some among us who are waiting on the Lord to work in our life. It could be guidance with which college to attend, what degree to pursue, what career to enter, or what man or woman to marry. It could be help with broken relationships, health problems, financial issues. During the wait, we may struggle with a wide range of high and low feelings, such as confidence in the Lord and discouragement when He seems to be quiet.
We know from the Scriptures that the Lord hears us when we pray to Him. In Isaiah 65:24, the Lord promises: “…before they [His people] call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” We know this, of course we know, but there are times when our weak humanity overwhelms us and we feel lost, alone.
Waiting is hard, even for the Christian.
So what do we do? Do we give up? Give in? God forbid!
Waiting is never easy, but there is always a reason. Even though we cannot see it while we are in the present, the Lord knows exactly what we need and when. If we look back over those times in our lives where we thought the Lord was not answering our prayers, when the waiting seemed to be unbearable, we are able to see the Lord’s hand guiding us through. That alone should give us courage to push onward and endure any future waits.
That’s all well and good for those whose waiting period is now over, but what about those who are still waiting? If you are struggling right now, perhaps you will find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Whatever it is you are going through, others have experienced it and, through the strength of the Lord, overcame the agonizing wait (Philippians 4:13). The Scriptures share with us encouraging testimonies to help us through the difficult times. In 1 Corinthians 10:11, we are told: “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
For those waiting for a life-changing event, remember that exiled Israel had to wait 70 years for the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise through the prophet Jeremiah to bring them out of exile. (Jeremiah 29:10-13)
For those waiting for the right marriage partner, according to Genesis 25:20, Isaac was forty-years-old when he married Rebekah, and he also trusted in the Lord and his father to help him find a godly wife.
For those waiting for a child or struggling with infertility, Sarah, Hannah, the mother of Samson, and Elisabeth all endured the agony of infertility before the Lord blessed them with a child. According to 2 Samuel 6:23, Michal, the first wife of David, never had children.
Whatever it is that you are waiting on the Lord for – no matter how long it seems that silence is your only answer, no matter how dark your current situation may seem – hold fast to the promise of Romans 8:28. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Know this promise, believe in it, trust in it. The loving Creator who spoke the world into existence has made this promise to each person who trusts in Him.
Real quickly I want to diverge onto a tangent, but this is very important so I hope you will indulge me. There are three things that we tend to do that make waiting worse: worry, covet, and run ahead of God. Read more about these 3 Ways We Self-Sabatoge.
So how do we strengthen our faith and deepen our trust in the Lord while we are waiting?
I believe the key to this is coming to understand that even though we may be waiting for the Lord to guide us or resolve our situation (family, career, health, whatever it may be), we cannot be idle. The apostles, in the upper room, were waiting on the Lord but while they waited, they were not idle. They put away their differences, selfish desires, earnestly drawing together and pouring our their hearts to the Lord in prayer. And the result? The Holy Spirit fell upon those waiting and many were reached for the cause of Christ.
Even though we may be waiting on the Lord, we need to have faith that He has a plan for our lives. We need to keep our faith in the Lord on fire NOW through studying God’s Word, praying, fellowshipping with believers, witnessing to those within our sphere of influence, and living every single day for the glory of the Lord.
Remember, it is the little moments that happen every day that often make the biggest difference. We wait for the Lord to give us a grand mission—a call to ministry, an opening as a missionary to a far-off place, whatever the dream may be—and while He may do that, He also expects us to live every day to His glory and honor. That includes sharing the Gospel in any capacity that we are able to in the “short term”. We have a personal responsibility to witness for Christ NOW, not tomorrow or in ten years.Waiting on the Lord does not mean be idle. He placed you here and now for a reason. Click To Tweet
Think of it this way: the Lord has placed you in this exact time and place for a reason, even if you cannot see the reason at this moment. In Acts of the Apostles on page 109, Ellen White spoke of “a large class [of people] who need to be taught by such missionaries as Philip—men who will hear the voice of God and go where He sends them. There are many who are reading the Scriptures who cannot understand their true import. All over the world men and women are looking wistfully to heaven. Prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls longing for light, for grace, for the Holy Spirit. Many are on the verge of the kingdom, waiting only to be gathered in.”
The first priority in our life should always be sharing the message of Christ with those in our sphere of influence: our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and community. Let nothing else, not even what we may be waiting for, get in the way of this prime directive. In the end, having a career, marriage, children, etc. will mean absolutely nothing if we did not use what the Lord blessed us with to win souls to Christ. And what a glorious message we have to share! No other branch of Christendom has been given the privilege, and responsibility, of sharing the first, second, and third angels’ messages.
In Evangelism, page 119, we read: “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import,—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.”
And in Christian Service on page 145, we are told: “Let every Seventh-day Adventist ask himself, “What can I do to proclaim the third angel’s message?” Christ came to this world to give this message to His servant to give to the churches. It is to be proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. How are we to give it?”
Even though we may be waiting on the Lord to move in our own lives—whether it is help with finances or health issues, concerns for wayward children, which person we should marry, or what job to take—we cannot forsake our duty to share the good news of Jesus with those around us today, right now.