The Discipline of Waiting

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:4

I think one of the hardest things to do is wait on God. We might start off confident in our waiting, but when God takes longer than we dreamed possible–we start to fall apart at the seams. Do we realize that the saints in Scripture spent most of their time waiting on God?

Think of Noah. God told him to build an ark. He built it by faith. I believe Scripture says it took him 400 hundred years to build it. I wonder if at any time during the building process he doubted? I think he must have. I think he must have wondered if he was out of his mind, a lunatic. I am wondering if the taunts and scoffs ever became almost unbearable for him? He believed that God told him to build the ark, however, he had no proof that it was going to rain, no proof besides God’s word to him. I bet you at some point he wondered whether it was his own voice that told him to take on the building project or whether it was God’s. But he didn’t turn back. He kept on, even if he did have some doubts. God fulfilled the promise. And like I reminded all of us in an earlier post–Abraham had to wait 25 years for Isaac. David had to wait between 14 and 20 years to become king after Samuel anointed him as king. Job waited for God to answer him after everything was taken away. Jesus waited 30 years in obscurity before commencing the public road to his death and resurrection.

Waiting is a spiritual discipline. During our wait, who we are comes to the surface: our doubts, our impatience, our lack of faith. But also, good things come to the surface like our ability to persevere in the midst of trials because of the grace of God.

Most of the time we feel we can’t wait another second for the Lord to answer. We want to take matters into our own hands. That is spiritually ruinous. And some of us have been ruined by our impatience. And so we need to be redeemed. Others of us know that to take matters into our own hands spells spiritual death on a certain level, but we’re chaffing at having to wait.

I know it is hard to wait. I myself am waiting now for several things. But I want to encourage you, encourage myself, encourage a friend that I just spoke with of this truth. God acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

Do not do anything rash. Don’t give up. In time (I am not sure how long though) you’ll see the answer to prayer–you’ll see God’s salvation on the horizon. If you are weak or doubting, turn to the body of Christ for support. If you cannot pray, let others pray for you. God gives grace to the humble, a bruised reed he will not snuff out!

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