How Are You Doing as You Wait on God?
I have always been an impatient person. I struggle when it comes to waiting. Yes, I check my phone and most of the time if I am at a doctor or dentist appointment, I will bring a magazine or book that I am currently reading. But I am jittery, always looking at the door, waiting for it to open and my name to be announced. My drive to “Get things done” can be a stumbling block on my road to pursuing holiness in my life.
I bet you can relate.
Have you ever gotten into a line at a grocery store that you thought was the shortest and when you get to be next in line, the cashier, turns on his or her light to summon a customer service manager with a problem? As you stand waiting, people that were in other long lines check out before you!! A sense of frustration and sometimes even anger rises up within us because we think this is unfair. Doesn’t God see that I was making wise use of my time when I was choosing which line to check out in? Doesn’t he care that I am going to be late for my next meeting or appointment? I am confident that some if not all of you have had that talk going on in your head while you wait for something like this scenario.
When it comes to following God and waiting on Him, now that is another big issue. Questions arise at times. Why doesn’t God answer my prayer on my schedule? Why did I have to get stuck in traffic because someone had an accident? Why did the trip I was planning on for over a year have to be canceled because of COVID? You can fill in the blank with your questions to God.
Psalm 37 speaks several times about waiting on God.
Psalm 37:1 - 2 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.
One BIG struggle we have as believers is wondering at times why people who are not following the Lord are successful and sometimes seemingly wealthy and without problems. How come I have trials and tribulations in my life and others who don’t care about the Lord seem to have a good life? There is a lot to unpack there but David who wrote Psalm 37 gives us several approaches to deal with waiting on the Lord and His timing. What are we supposed to do?
Psalm 37:7 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!
1. Trust in the Lord - Psalm 37:3a “Trust in the Lord.”
This requires us to have faith that in God’s sovereignty, He always has our best interests for us from His heart of love. This is a mature faith, a faith that gets above the clouds of the current circumstances and can look at things from God’s vantage point. It is also a reminder that God is not on our schedule and that His ways are always perfect in caring for us.
2. Do Good – serve God patiently and faithfully – befriend faithfulness Psalm 37:3b Do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness
While we wait on the Lord, we need to be faithful to do what we already know we are to do. We make the mistake sometimes of fretting and worrying and get out of balance with our spiritual disciplines and our ministry opportunities as we wait on the Lord. It is while we are moving, obeying what God has given us to do right now that God can direct us and we intersect with people sometimes that God brings into our lives at just the right time to answer our prayer o Stay in the Word and prayer o Stay serving o Stay worshiping God o Keep asking persistently in prayer for God to answer and keep making faithfulness your close friend!!
3. Delight yourself in the Lord - content in God will as we wait
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart
This is where our relationship with the Lord is so important. We need to guard against comparing ourselves to other Christians whom God seems to be blessing and prospering as we wait on Him or face trials and difficulties. Our delight is not a selfish delight but a delight in the Lord and when we fully delight in Him, we are content with His work in our lives, we will have the desires of His heart.
Our delight means that we possess an ongoing joy in our hearts. Jesus promised us joy that would remain with us while we wait on the Lord. Two things have to be true if your joy is never to be taken from you. One is that the source of your joy lasts forever and the other is that you last forever. If either you or the source of your joy is mortal, your joy will be taken from you. But since nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ, we have an ongoing fountain of joy.
Remind yourself continually that our time is in God’s hands (Psalm 31:5) and that when we can’t see His hand working in our lives, trust His heart that He is preparing what is best for us. May we patiently wait on our loving Heavenly Father will full trust in Him!!