Waiting for God to fulfill his promises or to answer prayer is common for the Christian and so we must be faithful while we wait.
Our role is to embrace and serve the great Sovereign who works all things according to the council of his will (Eph 1:11). By
Waiting shouldn’t be confusing or trying if we know the God of all perfections has everything under control. But we, or at least I, often struggle while waiting.
The Bible has a great deal to say about waiting. The verses and situations are many (I’ve just scratched the surface here), and if you just think about it, we are all called to wait faithfully and expectantly for Jesus to come again (Rom 8:19; 1 Cor 1:7; 1 Thess 1:9; Hebrews 9:28).
Waiting is not, however, simply killing time because God’s timing may be different than our timing. How we wait is critically important.
Wait with hope in God
While we wait and pray for a specific outcome (conversions, revival, people, etc.) our hope must clearly be in God and not our commitment or a strategy or chance.
I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. – Isaiah 8:17
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. – Psalm 62:5
Wait in confident expectation
When we pray according to the will of God we know that he hears us (1 John 5:14-15) and will answer. So, we can be confident.
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
…my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. – Psalm 130:6
Wait through the Spirit by faith
Paul was not waiting for
For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. – Galatians 5:5
Wait with patience
Even though we may desperately pray and fast and trust we cannot manipulate God. We should be happy praying and fasting and trusting until we are called home or Jesus comes to get us.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. – Psalm 40:1
Wait with hope in God’s word and promises
We are not waiting without God’s encouragement and instruction. We need to continually go back to Scripture for sustaining promises and help.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; – Psalm 130:5
Wait while faithfully following Jesus
It’s important to earnestly continue the journey of sanctification while we pray. We don’t sit still as we wait but confess and repent of sin, draw near to God, and walk in righteousness as we pray for God to work. In fact, God uses faithful waiting as a means of grace in our lives.
Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off. – Psalm 37:34
Pray continually while waiting
God would have us actively align with his plan and his heart. And that means prayer. Even those things that only he will do – like coming again – we should be praying for (Rev 22:20). We are to pray continually (1 Thess 5:17) and with urgent persistence (Luke 18:1-8).
“If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people” – Charles Spurgeon
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MORE RESOURCES ON WAITING