The Bible talks about waiting on God, especially in the Psalms (25:3-5, 25:21, 27:14, 37:7-9, 37:34 etc.). You also find this idea expressed in the book of Isaiah (8:17, 30:18, 49:23). The best-known passage may be Isaiah 40:31: But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.
Waiting on God is often mentioned in the context of trials and suffering. Exactly the hardest times to wait.
But what does it mean to wait on God?
The word used in the Old Testament (where most “wait” passages are found) has several concepts built into it.
One concept in this word is the idea of waiting for something with an eager expectation. You are waiting because you know something better is coming.
Another concept found in this word is waiting with endurance or what we would call tenacity and patience. You’re not just hanging in there until something better comes along – you’re hanging on with all that you have, determined not to be swept away by the riptide of life. It’s another way of saying, My faith means something and I’m not giving it up that easily.
When you wait on God you dig your heels in and wait in faith because you know He’s doing something that is better than what you are going through today.
So, if that is true, why do we find it so hard to wait on God?
There are likely several things that come into play here.
One is that we’re impatient people. Call it the McDonald syndrome. We have a spiritual melt-down if we have to wait a month or even a couple of years for God to answer us.
Another issue is God’s timing – which is always the right time, whether we think so or not. Inherent in the very word wait is the concept that this isn’t going to work out when we think it should – so we have to W-A-I-T for it to work out in God’s time.
A third thing that comes into play is suffering. It’s just hard to wait when it hurts so much.
But the idea of waiting on God also implies, as I’ve already said several times, that something good is going to happen. A child waits (not so patiently!) for Christmas. The Bride waits for her wedding day. We wait for our out of town guests to arrive. All because we know that something good is coming.
Waiting on God is not easy, but it can be a faith-building experience if we learn how to do it.
The prophet Isaiah, who exhorted Israel to wait on God, held up a future glorious day as encouragement for them to wait patiently. While this was written to Israel there is an application for us today.
And it will be said in that day: Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation (Isaiah 25:9).
So, Wait on God. A Better Day is coming. Be Glad and Rejoice in His Salvation.
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