2016-08-02 - Waiting
Originally Published 1997-12-26
We humans spend a lot of our lives waiting. Some of us are waiting for test results, while others are waiting for dreams to come true. The Bible has a lot to say about waiting, so let's look at some stories about waiting, and see what we can learn from them.
Abraham was promised that He would father many nations.
(Heb 6:13-15 NNAS) For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, "I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU. 15 And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.
God never breaks promises, so it was just a matter of "when."
But God's timing is not always ours. (Isaiah 55:8)
Abraham didn't see the promise fulfilled when one would expect it, when he and Sara were of "childbearing years."
But with our God everything is possible, and after waiting many years, Abraham's wife gave birth to Isaac. Note that Abraham waited patiently. We are to not become impatient with God. He will fulfill His promises in His time. Joseph was another "waiter." His jealous brothers left him for dead in a pit. It was years before they were reunited. Meanwhile, Joseph remained sensitive to God's plans for him, and did his best with what he had.
(Gen 39:1-2 NNAS) Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
He waited actively. When we are in a period of waiting, we must do what we know is God's will. Perhaps we aren't sure of all of His will, but we need to be doing what we ARE sure of; He will take care of the rest. We must give our best, and He will honor that.
The widow banging on the judge's door was yet another "waiter," albeit not so patiently.
(Luke 18:5 NNAS) yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.
She was persistent. Jesus taught this parable to teach us about persevering in prayer. When we wait, we should never stop praying about the situation in which we are waiting. She also had hope, or she would have given up. We must never give up hope, though we must be prepared for God to change our hopes to align with His will.
(Rom 8:25 NNAS) But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
An excellent passage on waiting in trials, is found in Romans 5.
(Rom 5:3-5 NNAS) And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Again we see that we are to wait with growing perseverance and hope. Sometimes we tend to think of in-between times as wasted time. But if we follow God's guidelines, our waiting can be fruitful times of growth.
Dear Father, please help us to use our waiting times as You want us to, and to hope for what You want us to hope for. Help us to learn from the in-between times, the seasons of preparation, and help us to remain patient, active, persevering and hopeful. In Jesus' name amen.
Janice P. Moser
All scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.