Waiting Is Hoping
When Timex (the watch company) asked people how long they would wait before taking action in a wide variety of situations, researchers discovered that we’ll consent to wait only:
- Thirteen seconds before, we honk at a car in front of us that’s stopped at a green light.
- Twenty-six seconds before we silence people who are talking in a movie theater.
- Twenty-six seconds before we take the seat of someone who’s walked away.
- Forty-five seconds before we ask someone talking too loud on a cell phone to “keep it down.”
- Thirteen minutes for a table at a restaurant.
- Twenty minutes for a blind date to show up before we leave.
- Twenty minutes for the last person to show up for Thanksgiving dinner before we dig in.
So, we better be on time for our Thanksgiving Dinner. If you’re 10-15 minutes late, you may not get a seat at the table.
Romans 8:23-25, “We ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope, we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we patiently wait for it.”
Why does God make us wait? If He can do anything and is all-loving, why doesn’t He bring us relief and answers now? I certainly don’t understand all of this, but I believe, at least in part, what God does in us while we wait is as important as what it is we’re waiting for.
Waiting for things patiently is a quality that must be developed in us (Rom 5:3-4; James 1:3-4; 5:11; Rev 13:10; 14:12). Patience is one of the Spirit’s fruit that comes into our lives. It includes resilience, endurance, and the ability to bear up under pressure to attain the desired goal.
It is natural for children to trust their parents, even though parents sometimes fail to keep their promises. Our heavenly Father, however, never makes promises he won’t keep. Nevertheless, His plan may take more time than we expect. Rather than acting like impatient children as we wait for God’s will to unfold, we should place our confidence in God’s love and grace.
Did you know that we are “commanded” to wait on the Lord 43 times in the Old Testament? Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.”
Technology has speeded up everything in our world and has made us much more accustomed to things being done fast, and technology has made us more impatient. Waiting is an important part of life, and it’s an important part of character development. There are some things we only learn while waiting.
Our inability to wait is the cause of many problems in our lives. Our inability to delay gratification is the cause of debt. Many social issues come from our inability to delay gratification. Many problems come from this issue of “I want it! NOW!
Ecclesiastes 3:11, “God does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what he is doing.”
This passage reminds us to have faith as we WAIT on God. Waiting is a matter of trust, and we WAIT for the harvest. There is a normal and natural delay between planting and harvesting. Think about your garden. We plant seeds, don’t go out the next day and expect to see full-grown tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and potatoes. There is ALWAYS a waiting time between planting and harvesting.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven… A time to plant and a time to harvest… a time to scatter, and a time to gather…”
Are we aware that there is spiritual warfare going on behind your prayers? There is a spiritual war in a realm we don’t see or understand. But in the cosmic heavenlies, there is a spiritual war in other dimensions between good and evil, between God and the Devil, and between angels and demons. Sin wants to mess us up.
Daniel 10:12-14, “Daniel, God loves you deeply…and God has heard your prayers since the very first day you humbled yourself [When we pray, God hears the first time. It’s not like he wasn’t listening until prayer number ninety-five! God has heard every prayer and heard your prayer from the very first moment. The Angel said God loves us deeply]. I, [the angel], have come in answer to your prayer. But this kingdom’s (evil) angel prince opposed and blocked me for 21 days [He says your prayer hasn’t been answered for 21 days]. I was opposed in this spiritual battle. So Michael, one of the archangels intervened to fight for me because I had been blocked from coming to you with the answer!”
WOW? There is a dimension beyond our prayers, a battle we don’t see. The Bible tells us that Daniel prayed, and his prayer wasn’t answered immediately. The angel shows up and says to Daniel that there has been a fight that delayed him from getting the answer to Daniel. God’s delay is not God’s denial of our request. When the answer to our prayer is delayed, it doesn’t mean it will not be answered. There may be spiritual warfare behind it, so we keep on praying.
God ALWAYS keeps his promises! That’s what we need to remember when we’re waiting on God. Because, unlike other people, we can count on God to come through because there are over 8,000 promises in the Bible. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what God has! What God can do. The Promises of God help us focus on God and His unlimited abilities instead of our limited abilities.
Habakkuk 2:3, “God says that my words will come true when I have decided. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time but keep on waiting— it will happen!”
God says my promises will come true. You can trust what the Lord has told us, and it will happen. It may take a while but keep on trusting and waiting.