What have we learned to date about waiting? By definition waiting “is the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something happens.”
How do we feel about waiting?
- We don’t like to wait.
- Waiting has emotional costs—stress and boredom.
- Our “waiting tolerance” is often determined by our generational mindset—Baby Boomer, Gen X, Y, Z.
- Our anxiety (with waiting) is caused by what we do with the “unoccupied time” while waiting.
- The Christian view of waiting is different than the secular view because God, from whom we derive our meaning and reality, operates “outside of time”—in eternity.
- Our difficulty in waiting often stems from our “flesh-based” needs—impatience, pride, independence, and stubbornness.
Understanding these realities, it may be helpful at this time to revisit our personal perspective of waiting. From a Christian perspective, why is it good to wait? Consider these ABC’s of Waiting.
Waiting helps believers:
Accept the sovereignty of God (Acts 17:28). God’s sovereignty is defined as His preeminent power and authority, a natural consequence of His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. While God has given man “free-will”, it is critical for believers to “choose God”—to trust Him unconditionally. God will always do what is best for His children including delays in privileges, plans, and purposes. The Prophet Jeremiah asserted that it was good for Israel to wait because God had the best solution for their situation—His salvation. Waiting embraces God’s sovereignty.
Build strong spiritual muscles (1 Peter 1:13-15). While we have been delivered from the penalty and power of sin, we still live in sin’s presence and in our “fleshly” bodies. Believers in Christ must be able to remain faithful during this postmodern era when our tenets of faith are continually under attack. We must be patient as we listen for God’s instructions on where we are to serve. Believers must endure hard trials and temptations, as we expand The Kingdom of God and wage spiritual warfare against Satan. Waiting strengthens our spiritual muscles.
Create godly character and intimacy with the Father (1 John 3:3). While waiting we draw near to God and listen for His voice through prayer and reading His Word. As we practice the presence of God, we taste the wonders of His transforming power and His future rewards. Because of this, believers are willing to accept delays and interruptions rather than demand “instant gratification” based on fleshly lusts and worldly influence. Waiting transforms our lives.
I end today’s teaching with God’s Word to His people Israel through the Prophet Isaiah—a word to prepare them for their 70-year wait in exile:
“He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
There is always purpose in God’s wait—embrace it, let it strengthen you, let it transform your life.