“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Though God’s intentions for us are ultimately good, His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Though our minds tell us this is so, our emotions sometimes have trouble accepting these simple facts. This is especially so for North Americans in the 21rst century living in a culture that promotes self-centeredness and instant gratification. The predictable results of living in such a culture, where felt needs and desires are met almost instantly, are insatiable boredom and persistent restlessness. When God doesn’t answer our prayers according to our schedules, we can easily become frustrated, perplexed, and discouraged. Consulting the Scriptures puts things back into perspective. We are reminded, first of all, that God is sovereign over this created order (Psalm 135:5-6). Though we are invited to make our requests known to him (Philippians 4:6), we dare not instruct God (Job 40:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16), much less find fault with him (Daniel 4:35). Though it can be hard, especially living at this time and place, we must learn to wait on the Lord patiently. We must believe as an article of faith that His plans and purposes, and His chosen schedule, are perfect. The Scriptures are replete with examples of people who grew impatient, took matters into their own hands, and lived to regret it. Abram and Sari, for instance, thought they would “help” God fulfill His promise of a son by having Sari’s servant, Hagar, bear the patriarch’s child (Genesis 16). The result was disastrous. The union produced a people group that has been violently opposed to God’s covenant people throughout the ages. When Moses had tarried long at the top of Mount Sinai, the people grew restless and impatient (Exodus 32:1). Unable to sit still and simply wait upon the LORD, their thinking migrated over to false religion. Their actions soon followed. If not for Moses’ intercessory ministry, they would have all been destroyed then and there. King Saul’s impatience caused him to traffic into gross sin also. Tired of waiting for God’s man, Samuel, to arrive and offer the appropriate sacrifices, Saul took matters into his own hands, taking on the role of priest as well as king. God was thoroughly displeased with his attitude and conduct (1 Samuel 13). Today we understand that this dual office of King-Priest was reserved for Christ alone; no wonder Saul’s behavior was such a grave offense. The Bible also provides stellar examples of patient waiting that we ought to emulate. Daniel waited three weeks for his answer to prayer (Daniel 10:103). Isaac waited 20 years to have a son (Genesis 25:20-21, 26). Moses had to wait 40 years before he was called to lead his people out of bondage (Acts 7:23, 30). As we wait for the fulfillment of the “exceeding great and precious promises” God has made to us (2 Peter 1:4), let us do so with patience, believing with all our hearts that He Who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).
May God bless and encourage you today,