Do you find yourself having to wait on the Lord?Waiting for God is tough…isn’t it? Maybe you’re waiting for God…
- To bring a spouse
- To give life a barren womb
- To save a wandering child
- To repair a once-treasured, now shattered relationship.
We know God is faithful. We know that he’s good and he loves us. But it’s so excruciatingly hard to wait on the Lord to act. To move. To deliver. To rescue.
In this article, we’re going to look at:
- What it means to wait on the Lord
- How we wait for the Lord
- Bible verses about waiting on God
What Does It Mean To Wait For The Lord?
To wait for the Lord means to wait patiently, in faith, for God to fulfill His promises. Instead of taking things into our own hands, we trust in the goodness of the Lord.
In the Bible, we see many stories and Bible verses about waiting.
Abraham waited for a son, Joseph waited for deliverance, David waited to be made king, Israel waited for a Messiah, and we all wait for the return of the serpent crusher. You might say that the entire narrative of scripture is one of waiting.
How Do We Wait For The Lord?
God’s word has much to say about how we wait on the Lord.
Biblical waiting isn’t passive, like waiting for a train to arrive. It’s an active, aggressive sort of waiting. Biblical waiting is, and this sounds like an oxymoron, full of action. Scriptures calls us to fill our waiting moments with specific, God-glorifying activities.
So how do we wait on God in a way that honors him, fills us with hope, and gives us strength to carry on even when we feel like we’re in the dark?
Here are four ways.
1. Waiting On The Lord In Faith
There are two types of waiting.
The first type is unsure, fearful waiting. We’re not sure if God is going come through, as if he’s some sort of unreliable parent who forgets to pick up his kids at soccer practice.
We hope God delivers us…
…but what if he doesn’t?
What if God leaves us hanging? What if he fails to come through at the most crucial time?
This kind of waiting is displeasing and dishonoring to God. When our waiting is pocked with doubt and unbelief, it smears God’s character, making him look like a deadbeat deity who can’t be trusted.
The second type is waiting on the Lord in strong faith. We’ve run all the numbers, calculated the odds, and can’t figure out how God is going to come through for us. From a human perspective, it looks like it’s lights out for us.
Nevertheless, we trust him because we know his character. We know that he’s infinitely good and loving, and that he will deliver us, even if that deliverance isn’t the kind we expected.
Proverbs 3:5-6 spells it out clearly:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
When life is in shambles, one of our greatest temptations is to lean on our own understanding. To try to figure everything out. To play out every scenario in our heads and determine which one is most likely.
We become like divine weathermen, trying to map out which way God’s providence will blow, or divine poker players, counting the cards and calculating which will most likely come up next.
But when we wait on the Lord in faith, we make a conscious effort to reject our own understanding.
God knows everything that’s happening in our lives and HE knows exactly what he will do. While I’m waiting on the Lord, God is doing thousands of good things on my behalf.
I love how John Piper puts it:
God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.
Waiting that honors God is characterized by faith in his character.
2. Wait For God Loudly
Have you ever noticed that when David had to wait on God to deliver him, he was very loud about it?
For example, in Psalm 35:17 he says:
How long, O Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their destruction,
my precious life from the lions!
David waited on God in faith, but he certainly wasn’t quiet, meek, and mild while he was waiting. He was constantly crying out to the Lord for deliverance.
At times, you could even mistake the intensity of his requests for irreverence. He questioned God, pestered him, pleaded with him, and begged him. David was never passive when he had to wait on the Lord. He was loud and aggressive in his waiting.
Why? Because David knew that God was good, faithful, and kind. He knew that God loved to give good gifts, including deliverance, to his children. And so, like any child, he asked for that deliverance repeatedly and loudly.
Waiting that honors God is characterized by persistent pleas for deliverance.
3. Trust In The Lord And Wait Patiently
The Bible calls us to wait patiently for the Lord to deliver us and fulfill His promises.
Psalm 84:11 is a sharp reminder of how God operates:
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
If something is good for us, God will give it to us at the appropriate time. He’s not going to hold back a single blessing from us, and he’s going to give them to us when we’ll get the most goodness from them and he’ll get the most glory.
It was good for David to be king of Israel, but first, he had to hide in the desert caves.
It was good for Abraham to have a son, but first there needed to be no doubt that both him and Sarah were completely barren.
It will be glorious when Christ returns, but first, the full number of people must be saved.
God doesn’t serve up undercooked blessings. When the time is right, he delivers the full course meal.
Until then, we’re called to wait on the Lord patiently.
4. We Wait On God Dependently
The Apostle Paul knew a thing or twenty about waiting. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, he wrote about his thorn in the flesh:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
This thorn in the flesh was no joke. Paul was no pansy. He had been tossed in prison, almost stoned to death, beaten with rods, pursued by people who wanted to kill him, and shipwrecked, all for the sake of the gospel.
And yet, this thorn was so bad that Paul pleaded with God three times to take it away. Whatever the thorn was – blindness, persecution, demonic attack – it was made Paul feel desperate for deliverance.
There’s no indication in scripture that God ever removed the thorn, but what we do know is that while Paul was waiting for deliverance he depended mightily on the sufficient grace of God.
Paul’s thorn forced him to throw his entire weight on God’s sustaining grace and power. That was the only way he could survive.
The same is true for us. The only way we can survive in our waiting is to throw ourselves fully on God. We are completely and totally dependent on him.
If we don’t wait dependently on the Lord, we end up bitter, dried up, and hopeless. The only way to survive the long dark is to cling to Christ, the true light.
We wait for the Lord dependently, relying on his power and not our own.
Bible Verses About Waiting On The Lord
- Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
- Isaiah 40:31 – But they 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.
- Psalm 27:13-14 – I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
- Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
- Lamentations 3:25-26 – The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
- Isaiah 64:4 – Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
- Psalm 130:5-6 – I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
- Isaiah 30:18 – Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
- Lamentations 3:25 – The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
- Isaiah 30:18 – Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.