It’s hard to wait on the Lord. We want to see the Lord answer our prayers now. We want God to provide for our finances. To heal us from illness. To mend a broken relationship.
Waiting on God is hard, but the Bible tells us that, even during hard times, we can be sure that God is working.
What Does It Mean To Wait On The Lord?
To wait on 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.
Waiting on God is not a passive thing. 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.
In the Bible, we see many stories and Bible verses about waiting
- “But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer” – (Psalm 38:15)
- “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” – (Psalm 27:14)
- “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” – Micah 7:7
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.
We can wait on the Lord through prayer, as David did in eager expectation of deliverance (Psalm 27:7–14).
How Do We Wait For The Lord?
1. We wait in faith
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” – (Hebrews 11:6)
Waiting in faith means firmly believing that God is going to fulfill his promises. He will deliver us from our struggles when the time is right. When that happens we’ll rejoice in his goodness, but until then, we wait in faith.
2. With hope in God
“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” – (Micah 7:7)
When we wait with hope, we’re confident that God is good and that he will come through for us. Even when things are tough, we have the sure hope that God is going to work everything out for our good.
3. We wait in prayer
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” – (Psalm 27:14)
When we pray, we’re telling God that we trust him and his timing. We’re asking him to help us be patient as we wait for his answer. And when we wait for God prayerfully, God will strengthen our hearts.
4. Giving thanks to God
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
When we’re thankful, it shows that we trust God. We’re thankful for what he has done, and we’re confident that he’s going to do even more. So even as we wait, we give thanks.
5. With perseverance even in hard times
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – (Isaiah 40:3)
When we persevere, it shows that we’re committed to waiting on the Lord. We’re not going to give up, even when things are tough. We’re going to keep trusting God, because we know that he is faithful.
6. We wait on the Lord with good deeds
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – (Galatians 6:9)
When we do good deeds, it shows that we’re still serving God even as we wait. We know that he has called us to love others, and so we do good deeds in his name. We don’t sit on the sidelines, refusing to serve God until he gives us what we want.
7. By being still before the Lord
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” – (Psalm 46:10)
When we’re still before the Lord, it shows that we know he is in control. The temptation is to take action ourselves and try to make things happen. Instead, we must trust him, even when things are uncertain. We rest in his presence, knowing that he will work everything out in his perfect timing.
8. We wait on God patiently
“But the LORD is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” – (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
When we’re patient, it shows that we trust God’s character. We know that he is good and that he always keeps his promises. God will act on our behalf exactly at the right time. Not a moment too soon or late. God’s job is to act, our job is to trust him to do that.
9. Reading and believing God’s word
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – (Psalm 119:105)
When we read and study God’s word, it shows that we’re waiting on the Lord. We’re not trying to figure things out on our own. Instead, we rely on God’s wisdom. We look to his word for guidance and comfort. When we read and believe God’s word, it shows that we’re putting our trust in him. And as we meditate on his word, our faith will grow stronger.
10. By repenting of our sin
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – (1 John 1:9)
When we repent of our sin, it shows that we’re turning away from things that will hurt us. We’re turning back to God, and we’re trusting him to forgive us. As we repent of our sin, God will work in our hearts and change us. And we will grow closer to him as we wait on the Lord.
11. Praise the Lord while we wait on him
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” – (Psalm 150:6)
Praising the Lord while we wait shows that we’re still trusting him even though we don’t yet see his hand at work. We know that he is good, and we praise him for who he is. As we praise the Lord, our faith will grow stronger, and we will be able to wait on him more patiently.
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.
FAQ About Waiting On God
Why does God make us wait for him?
God often makes us wait because he wants to teach us patience and trust. He also wants to work in our hearts and change us. As we wait on the Lord, our faith will grow stronger, and we will be able to rely on him more.
How long should I wait on God?
There is no set amount of time that you should wait on God. Sometimes he will answer our prayers right away, and other times we may not see an answer for months, or even years. But we can be confident that he will answer us in his perfect timing.
What should I do while I’m waiting on God?
While you’re waiting on God, you can continue to seek him. Read his word and meditate on it. Pray and ask him to help you grow in your faith. Repent of your sin, and praise the Lord for who he is. And wait patiently, knowing that he loves you and will give you exactly what you need when you need it.
What are examples from the Bible about waiting for the Lord?
There are many examples of people waiting on the Lord in the Bible. Abraham waited for years to have a son. Joseph waited many years to be reunited with his brothers. Moses waited 40 years in the desert before he led the Israelites out of Egypt. And Jesus himself waited 30 years before he began his public ministry. In all of these cases, the Lord was faithful to his promises, and he worked in their lives as they waited.
How do I know if God is telling me to wait?
Sometimes it can be difficult to know if God is telling us to wait or if we’re just being impatient. But a good way to know is to ask him for wisdom (James 1:5). Ask him to help you to trust him and to wait patiently. And if you’re still not sure, ask a godly friend or pastor for their opinion.