Waiting is an act of faith

“Wait upon the Lord; Be strong ... Yes, wait upon the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

“Wait upon the Lord; Be strong … Yes, wait upon the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

Waiting is difficult and I don’t know anyone who actually likes it. No one has ever told me that they love red lights, cherish extended winters, or that they can’t wait to get into another long, arduous checkout line.

There are however some things we can do to make waiting more tolerable. When I was in college I had Greek vocabulary and Bible verses written on index cards hanging from my gearshift so that I could memorize and review them at red lights. I enjoy talking with people when I’m in lineups and I always bring a good book to read if I think I’m going to be waiting in an office somewhere; the latter exercise is so effective that I almost regret when my name is called. I said “almost” … I’d rather not have to wait.

Warren Wiersbe, commenting on the grueling matter of waiting wrote, “The ability to calm your soul and wait before God is one of the most difficult things in the Christian life. Our old nature is restless…the world around us is frantically in a hurry.”

Often, we are like New England preacher Phillips Brooks. A friend noticed him nervously pacing the floor and asked, “What’s the problem?” Brooks replied, “The problem is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t!”

Learning how to wait is very important. The word wait occurs approximately 110 times in the Bible, sometimes as a command and often with reference to waiting upon God. The Bible teaches us to wait for His strength (Isaiah 40:31), for His answer to our prayers (Psalm 38:15), for assurance of forgiveness (Psalm 130:5), and for guidance (Psalm 25:5).

Perhaps it would be helpful to recognize that waiting doesn’t have to be passive. It can be and should be both active and profitable. G. Campbell Morgan said that, “Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, activity under command, readiness for any new command that might come and the ability to wait until the command is given.”

It should be added that waiting, when properly entered into, is also an act of faith. It incorporates watching while waiting and holds positive expectations. In other words, we know that though God has called us to wait, we also know that He will come through with what He has promised.

Like sailors on a slow-moving ship, we watch for a glimpse of land, and know that eventually it will appear.

“With all my heart, I am waiting, Lord, for you! I trust your promises” (Psalm 130:5).

— Faith & Reflection


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