Learning to Love Waiting, Part 2

Greg Wetterlin
May 10, 2024
5 minute read
Learning to Love Waiting, Part 2

In part 1 we looked at Psalm 25:3 which promises that, “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.” What an amazing positive promise to the those who wait for the Lord and also a warning to those who don’t wait on him (i.e. those who are wantonly treacherous).

That promise in and of itself should be enough to get us to a point where we should WANT to wait on the Lord! But God gives us more promises to help us learn to love to wait on the Lord. So in case 1 promise wasn’t enough here are 2 more sweet promises that God makes to those who wait for him.

1. God works for those who wait on him

Isaiah 64:4 From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.

Bible believing Christians claim to believe that God is omnipotent (all-powerful) and that he is perfectly good in everything that he does. Therefore, if God promises to act (i.e. work) for those who wait for him why would you not want the all-powerful, perfectly good God to act for you!?

Here are some reasons why we may not want that:

  1. First, is the reason a blog post like this even needs to be written, we don’t like to wait. We may want God to act, but if he’s not going to act on our timetable, then I’m going to have to act on my own behalf to try and get what I want.
  2. A second reason is because we don’t trust God to actually do what he says. We don’t believe that God will actually work for those who wait. As a result, we don’t wait. We may want the all-powerful, all good God to act, but we just don’t believe he will.
  3. A third reason is because we don’t trust that God is actually all-powerful. So even if we wait for God to act, he doesn’t have the power to bring about the deliverance or help that I need. Therefore, I can’t afford to wait, I need to get acting myself to try and bring about my own deliverance.
  4. A fourth reason is because we don’t trust that God is perfectly good. He may be all-powerful, but we don’t trust in his goodness to work for our good. Therefore, I can’t trust God’s actions to be beneficial for me so I must do it myself.

All of those reasons for not waiting come down to I trusting myself, my logic, and my experience over what God has clearly told me in his word. In one word that attitude is PRIDE. And God says that “[he] opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). In other words, God will also act when people exalt themselves in pride, but those actions are not like the ones that he promises to those who wait for him.

In Psalm 35 David is crying out to God for help and deliverance. Psalm 35:5–6 says, “Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away! 6 Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them! Then in v.9 David says, “Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in his salvation.” David prays that God would act, and he anticipates God acting and after being delivered by the Lord David says that he will rejoice in the Lord and exult in his salvation. David is going to do that because his salvation has come from the Lord’s actions and not his!

David praises God in Psalm 40:5 saying “You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.”

God’s wonderous deeds are more than can be told! That certainly isn’t the case with our actions. Even for the “impressive people” who have really accomplished a lot in their life, their wonderous deeds could certainly be recounted...and also significantly tempered by recounting all of their shameful, wicked deeds. But the Lord’s deeds couldn’t even be recounted because they are so vast, and he has no wickedness at all to temper any of his deeds! To the one who waits on the Lord, they will join with David saying, “I will proclaim and tell of [his wonderous deeds and thoughts towards me], yet they are more than can be told!”

Oh what incredible joy there is to be had for those who wait on the Lord to act for them! Don’t you want to see what the Lord can do? I know it will be more amazing and more wonderful than what I can bring about. What I can do and bring about is death (cf. Prov. 16:25, Romans 6:23). Let’s rejoice in the command and invitation to wait on the Lord!

2. Those who wait on the Lord will be strengthened

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.

This promise goes along with the previous promise. When God acts on our behalf there is great joy and praise! Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” If we wait on the Lord to act, we will not be put to shame, rather we will see the amazing acts of God and rejoice! That rejoicing in the Lord is the strength that Nehemiah 8:10 speaks of.

It may seem so paradoxical, that to wait on the Lord for him to determine the timing and the circumstances of what is good would produce strength. But for people that know they are weak, that know what they think is right is often very wrong (cf. Prov. 16:25), that know that God’s will being done and not their will is best, they know that God acting rather than them acting is what is actually best. Therefore, as hard as waiting on the Lord can be for us, it’s something we should be growing to love to do!

How can we learn to love waiting?

That begs a very important question. Maybe we can clearly see from these three promises (and there are many more!) that we should love to wait on the Lord. But just because we should doesn’t mean we do. So if we don’t love waiting on the Lord, how can we get to the point where we are content with waiting on the Lord?

First, rehearse the promises that God makes to those who wait on him. Make sure you know the promises that God makes to those who wait. Your flesh has other promises that it is believing and presenting to you constantly. Promises like, “you know what’s best for yourself.” Or “if you don’t act now you’ll miss your opportunity.” The promises that your flesh, the world and Satan make are opposed to the promises that God makes. Make sure you know that they are opposed to each other (cf. Gal. 5:16–17).

Secondly, pray that God would help you believe his promises and act on them. Waiting on the Lord is evidence of the being led by the Holy Spirit. We cannot obey God apart from the Spirit at work in us. So ask God to help you!

Third, think back to your childhood. What are all the things that if left up to you would have never waited on which would have been really detrimental to you today? Here are just a few examples. What if my parents didn’t force me to wait on dessert? I could have skipped my meals and had dessert instead? Or what if my parents didn’t force me to wait to do play and fun until after my chores and homework were completed? Or what if they didn’t teach me to wait until I had worked and saved up enough money to buy game or toy I wanted? The point of this exercise is to reveal how crucial it is to have parents, teachers, and other authorities in our life as a child that help us learn to wait. As adults, we still have other authorities like pastors and bosses to help us. But ultimately, our main authority is God. If our heavenly Father tells us to wait, then he must have a very, very good reason that we might not see yet for waiting.

Fourth, make sure you are embedded in Christian community. Be in a good church week in and week out and make sure you are building friends in that church that know you and that are serious about pursuing the Lord (cf. 2 Tim. 2:22). And then with those friends, ask them for wisdom and prayer on the thing(s) that you are waiting on the Lord for. They can help keep you accountable to waiting on the Lord, rather than acting ahead of God out of pride and unbelief.

Fifth, make sure that you can answer from Scripture what waiting on the Lord practically looks like. Answering this question would easily take another few blog posts. But the point is, waiting on the Lord has practical steps. Waiting on the Lord isn’t just doing nothing. It certainly isn’t waiting on God to act for you, while you occupy yourself with other selfish things like Netflix, video games, vacations, etc. Waiting on the Lord will mean, obedience to God today (cf. Matt. 6:33). Waiting on the Lord means persistence in prayer (cf. Luke 18:1–7). Waiting on the Lord means hopeful anticipation of the future, rather than a glum, despondent view towards the future (cf. Romans 8:25).

Sixth, when God acts and when God strengths you and honors you for waiting which he absolutely will, praise him! Every time we see God deliver on a promise, praise his glorious name! Savoring his fulfilled promises will only encourage you to want to see more and more of his promises fulfilled and to see more and more of God’s acts rather than yours. And it will help you hunger and long for the ultimate fulfillment of his promises in heaven!

I hope this helps cultivate a desire to want to love waiting on the Lord! So go forth and WAIT!

Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash


Share this post
Tag one
Tag two
Tag three
Tag four

Join the Biblical Counseling Movement

Discover the power of biblical counseling and transform your life.

By clicking Sign Up, you confirm that you agree with our Terms and Conditions.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again.