We all spend an uncomfortable amount of time waiting. But I don’t like waiting, and it’s been my observation that few human beings do. We wait in traffic on our commute to work, at traffic lights, on hold on the phone, in super store check-out lines, at restaurants … but we do not enjoy it, and most of us don’t even like waiting on God. But as often is the case, our God has other ideas. He knows what is truly best for us, and He knows that waiting produces great fruit in the lives of human beings.
The Good In Waiting
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless (2 Pet. 3:13-14)
The Greek word translated “look for” is prosdokao (G4328), and Strong’s dictionary says it means ” to anticipate (in thought, hope or fear); by implication to await: – (be in) expect (-ation), look (for), when looked, tarry, wait for.” So this tells us we are anticipating and awaiting the promises of God.
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Ps. 25:1-5)
Here we see David as a shining example of a man after God’s own heart. Look at this attitude. In Hebrew, “wait” is qavah (H6960), it means to look for something, and to wait with hope. At the word’s root, it means to bind together, gather, or collect. So the idea of awaiting something with hope is connected to being gathered together. I wonder … would we regularly meet together as a body of believers if it wasn’t for the expectation of Christ’s return? The thing we await helps bind us together.
Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. (Ps. 37:1-7)
Again, we see David expressing the promises of God to those who faithfully believe in and follow Him … and just look at how many blessings are promised for waiting. It seems that waiting can be a really good thing for us.
Waiting to Grow
I don’t know about you, but I usually think of Lamentations as a depressing book. It’s one of the reasons Jeremiah is called “the weeping prophet,” after all. But there is a passage in this book that is filled with great hope.
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lam. 3:21-2)
Even at a time of great anguish in his life and in his nation, Jeremiah was able to say this, and have hope because he waited on the Lord.
Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence — as fire burns brushwood, as fire causes water to boil — to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, the mountains shook at Your presence. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him. (Isa. 64:1-4)
Sounds like Isaiah was about at the end of his patience here. But he’s still waiting, because he is assured that God will act on behalf of those who wait on Him. We see a very close parallel to this in 1 Corinthians.
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (1 Cor. 2:9-10)
Brethren, I find it extremely interesting that instead of the words “wait for” that we read in Isaiah 64, here we see the word “love.” When you stop to think about it, possibly the greatest way to express our love for Him, our faith and hope in Him, and our trust in the veracity of His word is to wait.
Waiting helps us to grow, helps our faith to mature, and develops many attributes of character that God wants to see in us. When He does see them, He fulfills vs. 10 in our lives. We all want to see more deeply into the wonderful mysteries of God’s word, but He expects us to wait for Him to reveal them, no matter how long it may take.
Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. (Luke 12:35-38)
Here in Luke, Jesus Christ Himself tells us exactly what kind of mindset we should have about waiting for Him. So take heart in the assurance that good things really do come to those who wait.