Christian Life, Faith — May 20, 2022 at 3:36 am

How Can I Effectively Wait on the Lord?


Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Children of war
Children of War (Image by janeb13)

Have you ever noticed some of the things people do while they wait? For instance, when waiting on an elevator, we keep pressing the button. It doesn’t help. Or if we are stuck in a traffic jam, we honk the horn. It won’t help. When waiting on line, we try going from line to line. Stay put. And when we’re put on hold for a long period of time, we hang up and try again. Another bad move.

There are yet other more mindless things we do while we are waiting: we suck our teeth, we sigh, we tap our feet, we pace back and forth, and we even hum and whistle. All of these things are done in an effort to be patient. But what they truly reveal is just how inpatient we really are! Almost to a person, we want what we want when we want it; and that’s usually right now or yesterday.

Waiting happens to be an unavoidable part of life. It’s one of those things that we all have to do whether we want to or not. Some would go so far as to call it a necessary evil. Necessary? Actually, yes. Evil? No, even though it seems that way at times.

Waiting Accomplishes a Great Work in Us

I personally have found it to be a fact of my life, that whenever I have walked into a fast-food restaurant or I am in a convenience store with one or two items to be checked out, I find myself either stuck in an exceedingly long line, or else directly behind that one person spending more time at the cashier for one reason or another.

But as negatively as we perceive waiting to be, there’s actually great news! We read these encouraging words from the book of James:

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4).

Waiting is actually accomplishing a great work in our lives by helping to bring about spiritual growth and maturity. Yet, in spite of this truth, our impatience persists. And what about God? We’ve prayed, but He has not answered. He’s promised, but it seems that He hasn’t responded. We’ve prayed even more, but no breakthrough seems near. What do we do?Doxa Subscription

What else can we do? We wait. The very thing we want to do the least, is the very thing we’re commanded to do the most. The danger is that even while we wait on the Lord, we begin to do things that we should not do. As noted previously, we begin to do some things while we wait. This also holds true in the spiritual realm because while we are waiting on the Lord, we inevitably begin to do at least three harmful things.

1. We Wonder

The first thing we begin to do as we wait is wonder; that is, we begin to question the Lord and His ways. Did God hear me? Does He care? How long do I have to wait? Doesn’t He know what I’m dealing with? We have to be careful not to question God’s ways and His timing. When we are in “wonder mode” there are several promises that we need to remember:

“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalm 34:6).

“He has made everything beautiful in his time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a).

2. We Waver

The next thing we begin to do while we are waiting on the Lord is waver. This wavering, or doubting is an indication of a lack of faith. It was faithlessness that prevented the Israelites from entering the promised land. We read:

“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19).

Unbelief would also be the catalyst that would prevent many in Jesus’ own hometown from receiving the fullness of what He could provide:

“And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.’ And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matthew 13:57-58).

It will be this same lack of trust in Him that will keep us from receiving from Him if we allow doubt to consume us.

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:6-8).

3. We Wither

Thirdly, if we wait long enough, we can begin wither. The fact is, we get tired and weary. This in turn causes us to lose heart, which can lead to us being tempted to give up.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

The principle here is to not to give up doing the right thing; waiting on the Lord is the right thing.

So how should we wait on the Lord, and what should we do while we wait?

1. We Must Stand Firm

Satan seeks to stop the flow of God-glorifying ministry in any way he can. We cannot afford to allow him to gain the upper hand in our lives through frustration as we wait on the Lord. We must also not permit him to lock us in a corner, because Spirit-led ministry must proceed. This is why Paul the apostle wrote these words:

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

“Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:2).

We must not be moved by what we see or experience; we must stand our ground.

2. We Must Take Courage

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

There’s a line from an old movie that says, “Buckle up; it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Waiting on the Lord can be one such experience. Waiting sometimes plunges us into the darkness of the unknown; not knowing what to expect. However we must never become fearful because this will weaken our resolve to wait.

3. We Must Trust the Lord

Doxa SubscriptionThe obvious can sometimes be the most difficult thing to accomplish. Yet the Lord wants us to believe that He already has everything worked out because class is still in session; there are still things to be learned. If Satan can somehow bring us to a place where our faith erodes, or even to a place where we begin putting our faith in things other than Christ and His finished work, we make our way more difficult, and our waiting can be prolonged.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

4. We Must Anticipate

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him” (Psalm 62:5).

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).

These verses echo two wonderful truths; namely that as we wait on Him, we are to do so  expectantly. This is the proper attitude. Secondly, we are to wait in hope. Hope in the Bible is never an “I hope so” kind of hope; but is always an “I know so” kind of hope. It is a hope filled with faith and anticipation.

5. We Must Praise Him

Praise is blessing Him for what He has done – even if I don’t see it. This keeps me in His presence while helping to keep the Enemy in his place. We must remember that even when we don’t see Him, he’s working; and even when we don’t feel Him, He’s working. Praise God!

“While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being” (Psalm 146:2).

If we wait on the Lord in the above prescribed ways, we can expect added and renewed strength.

“But they that wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings as eagles; they will run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

God wants us to see our unique circumstances from His perspective. The eagle’s strength lies in its wings, and He will give us new feathers to soar above our circumstances as we faithfully wait upon Him. Waiting on the Lord teaches us to trust God and rely upon Him. No matter how long it takes, we can rest in Him and His Word.


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