A Word from Bob: You’re reading Part 3 of a three-part blog mini-series by guest bloggers Dan Brewer and Matthew Black. You can read Part 1 here: Turning Waiting into Worship. Enjoy Part 2 here: Turning to God As We Wait. Please see the end of today’s post for Dan and Matt’s bios.
A Recap and a Preview
Part 1 showed that having the proper mindset in the waiting time is crucial. Waiting time is not a time for wallowing, worrying, nor is it wasted time either. No, waiting time is a time for worshiping, wrestling, and watching. Part 2 considered practical things you can do while you wait on the Lord; exercising faith muscles, expressing persistent prayer, and exploring God’s Word. But will the waiting ever end? The answer is yes, but the conclusion to your time is often quite different than what you might expect.
Expect Wisdom from God: Isaiah 55:9-10
God’s answer is always far better than what we ask. When you groan, the Spirit groans with you and interprets your groaning in ways that are always for a greater good for you and a greater glory for God (Romans 8:26). Remember that God’s plans for you are always much wiser and higher than anything you could come up with.
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:9-10).
There can often be a sense of pressure as you contemplate your finiteness, and you may begin to worry and waste away. But when you learn to trust God, He answers in ways that might take longer and are more painful, but that are an infinitely better answer when it comes to His kingdom purposes.
Expect Surprises from God: Jeremiah 33:3
God’s timing is so different from ours not only because He knows what is best, but because He loves to surprise His children.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Often, when we think all is gone, and we’ve gotten to the very end of ourselves, that is where true faith begins. God has to knock down our teetering idols in order for us to really be completely dependent on Him.
Call on Him, and He will answer you and show you great, unimaginable things that are hidden and surprising, which you cannot even imagine. The greatest example of this is our Lord’s crucifixion. Which of the disciples could have possibly imagined that their Lord would rise again? The Scripture prophesied it, the Lord taught it, but their eyes were blinded by anxiety and despair. They were scattered. In spite of their wavering faith, the Lord answered, and rose from the dead! God does the impossible, and with the greatest of ease (Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37; Acts 2:24).
Expect Action by God: Romans 8:32, Psalm 5:3, Micah 7:7, Isaiah 40:31
God will always act on behalf of His children. You are “seated in the heavenly realm” (Ephesians 2:6) with God on His throne (Rev 3:21). You are here on this earth, but you are also seated in the heavenly realm on your Abba Father’s lap. He loves you. Do you not know He loves to answer His children? The Father is eager to give you His presence more than you want it (Ephesians 3:14-21; Lk 11:13). He proved His desire to act for you by giving you His Son (John 3:16). If God has already given His Son, why would He withhold anything that would benefit His children?
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
So, why do we have to wait? The question is, what are we waiting for?
If we are asking for something more than His presence (Exodus 33:15; Psalm 16:11), His love (Jeremiah 31:1), or His singing over us (Zephaniah 3:17), then perhaps we are asking for the wrong thing. It is possible we are asking with wrong motives (James 4:3), that is, thinking that something outside of God’s will can satisfy us. But if our prayer is related to our hunger and thirst after God, then we can eagerly watch for His answer.
“In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You; order my prayer to You and eagerly watch” (Psalm 5:3).
Our Waiting Father
God always acts every moment of every day for His children, but He will not answer according to a finite view or shortsighted ambitions. His action is always for your highest good and His greatest glory. That is why we ought always to pray, “not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42), just as the Lord taught and modeled. If we pray according to God’s will, then we can wait expectantly for God to answer.
“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me” (Micah 7:7).
The Father is eager and excited to hear from his children. Do you have this view of an “eager to answer you” God?
We must always remember the image of the Father from Luke 15 in the parable of the prodigal. God’s arms are outstretched every day looking for His wayward child, ready to give them a ring, and a robe, and a banquet.
Do you have an opened armed view of God (like the father) or do you have a crossed arm, frowned face view of God (like the older brother)? Do you see God as not wanting to answer you, saying, “how dare you” or “if you fix yourself up, I will answer”? Or do you see God wanting to lavish His grace and love over you (Ephesians 1:7-8)?
Be sure that God will take action. If you knew how God would answer you, you would have “eagle soaring” encouragement. Remember Isaiah’s promise?
“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” (Isaiah 40:31).
Now that is encouragement we can walk in while we are waiting on the Lord.
Wait Courageously on the Lord
Waiting on the Lord is hard, but we must know that it is worth it. God’s timing and wisdom and ways are much higher than anyone could design (Isaiah 55:8-9). Timing is all about surprises. God loves surprises. People often do not get to enjoy all the surprises God has for them, because they do not want to wait on God’s timing. People do not like waiting. They feel like the waiting time is wasted time.
God tells Jeremiah that there are “great and hidden things” He wants to do, but there is a requirement. As Jeremiah 33:3 says, you must call unto your Abba. Do not be afraid if the waiting seems long. He has not forgotten you. He will never forget you. You are seated with Him on His throne. Why would He deny you anything according to His will?
Keep on waiting on the Lord. He wants to do far beyond what you could ask or even imagine (Ephesians 3:14-21). The timing sometimes is what is most difficult. He does not always say when, but the timing and the answer are often hidden and surprising. When the waiting is finally over, His timing and answer are so great! God’s good desires for you are infinitely more than you even want for yourself. You truly have a good, good Father. Wait courageously on the Lord! You will not be disappointed.
Daniel J. Brewer is the Chief Operations Officer for a small city in the Seattle area. Dan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. He is a certified Biblical Counselor through ACBC and serves in the Counseling Ministry of his local church—Christ’s Church in Federal Way, Washington. Dan is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling (MABC) from Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana. Dan and his wife, Gail, have five children and two grandchildren and love spending time outdoors.
Matthew Black is the Senior Pastor at Living Hope Bible Church in Roselle, Illinois. He is a certified Biblical Counselor through ACBC. Matt studied theology and Spanish for his undergrad and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling (MABC) from Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana. Matt spent time as a foreign missionary in the Madrid and Basque regions of Spain. Matt and his wife, Jill, have three girls and two boys, and currently reside in Elgin, Illinois.
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