When we are going through a challenging experience, the wait can be the hardest part. It’s hard not to wonder where God is and why He is allowing it to happen. There are countless examples in the Bible of godly people who waited through challenging circumstances while God’s plan unfolded. Noah spent years building a boat with no water in sight while he was ridiculed by his neighbors. Abraham spent years waiting for the birth of a son. Joseph spent years in a dungeon, imprisoned for something he did not do. David spent years in the wilderness hiding out in caves while he fled a murderous king. Paul spent years imprisoned in Rome. The list goes on and on… Even now, those of us who have put our faith in Christ for salvation are waiting for His glorious appearing.
I have experienced plenty of seasons of waiting. Wondering what God was doing and searching for an answer in the midst of the struggle. As I look at the examples in the Bible and reflect on my own, I can see how God uses times of waiting to help us learn some valuable lessons.
1- God wants us to learn to trust Him. He wants us to seek Him in prayer, look at what His word says, and believe that He is in control. With each struggle we go through, our capacity to trust God grows as we see Him being faithful. (Proverbs 3:5)
2- God wants us to develop endurance. The dictionary defines endurance as “the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite adverse conditions.” This fallen world is full of adverse conditions and as we learn to trust God in our waiting, we develop endurance to face future struggles. (James 1:3)
3- God wants us to develop patience and self-control. Sometimes when we are in the midst of a struggle the enemy will present opportunities for us to “fix it” on our own that will only lead to more trouble in the long run. When we depend on God for the outcome, we learn not to make a move that we haven’t first sought Him about. (Hebrews 10:36)
4- God wants us to be an example to others. When the people around us see the unexplainable peace that our dependence on God gives us even during our struggles, it is a wonderful testimony for the power of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
5- God wants us to have the chance to rejoice when His plan is finally revealed. When we get to the other side of the struggle, we can look back and see God’s hand throughout. We can celebrate His presence and give Him glory for the outcome. (Deuteronomy 20:4)
Next time you find yourself in a period of waiting, remember that God is at work! He is at work in your situation and He is at work in you!
If your faith remains strong, even while surrounded by life’s difficulties, you will continue to experience the untold blessings of God! True happiness comes as you pass the test with faith, and receive the victorious crown of life promised to every lover of God. – James 1:12 (The Passion Translation)