Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him,~Isaiah 64:4 (NIV).
…those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint,~Isaiah 40:31.
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD,~Psalm 27:14.
I would love to be able to say I’m a truly patient person. This is not true at all! My natural personality is concerned with efficiency. God and I have had some rough moments because of my impatience. I couldn’t wait to finish high school. Then I was eager to finish college and find a job. Life was continually about fast forwarding. Fast forwarding past my mom’s battle with cancer…fast forwarding through working three jobs and having a double major in engineering…fast forwarding past every hurt, pain, trauma, near death experience…the cry of my heart was, “God I will be happy when this is over! I will have joy when the storms pass.”
Let me tell you, God didn’t remove the trials, traumas, pain, or all suffering. Some prayers were immediately answered, others were repeated, and others took years to see any fruit. He has and is teaching me that He is my JOY in all seasons of life.
1. What do you do when you’re in the waiting room of promise?
2. What do you do when your life doesn’t match your prayers?
3. What do you do when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired?
4. How do you handle watching others receive what you’ve been praying and longing for?
These are simply my reflections from life and the people God had wait in the Bible (almost everyone)! God does great things in seasons of waiting, much of which we don’t see.
1. Seek God in seasons of waiting.
We need to continually seek God, yet many people pull away from God when they don’t get what they want. Relationship with God is the highest priority. If it’s not, we will replace Him with the thing we are praying for. God never longs to take a back seat to anyone or anything! As we spend time with Him, we are prepared for what’s to come and our heart condition is revealed.
What God is doing in us far outweighs anything He can do for us.
2. Ask, Seek, Knock.
Sometimes our lives don’t match our prayers because what we are asking for would destroy us. Sometimes our motives are wrong. Sometimes our motives are good, but the timing is not. Sometimes we are murmuring and complaining. Sometimes we are speaking word curses and death over ourselves-“I will never be free. This won’t happen for me!”
Though it’s painful, it’s a time to Ask God, Seek God, and Knock on the door of heaven. Ask God to reveal our hearts and His heart. Why do we want what we want? The Bible says God withholds nothing good from us. It’s not always our definition of good, it’s His.
Sometimes the answer is on the way, yet it’s delayed. See the book of Daniel. The angel was delayed. There was spiritual battling around Daniel’s request. Understand if God has a huge blessing in store for you, the enemy (though a defeated foe) has a plan to delay, distract, discourage, or harass.
3. Receive Comfort from the Holy Spirit.
He is called the Comforter. God is perfect in bringing comfort, help, and healing. I went through a season where in two years 5 family members died, two family friends, and I was in a car accident that totaled my car. Around my accident time (last year), three aunts died within three weeks. It was horrible and overwhelming. I needed God desperately; He was there for me. God will bring comfort, even if the comfort is needed because we are operating in unbelief about His provision. He cares more than we can imagine.
4. Celebrate Others Getting What You Want.
What God does for one, He’s willing to do for another. This is not easy. I have walked through this test many times. However, if you’re jealous, envious, or covet what others have, you’re not ready for God’s blessing. It’s not about keeping up with the Joneses. It’s about loving God first, loving others (this includes being happy for their blessings), and growing into Christ likeness. God loves to give good gifts to His children. He does not want us destroyed by the gifts He gives. If it will pollute our hearts or cause us to be more sinful, He’s willing to withhold.
God is Patient:
God is not as obsessed with time as we are. He’s not the Burger King God. There’s not always a fast food breakthrough. He’s after relationship with us. Relationship is cultivated over time.
Where Can I Find JOY?:
In God’s Presence. God is pure joy. Being with Him changes perspective.
In God’s Word. God keeps His word and promises. He cannot lie. Recite His word, meditate on the promises of God.
In Your History With God. What has God already done? What trials have already been overcome? How has God provided and taken care of you in the past?
In Serving Others. Anytime we are self centered it robs us of joy! Get out there and help someone else. Support someone else’s dream, offer to baby sit for new parents, volunteer to help/serve those less fortunate. The more our eyes are fixed on Jesus and blessing Him, the better off we will be! Serving the poor, broken, and hurting is a sure way to increase gratitude and joy.
Give thanks. Tell God thanks for who He is and what He’s already done. It is not enjoyable to be in relationship with people who only care about you because of what you do for them. Love God. Thank Him!
Lastly I will say, though we may forget, God does not forget His promises to us. He’s perfect in every way. If we move ahead of Him, we get Ishmael instead of Isaac.
God knows the plans He has for you dear friends, plans to prosper you, give you hope, and a blessed future (Jeremiah 29:11). I need this reminder, hope it encouraged you!
You’re loved and prayed for!