I am waiting, and I see others who are waiting. Many who follow Christ are desperately waiting for God’s guidance or provision (and struggling with patience, frustration or doubt). After months or years of confidently and steadily trekking in one direction, we might now be unsure of what step to take next. We thought we were on track, but now are less certain; things do not quite look the way we expected. Or, maybe we do have an idea of what is on the horizon – but despite our efforts and growing desires, it doesn’t seem to be getting any closer. What is God up to? Why must we wait for so long?
These are three reminders for me, and for any of my brothers and sisters in Christ who may feel discouraged from time to time.
Our hope is in Christ.
We were dead in our sins, fully deserving eternal separation from God. In our rebellion and idolatry, in our selfishness and pride, we were headed for the fires of hell. No pains or sorrows on earth can compare to what we earned by sinning against the perfect creator. And yet, although a just judge, God’s love manifested itself in a wondrous way. By his grace and mercy, he provided through his Son the means by which we might be brought back to him. By our faith in Jesus, we are united with him forever. God sees us clothed in the righteousness of his Son. We are saved from our filth and wretchedness – saved from the darkness of being separated from him. We are born again, that we might live in the light of his kingdom forever. God has done more for us than we could ever imagine! Our hope lies not in reaching goals, even if they're backed by the purest of intentions. If we never get a decent job, never get married, never have a child, never become free from illness…we still have a hope, a relationship and a future that surpasses all others!
The Christian walk is marked by struggles, and requires steadfast faith.
Although as followers of Christ we have been saved and set aside for eternal life with God, the time here on earth is not easy. Waiting in all its various forms can be a struggle, but we are not alone. Sarah waited 91 years for a son, Jacob waited 14 years to marry Rachel, and the Israelites waited 40 years for the Promised Land. As Christians, we have been waiting around 2,000 years for the 2nd coming of Christ! If you’re feeling weak or forgotten, remember: faithfully following Christ requires great endurance. Let us not be passive or build up resentment, but rather draw closer to God in our current circumstances. During seasons of waiting, let us earnestly pray, read Scripture and worship God with other believers.
God is sovereign.
God knows you are waiting. He sees you, he hears you. He knows your heart and mind. Do not let this statement become cliché, recognize its magnitude: God loves you. He is a compassionate Father, aware of our needs and wants, and he is constantly at work in the life of every believer. He is not without plans and not without power. Even if every single one of your personal plans gets flipped on its head, know that you are in God’s hands and there is no better place to be. Pursue him and trust him more than you chase and value your temporary dreams. God is supreme and victorious, worthy of every drop of our affection. His plans will be fulfilled and he will be glorified.
Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”
For further exploration:James 1:2-8 & 5:7-11, Hebrews 10:35-11:13, Psalm 119:4-5, Psalm 139, Ephesians 1:3-14
Song - "While I'm Waiting"