Why and How to Wait On the Lord

Isaiah 40:25–31 (25) To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. (26) Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. (27) Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? (28) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (29) He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (30) Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; (31) but 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.

Have you spent a vast portion of your life dragging your feet when God wants movement and rushing through life when you need to wait? Psalms 37:9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land. Your faith will be challenged because Satan is active in this world. We may have circumstances of want or need but we can look to the Lord in those times. When we have times of helplessness or anxiety, our trust in God gives us assurance that we will have comfort.

We must also be active in our waiting. If we expect miraculous intervention we will be disappointed. We must allow God to work through His providence so that we are brought to the place where we rely upon Him and then are able to look back and see God working in your life.

When to Wait Upon God?

You jump into the short grocery check out line only to find out they have problems with the register. Traffic jams conjure up unfavorable thoughts. But what about more weightier matters such as waiting for test results or when your child is going astray into a life of addiction? These are the right times to wait upon the Lord.

How Do You Wait Upon God?

Waiting on the Lord requires the passing of time. That’s already a challenge for us in a society of instant gratification. There must be some blessing and benefit in waiting or else God would not have commanded us to wait. We may get through the situation and still not know why. Maybe only eternity will bring us the answer. Sometimes we may find ourselves saying, “I wish I didn’t have to go through this.”

  • Psa 90:10–12 The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
  • Eph 5:15–16 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Waiting involves confident hope when things come along that we have not planned.

  • Psalm 130:5–6.I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
  • Romans 8:24. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
  • 1 Peter 1:3–4. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

Waiting involves positives and negatives.

  • Heb 12:1–2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • Rev 6:10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

We Can Wait on God Because

  • The Lord is Everlasting. Isaiah 40:28 — He has always been there and always will be. The word of the Lord shall endure forever even though all we know will pass away (Isaiah 40: 5–8). We can trust that He will always be there and will be consistent (Matthew 28:20).
  • The Lord is All-Powerful. He is the creator of the ends of the earth (Isaiah 40:28). God’s power is seen in contrast in this passage against the idols of men (Isaiah 40:18–26). How can you compare the Creator of the universe to the carved image that a man fashioned out of wood, stone or metal. How can you compare the Creator to your own understanding or effort? How can you compare Him to the gods and achievements of our age that we rely upon to get through this life? They all decay and crumble.
  • The Lord is all-knowing. None of us know everything but we can wait upon God’s knowledge to come in His time because He knows all (Isaiah 40:28). His knowledge is complete (Isaiah 40:13–14). All that we know and see and have accomplished as a race are a drop in the bucket compared to God’s knowledge (Isaiah 40:15).
  • The Lord is caring and benevolent. God’s number one desire is that you are saved. He is certainly a God of justice and our lives will be required of us in eternity if we decide not to seek God. But that’s our choice and not God’s. He wants each of us to comply with His will, be forgiven of our sins and stand justified before Him. He even helps by giving us strength to do so (Isaiah 40:29). He calls us to cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7)! We can endure challenges before us because He cares for us like a shepherd cares for sheep (Isaiah 40:11, John 10:11). Even Jesus, the Good Shepherd, cares for us so much that he died for us.

Waiting teaches perseverance and helps increase our faith. May we learn to wait better upon the things of the Lord.

Based on a lesson by Robert Moss.

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