Crying out to God has two very difficult components–going to Him directly (which requires humility and faith) and waiting. If you’ve ever tried–or not had a choice–you know waiting is oh, so difficult. Like a muscle, waiting strengthens with time, intentionality, and practice.
What does God say about waiting?
- Waiting is commanded, therefore it is a good thing. A perfect thing.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14).
- Waiting results in good:
For Your salvation I wait, Lord. (Jacob in Genesis 49:18)
My soul waits in silence for God alone; From Him comes my salvation. (Psalm 62:1)
My soul, wait in silence for God alone, For my hope is from Him. (Psalm 62:5)
The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His faithfulness. (Psalm 147:11)
- Waiting reveals who we ultimately trust–God or ourselves:
Now [King Saul] waited for seven days, until the appointed time that Samuel had set, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. (1 Samuel 13:8-9)
Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for the Lord would now have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. (1 Samuel 13:13-14)
- Waiting is difficult:
If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait Until my relief comes. (Job 14:14)
I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. (Psalm 69:3)
- There is no shame in waiting:
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. (Psalm 25:3)
- God is worth waiting for:
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:5)
- God hears us when we wait on Him:
I waited patiently for the Lord; And He reached down to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)
For I wait for You, Lord; You will answer, Lord my God. (Psalm 38:15)
- Waiting is an act of courage:
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
- God protects us as we wait:
Let integrity and uprightness protect me, For I wait for You. (Psalm 25:21)
Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)
- God’s eye is on those who wait:
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who wait for His faithfulness… (Psalm 33:18)
- Ultimately, we wait for God Himself. He is our hope, our prize:
And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You. (Psalm 39:7)
My soul waits in hope for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Yes, more than the watchmen for the morning. (Psalm 130:6)
Waiting is an act of worship. When I pray and watch, refusing to do what (honestly) I cannot, I am saying that God is worth it. He is more than–greater than–the longing of my heart. Seeking contentment in the struggle reminds myself and others that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do.
Waiting does not mean doing nothing. Waiting on God is active. When I wait on the Lord, I do what He has clearly given me to do without overreaching into what He has not given. Through waiting, God changes us. He builds our faith, our trust, our endurance. He sharpens our dull eyes and strengthens weak hearts.
...if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)