By Josie Siler, Crosswalk.com
Waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do. As humans, our nature is to go it alone, try to accomplish things in our own strength, and take control of the situation. But that’s often not in our best interest. Too often I get ahead of God and try to accomplish things I’m not ready for.
I’m currently in a time of waiting. Everything in me screams, “Just do it!” However, I know this is a time where I need to wait on the Lord. He has already provided a miracle, a gift I’ve been desiring for years. However, in order to receive that gift, one more piece needs to fall into place. It’s incredibly hard to be still and wait for Lord to provide, but I know that He will because He already has. The question is, will I wait on His provision or try to force my own outcome?
What Does it Mean to Wait on the Lord?
Before we go any further, we need to understand what the word wait really means. Webster’s Dictionary 1828 gives a few definitions that catch my attention. “To stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary, till the arrival of some person or event.” This definition hits home in my own situation. I can’t move forward until God provides the second half of my miracle. My position of waiting isn’t passive, it’s staying put and resting in expectation. I do expect God to provide and I can rest in the knowledge that His provision will be better than anything I try to force on my own.
The second definition that caught my attention is, “to be ready to serve; to obey.” It forces me to ask myself if I’m ready to obey when God provides. Have I done my part? Have I prepared my heart and my mind to walk in obedience and with a servant’s heart when God provides the answer?
Waiting on the Lord is active. It’s preparing my heart, being ready to serve, and expecting God to provide. It’s knowing that God is already working behind the scenes so that when the time is exactly right everything will be in place for us to move forward. But don’t just take my word for it; let’s see what the Bible has to say about waiting. (All verses are ESV unless otherwise noted).
Bible Verses about Waiting
“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” Psalm 27:14
“Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes” Psalm 37:7, NLT.
“But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer” Psalm 38:15.
“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly” Psalm 52:8-9.
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 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” Isaiah 40:29-31.
Bible Verses about the Lord Moving behind the Scenes
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” Psalm 23:4-5.
“Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: ‘I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them’” Isaiah 42:5-9.
“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him” Isaiah 64:4.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” John 14:1-3.
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” Romans 8:24-25.
Bible Verses about God's Timing
“And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt” Genesis 45:5-8.
“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, ‘Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’” Esther 4:13-14.
“This is what the LORD says: ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me’” Jeremiah 29:10-13, NLT.
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” Matthew 24:14.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:6-8.
Verses about Waiting for Heaven
“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets” Luke 6:22-23.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” Philippians 3:20-21.
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven” Colossians 1:3-5.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” James 1:12.
“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, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” 1 Peter 1:3-5.
I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard to be patient and wait on the Lord instead of taking matters into our own hands. But God’s peace is available to us and we can rest in His love for us. Every time I wait on God’s provision, His gift is better than anything I could have managed in my own strength. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite verses that have helped me wait for so many things. I pray that you find as much encouragement from it as I do.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” Romans 12:12, NIV.
Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/BartekSzewczyk
Passionate about helping people find joy for their journey, Josie Siler, a small-town Wisconsin girl, has big dreams. As a multi-award-winning author and photographer, Josie shares God’s gifts of beauty, hope, and adventure with people who are overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, encouraging them to walk in the freedom and joy found in Jesus. Josie’s publications include the compilation Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage and numerous articles for web and magazine. As a chronic illness warrior herself, Josie ministers to others living with illness and caregivers through Broken but Priceless Ministries. When she’s not writing or taking pictures, you’ll find Josie curled up with a good book, eating chocolate, and cuddling her teddy bear dog Ruby Mae (a.k.a. The Scruffy Princess). Connect with Josie at JosieSiler.com.