Waiting on God with Patience

In all our waiting on God, nothing is more satisfying than when we see his wisdom, receive his provision, and experience his tender grace and love.

The world sees this present generation in a constant hurry. Social media and technology advancement intensifies this hurriedness.

Moving from reel to reel on Instagram, our impatience grows. Our need for instant gratification is amplified through faster delivery times. But it is never enough.

Recently Dexter Fletcher, director of the film “Ghosted,” complained that the opening scene of his lead actors driving through the mountains was cut from 3 minutes down to 30 seconds. AI viewer data reveals that people turn off a streaming movie if they do not like it in the first 30 seconds.

This impatience and instant gratification does not help us spiritually. God cannot be rushed to suit our timelines.

In the book of Habakkuk, God is having a conversation with a prophet. After the prophet Habakkuk poses his questions (Hab. 1), he is waiting for God’s response.

He says longingly, “I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.” (Hab. 2:1).

As we wait on God, we can become impatient. It is testing to wait for prayers to be answered, outcomes to change, conflict to resolve, or a breakthrough to happen. The prophet Habakkuk’s waiting gives us two key lessons for our waiting.

Waiting on God is Not Wasting

In his poem, The Waiting Place, Dr. Seuss calls it the most useless place. Often, we feel the same. We could be doing something more productive or important besides waiting. We feel resentment, anger, and irritation building within, like steam in a pressure cooker.

In our Indian context, we expect this waiting on God to look pretty and to be perfect. But that is neither realistic nor biblical.

“Have you heard of the patience of Job?” (James 5:11) This is the same person who was complaining, questioning, and doubting God over 42 chapters.

Have you seen children wait? It is messy. But God welcomes us as little children to come to him with all our messiness as we wait.

In God’s economy, your waiting is not wasting because while you are waiting, God is working.

In Your Waiting, God is Sanctifying You

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

We teach children to wait because it results in character development. In the same way, our waiting leads us to grow in patience, perseverance, endurance, and faith.

Waiting exposes our idolatry of comfort because we do not like stress. It exposes our idolatry of control, because we want things to go according to our plans and timelines. Waiting exposes our idolatry of power, because we fear humiliation.

All our waiting is an opportunity for our idols to be exposed. As a result, we can turn away from them and turn to Christ, our true comfort and strength, who is always in control.

In Your Waiting, God is Strengthening You

“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” (Isa. 40:30-31).

In the distress of our waiting, God is strengthening us spiritually. As we wait for the Lord, we not only survive but soar to great heights.

In Your Waiting, God is Satisfying You

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness” (Ps. 17:15).

In all our waiting on God, nothing is more satisfying than when we see his wisdom, receive his provision, and experience his tender grace and love.

Your waiting is not wasting. God works all things—interruptions, delays, disappointments, and our failures—for our good and to his glory.

Waiting on God is Never Disappointing

Is this true? Yes. But it depends on what you are waiting for, and where you put your hope.

During our waiting, it is tempting to put our hope in the outcomes of life. The answer, the result, the breakthrough, or the miracle subtly becomes central to our happiness. If this happens, we may be on the path toward disappointment and disillusionment.

God never promises that seasons of waiting will end with us getting exactly what we want. Not every sickness ends in healing. All conflict does not end in resolution. Every injustice does not end in restitution. Singleness does not always end in marriage. Even when we get what we want, it is never completely satisfying.

There is only one way our waiting is never disappointing. It is when we put our hope in something greater than the mere outcomes of life. God invites us to put our hope in him alone.

The Lord points Habakkuk to his unchanging character and promise (Hab. 2:2-3, 2:14, 2:20). Our waiting ends in hope and joy when we wait on God’s character and promises. Jesus promises to return one day and make everything right. He alone is worthy of our waiting. When we wait with our eyes fixed on Christ as our ultimate treasure and delight, we receive the power to wait patiently during our present struggles in life.