Few people actually enjoy waiting—and those that do even have their limits—yet, waiting is an important biblical principle.
So why exactly is waiting so important? Why do Believers need to be adept at waiting on the Lord?
Join us as we explore this biblical principle!
What Does It Mean to Wait?
The question, “What does it mean to wait?” is not something people generally ask. After all, the answer is obvious. Right? However, does our idea of waiting, God’s Word, and the reality of waiting match up? Do we truly understand what it means to wait?
For many of us, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we would consider waiting to be a period of time that is still. In which very little of anything happens. In which stillness and inactivity are the foundation. But while waiting CAN at times be a quiet period of time, there is always purpose in the waiting. There is always newness.
The periods of waiting in which nothing seems to happen, frequently bring restoration, rest, healing, a shifting of ourselves, others, surroundings, or situations. They are times where we can often draw near to God in new ways. They can even be periods of learning. Yet, as we have noted, waiting is not always quiet or apparently inactive. There are seasons where the waiting is loud; where it does not drag on but instead, speed by. Where we are perhaps even tempted by all of the options laid before us that do not align with what we are called to be waiting for.
The world today generally views waiting by these terms:
- delay; pause; postpone; detainment; detention; put off; etc.
Yet, waiting can equally mean:
- expect; expectation; anticipate; await; readiness; look forward; to be available; to be ready; hold on; abide; stay; etc.
The first grouping above, while not always inaccurate, can certainly grow a negative view of waiting. Because it often means that our own desires and wants are put to the side.
Few of us want to set aside our own wants, even if it is just for a season. And in a world where everything happens so quickly; where we can want a thing and get it almost instantly… it can cause waiting to seem even harder.
However, just like everything else, seasons of waiting come. It may not be what we want, and we may feel like fighting the God-sent times of waiting, but waiting is not always as bad as we make it out to be—as it may feel at the time. Because waiting on the Lord can also be tied to many good things.
It is not only a way in which we can be obedient to God and walk in patience or longsuffering—which is a Fruit of the Spirit—but waiting is also a means in which transition can take place. This is why we need to realize that, yes, while waiting can be viewed in a negative way, it should often be seen as good.
It may be a period of waiting—of a pause—but it is also a time of anticipation, where we prepare for the season that is at the other side of our waiting. It is not ignoring or devaluing the waiting, but instead accepting that it is a form of preparation, no matter if it is a quiet season or not. No matter if that preparation is physical, spiritual, or often, both.
What God Says About Waiting
God’s Word says over and over again to wait on the Lord. It is a choice in many respects. And quite important.
Waiting on the Lord is a way in which we can honor God, worship and thank Him…
Waiting on the Lord can also protect and prepare us, growing our faith and relationship with God…
Waiting on the Lord; being willing to wait as long as the Lord desires yet also being ready for the season to follow… it is powerful!
So how is waiting shown to us in the Word? What does the Scripture say about waiting?
Here are ten scriptures that speak about the need to wait on the Lord:
- “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…”—Psalm 37:7
- “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!”—Psalm 27:14
- “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.”—Psalm 25:21
- “My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning—yes, more than those who watch for the morning.”—Psalm 130:6
- “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”—Psalm 40:1-3
- “Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.”—Psalm 62:1-2, 5
- “Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for You; the desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You. With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”—Isaiah 26:8-9
- “Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil’; wait for the Lord, and He will save you.”—Proverbs 20:22
- “But those who wait on 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 40:31
- “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”—Lamentations 3:22-26 (NIV)
God is good. And when we wait on Him, we know that He will respond…
Remember when Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the impartation of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 24:45-49 & Acts 1:1-5). All of the disciples and many other followers of Messiah chose to wait as Yeshua had said. They waited together, in one place, and in one accord. And God provided the gift of His Spirit within them (see Acts 2:1-4).
Waiting, when in God’s timing rather than our own, leads to incredible things. It requires patience. And it is a choice. But waiting on the Lord. Waiting in His perfect season. That is special. That is obedience and honor and worship. That is character building.