Waiting on the Lord

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:4

We know that God has promised to give us the desire of our hearts, but the question we really want answered is “When?”

When will God give me someone to love for a lifetime? When will he break through the chains of my addiction? When will God provide that dream job? When will God bless us with a baby of our own? When will he heal me, or my child or my spouse? When, Lord, WHEN?

While time spent waiting on the Lord is not easy, neither is it wasted. When we spend time in God’s waiting room, we can be confident that he is using that time to develop in us Christlike character. We become grace givers only after we have failed miserably and received grace ourselves. We develop self-control only after we have felt the painful consequences of our unrestrained behavior. We learn to depend on God after all the earthly things we depend on – our jobs, money, house, health, marriage, family and friendships – have been stripped away and He alone remains.

As we wait on the Lord, we discover the peace that comes when we surrender, stop striving, and find refuge in the shadow of his wings. It is when we arrive at this place of rest that the desires of our heart begin to mirror those closest to the heart of God. While we wait, according to Psalms, we should:

  1. Delight in the Lord. As long as we keep expecting the temporary trappings of this world to make us happy – other people, relationships, careers, houses, cars, toys, money, vacations, food and drink – we will always be disappointed and never fulfilled. If instead we choose to rejoice or delight in the eternal things of God, our desires will begin to parallel His and we will be content.
  2. Be strong. The Bible tells us repeatedly to be strong and courageous. On our own, we cannot consistently do that. But with the power of the Holy Spirit and Christ alive in us, we can be strong and fearless. When we are weak, then we are strong because we are no longer relying on our inadequate selves, but on the God of the universe.
  3. Take heart. To “take heart” means to be encouraged, have hope, be bold and confident, and cheer up! Whether we choose to take heart or lose heart is our decision. Choose wisely; choose joy!
  4. Be still. God wants us to know that he does not need our help to accomplish his purposes. He only asks for our cooperation. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. When we choose to be still and simply trust him, we get out of God’s way and allow him to work on our behalf.
  5. Be patient. God is patient with us and wants us to be patient while we wait on him, too. “The Lord…is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. Patience is not the product of our decision to try harder to be patient, but is instead produced in us by the Holy Spirit as we walk in step with him. “The fruit of the Spirit is…patience.” Galatians 5:22. Only God knows how long our wait will be, but we can trust him to work in us for His good purposes and in his perfect timing. When He gives us the desire of our hearts, we will be stronger, wiser and ready to face with an unshakeable faith whatever life brings.
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