Question: "How can I know what Godís timing is?"
Answer: The first thing we need to understand about Godís timing is that it is perfect, just as all of Godís ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30; Galatians 4:4). Godís timing is never early, and itís never been late. In fact, from before our birth until the moment we take our last earthly breath, our sovereign God is accomplishing His divine purposes in our lifetimes. He is in complete control of everything and everyone from everlasting to everlasting. No event in history has put so much as a wrinkle in the timing of Godís eternal plan, which He designed before the foundation of the world.
One would think, then, that by understanding the sovereignty of our Creator, patience and waiting would come a little more easily. Unfortunately, however, thatís not always the case. Our human nature can make waiting for Godís perfect timing a difficult thing to do. In fact, in the hustle and bustle of our frenzied lives, we often find it difficult to wait for anything or anyone. We want what we want now. And with our modern technological advances, weíre often able to get what we want now. As a result, we are not only losing our patience, but also finding it increasingly difficult to discern Godís timing.
Patience is a spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22), and Scripture makes it clear that God is pleased with us when we display this virtue: ďBe still before the LORD and wait patiently for HimĒ (Psalm 37:7), for God is good to those who wait for Him (Lamentations 3:25). And our patience often reveals the degree of trust we have in Godís timing. We must remember that God operates according to His perfect and foreordained eternal schedule, not ours. We should take great comfort in knowing that, when we wait on the LORD, we receive divine energy and strength: ďBut 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 faintĒ (Isaiah 40:31). The psalmist reiterates: ďWait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!Ē (Psalm 27:14).
Another key to understanding Godís timing is trust. In fact, our ability to wait on the Lord is largely related to how much we trust Him. When we trust in God with all of our heart, forgoing reliance on our own, often erroneous understanding of circumstances, He will indeed give us direction (Proverbs 3:5-6). ďThe LORDís unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts HimĒ (Psalm 32:10). To fully trust God, however, we need to know God. And the best way to know Him is through His Word. Godís divine energy is released in our lives through His inspired Word (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The work of Godís Word includes saving (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23), teaching and training (2 Timothy 3:16-17), guiding (Psalm 119:105), protecting (Psalm 119:11), strengthening (Psalm 119:28), and making us wise (Psalm 119:97-100). If we study and meditate on His Word daily, His timing will also become clear to us.
When we question Godís timing, it is often because we are looking for guidance or deliverance from a difficult situation. We can rest assured, however, that our heavenly Father knows exactly where we are in our lives at every moment. He either put us there or is allowing us to be there, all for His own perfect purpose. In fact, God often uses trials to strengthen our patience, allowing our Christian faith to mature and become complete (James 1:3-4). And we know that all things Ė including these difficult trials Ė work out for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). God does indeed hear the cries of His children and will answer those cries according to His perfect will and timing. ďA righteous man may have many troubles; the LORD delivers him from them allĒ (Psalm 34:19). The plans God has for His children are good plans Ė to help us, not hurt us (Jeremiah 29:11).