Why is waiting on God so difficult?Question: "Why is waiting on God so difficult?"
Answer: Waiting on God is not only difficult; sometimes it seems impossible. We want things to happen in our own timing, according to our plans. But God doesn’t operate on our schedules, and expecting that He will is when disappointments come. God has a greater perspective of life’s events, and His perspective, plans, and schedules are perfect and holy, because He is perfect and holy. The Psalmist tells us “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever His timing—is also perfect. When we come to grasp that fact, waiting on God is not only made less difficult, it actually becomes joyful.
The promises of God are clear on this matter—if we wait on God, He will renew our strength (Isaiah 40:31). But we are human and we live in a culture that demands everything now or even yesterday. That’s why waiting on God is difficult. Sometimes, the prayers we lift up to the Lord of Hosts are answered immediately, and that encourages us to further trust and confidence. However, sometimes over a period of time, the Lord tests our faith, and that’s when we can really struggle. That is when things can get hard and that is when we wonder whether the Lord is really listening to our prayer, whether it is for a son or daughter to come to faith or guidance on the right type of job or even regarding a God-honoring relationship.
The apostle Paul exhorts the church at Philippi to not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6). The King James Version translates it that we are to be “careful for nothing.” This means we are not to be full of care over anything and mindful of nothing that might cause concern. Anxiousness in the believer suggests a lack of faith and that grieves God, not only because He doesn’t want us to be anxious for anything, but also because He knows our anxieties stem from an incomplete understanding of who He is.
The most important aspect of God’s nature and character and the one attribute that will enable us to patiently wait on Him in complete confidence is His sovereignty. God’s sovereignty is defined as His complete and total independent control over every creature, event, and circumstance at every moment in history. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent, God does what He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases, and nothing can stay His hand: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:10). Once we grasp this understanding, waiting for our perfect God to work and act in His perfect time not only enables us to wait patiently, but it also allows us to wait confidently.
Recommended Resources: Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
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Questions about the Christian Life
Why is waiting on God so difficult?