When you read from the Prophets and Psalms, you may be struck with how much of them come from a posture of waiting.
Throughout the Psalms, King David says things to God, like, “I’m in a pit. My enemies have overwhelmed me. My friends have betrayed me. Darkness is my only friend. God, why do you feel so far from me?”
Before God brought his people out of Egypt, Israel waited in slavery for 400 years. That’s 10 generations—twice as long as the U.S. has been in existence. God had Israel wait again for 400 years between the last prophet of the Old Testament and the birth of Jesus—400 years of “God, where are you?” met with silence. Isaiah described that time as “sitting in darkness.”
Here’s a truth you don’t want to hear but really need to hear: Waiting on God is a normal part of the Christian life. The prophet Jeremiah, who spent many years unjustly imprisoned in a dungeon, said it this way: “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (Lamentations 3:26 ESV).
There are lessons you learn in a time of waiting that you can’t learn any other way. And, thankfully, the Bible doesn’t leave us without instruction about how we should spend our times of waiting.
Every one of the commands in 1 Peter 5:6–10 points to what to do when we’re in a situation of uncomfortable waiting. Verse 6 says to humble ourselves before God—in other words, don’t try to get ahead of him. Verse 7 commands us to cast our cares on him while we wait. If we knew help was right around the corner, we might just hang onto the burden. But if it’s going to be a while, we need to let God carry the load. Verse 6 also says that at the proper time—God’s proper time, not ours—he will exalt us. And after we have suffered “a little while” (verse 10), he’ll restore and establish us.
And here’s the good news: No one who has waited on God has ever been let down. God will always come through.
Where Are You Waiting on the Goodness of God?
Maybe you’ve been praying unceasingly as you wait on your child to come back to God. Maybe you are being treated unfairly by your spouse or slandered at work and can’t get justice. Maybe you’re under financial duress, or you really need guidance and support in your circumstances. Or maybe you’re just tired of carrying the weight of fear that comes with a pandemic.
God’s word to you? “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him. He will exalt, restore, establish, strengthen, and support you. Whether now or in eternity, God’s goodness is your guarantee.
Jesus was not resurrected in the body on earth so that we, his followers, could manage a slow retreat and make it to heaven by the skin of our teeth. He overcame the powers of death on earth, so we should be convinced we will look upon some of the outworkings of God’s goodness in the land of the living (cf. Psalm 27:13).
Can you wait in expectation and trust that God is working for you?
J. D. Greear