Robert D Pace
Blessings of Waiting on the Lord
I want to start by sharing some good news about “waiting on God.” That’s because the process of waiting does not seem inviting and enjoyable. When God gives us the opportunity to wait on him, we can find ourselves being frustrated about it. But this is not what the Bible implies about waiting on the Lord. Lamentations 3:26 says: “it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”
That seems like an almost impossible request that the Bible sets before us. Waiting on God doesn’t seem easy or enjoyable! So how do we undertake this seemingly impossible venture to wait on the Lord? That’s what I want to talk about.
I want to begin by illustrating several aspects of life that we enjoy waiting for:
1. Ladies, most have experienced the nine-month waiting process of gestation. And what did you do during that time? You prepared! You made a special room for the child. You bought bottles, outfits, and so forth. It was an enjoyable experience. (Abraham’s wife, Sarah, laughed when she heard the angel tell Abraham she would deliver a child.)
2. What about how we prepare for family and friends coming to visit us? Think about the waiting process: You cleaned your house; you planned meals you would serve; you prepared a special guest room; and as the arrival day neared, your excitement built about reuniting with loved ones. It was a thrilling experience!
3. Young people know the experience of anticipating graduation.
4. Do you recall the waiting process of purchasing your first car or house?
Now let’s apply this to how we anticipate a promise from God coming to pass. When the Bible says, “Wait on the Lord” do we get that same excitement? I sense that I speak for everyone, including me, that we must reluctantly confess no, we haven’t embraced that same excitement in waiting on God.
So, I want to share the “up” side to waiting on God. That’s because the Bible associates some blessings to it that we might have overlooked:
First, I want everyone here to repeat this phrase with me: “Wait on the Lord” (2xs). Now, let’s pause for a moment and I want everyone to contemplate the exact meaning of that phrase, wait on the Lord. (Pause) What do you hear the Holy Spirit saying in that sentence? (Answer) To “wait on the Lord” means he plans on showing up! he is coming your way! his promise will be delivered!
Imagine what it would mean if you never had the opportunity to wait for God to show up! Your life would unfold without any hope of God’s goodness affecting you.
The second blessing associated with “waiting on the Lord” is this: when the clock strikes “now” for you, God will arrive with his promise in-hand. Regardless of what God has promised you, the day will surely come when he makes good on that promise!
God must uphold his “word” to you! That’s because his integrity is at stake. Remember what Jesus said about himself in John 14:6. “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus claimed that he is
“truth.” And he, that cannot lie, will not let his “word” fail you!
Now it makes sense why the Bible instructs Christians to “wait upon the Lord.” There’s blessing attached to the process:
Micah 7:7 says, “Blessed are all they that wait for him.”
And Isaiah 25:9 says, “we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (25:9).
Here’s what all this means to me personally: I want to always have something that I’m waiting on God to do. And this is in compliance with what Hosea 12:6 says: “wait for your God always.” There’s blessing awaiting us when we get to wait on God!
In 1 Chronicles 14, the Philistines attacked David. David paused, prayed, and asked for God’s direction. The Lord told David to charge straight ahead and counterattack. When David obeyed, he won a great victory. But days later, the Philistines attacked again. Fortunately, David paused, and again inquired for God’s direction. This time the Lord put David “on hold” and instructed him to wait until he heard the sound of the Lord’s marching in the tops of the balsam trees. This was more than the wind rustling the tree leaves. This was likely the angelic army that God allowed David to hear as it marched toward the enemy atop the trees. And once again, God gave David a great victory!
Do you see the value of waiting on God? The Lord has us wait because he’s lining up his troops to give us assistance! He’s arranging things for our good.
Spiritual Activities while Waiting on God
While “waiting on the Lord” involves patience, it also involves energetic, spiritual activity. God never permits us to bring our Christian life to a screeching halt. There are numerous spiritual activities that waiting on God includes:
Persevere/Continue your Walk
Hope in God’s Word (We couldn’t wait or hope without having a word from God.)
Rest in Christ/Don’t Worry
Taking time to silently listen to the Spirit’s voice.
(Transition) So where can we find Scriptural examples of those that waited upon the Lord?
Biblical Examples of Waiting on God:
1. Abraham and Sarah impatiently waited for Isaac (GEN 16:1-2).
2. Noah waited for the floodwaters to subside.
3. Saul refused to wait for Samuel to offer the sacrifice (1 Samuel 13).
4. David patiently waited about twenty-five years before ascending the throne.
(Question) Why did God call David at a young age and then make him wait years before enthroning him? Why not call David one day and then enthrone him shortly thereafter? Further, why did David have to serve under the prideful and rebellious King Saul? And why did he have to move from place to place and flee for his life? But God has a purpose for everything he does. In all this, David learned many lessons. He learned how to associate with lowly, burdened people; he learned how to depend on God; he learned how to trust God in perilous times; and David learned how to submit to authority.
5. Jesus patiently waited before launching his public ministry.
6. Jesus waited four days before entering Bethany when he heard Lazarus fell sick. (I hear God saying: “I’ll raise you up! I won’t be late; I’ll raise you up!”)
7. All believers are commanded to await Christ’s Return.
8. The disciples patiently waited for the descent of the Holy Spirit after Christ’s ascension. Notice how the disciples waited on the Holy Spirit:
a. They prayed. Acts 1:14 says: “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.”
b. They studied the Scriptures (Acts 1:16–20)
c. They worked on church business (Acts 1:21–26).
Blessings of Waiting on God
Isaiah 40:29, 31 says: “Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength” “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength . . . They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 8:17 says: “this is our God; we have waited for Him, and he will save us.”
Psalm 37:6 says: “He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”
Psalm 27:14 promises that waiting on God strengthens our heart.
Psalm 37:34 promises that “He will exalt you to inherit the land.”
Psalm 106:13 and 119:81 show that times of waiting on God allows time for him to teach us his Word and counsel us.
Isaiah 25:9 and Psalm 20:22 promise that seasons of waiting can allow God to save us.
Waiting on God is not punishment! But it is his way of:
Developing us (In faith, trust, etc. Abraham and Sarah waiting for Isaac (Genesis 16:1-2))
Proving us (Samuel told Saul to wait seven days for him to offer the sacrifice. (1 Samuel 13))
Approving us (David waited twenty-five years before being king of Israel.)
Fellowshipping and getting acquainting us with Him
Sovereignly working in our behalf (Isaiah 64:1-4)