Nobody likes to wait. It’s frustrating. It feels cold. And it’s easy to let a seeming delay mess with your faith.
God sees time differently than we do. When He promises something, He will fulfill it – on His timetable. I believe God understands our frustration perfectly well. But somehow He never lets that interfere with His plans.
“Then why does He promise me something and make me wait? That’s even more painful than if He had not promised me anything at all!”
Perhaps Abraham felt that way when God promised him a son, and he had to wait 25 years before Isaac was born. (Genesis 15:5-6, 21:1-2) Perhaps David felt that way when God anointed him king, but it was about 17 years in coming. (1 Samuel 16:13, 2 Samuel 5:3-4) Perhaps the children of Israel felt that way in Egypt – for 400 years! (Genesis 15:18, Exodus 12:40)
Why does God promise us things, and then make us wait? And more importantly, what are we supposed to do while waiting?
I especially like the story of David in thinking about that question. David didn’t only get older during those years between the time Samuel anointed him and when he was crowned king of Israel. It was during those waiting years that he BECAME a king. It was the running from Saul, the writing of Psalms, the learning to lead his band of followers, and the trusting in God that made David what he was.
God does not promise us things so that we can sit back and wait. God promises us things to give us the faith and motivation necessary to develop into someone who can receive that promise! Tweet that.
We may not always know exactly what kind of growth we need. That’s why God will make Himself responsible for our “education” if we let Him. But it does require our cooperation.
If God has promised you something in your soul and you’re still waiting, here’s what to do in the meantime.
- Keep on believing. Your understanding of God’s promise may mature, but don’t let time break your faith. If God said it, He will do it. (Galatians 6:9)
- Learn all you can. If God promised you a spouse, study what makes good marriages work. If He promised you a position of influence, expand your knowledge and experience with people. If He promised you material blessings, read about money – and other successful people. If He promised you healing, find out everything you can about your illness and getting well.
- Practice your skills. From the previous point, put what you learn into practice in every way you can. Change your eating patterns. Start writing, even if only 3 people read it. Practice people skills with those you DO have around you. I assure you none of your “practice” will be wasted! Start doing the things you would do if you had God’s promise right now.
- Develop your character. “Sudden” success has brought so many people to ruin when their character hasn’t been deep enough to withstand the “bigness” of their position or fame. Live in the sunlight – and the Sonlight. Practice doing everything as if everyone was watching. Most importantly, Somebody is! If you need help with your character, work it out with God NOW!
During the waiting period you BECOME what God needs you to be – the strong and loving husband, the princess of a wife, the writer, the philanthropist, the minister, or whatever He has promised you. When God’s full promise is realized you will only do more of what you are already doing now.
Remember, God promises you things to give you the faith and the motivation to develop into the kind of person who can receive that promise.
God’s never late. But He’s also almost never early. And while you’re “waiting,” invest in your learning, your skills, and your character. You’ll need them!
Come to think of it, is it really waiting? Or does it just seem that way while we’re cooperating with God to become who He needs us to be?
Your Turn: How have you been spending your time while waiting for something God has promised you? Leave a comment below.
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- Waiting for something God promised you? Here are 4 things to do while waiting. Tweet that.
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