“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:25-26
As we continue our study on our use of time and how it affects our marriages, this week we look at a topic that is difficult for most of us (including me)—WAITING.
Waiting is something God speaks about many times in His Word. Therefore, He sees it as important. And He knows it is difficult for us. He does not leave us to figure it out on our own or simply to suffer through it. He gives us very specific instructions about how to do it well.
Waiting is Needed
God’s Word tells us that waiting is a necessary part of life.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for wait is “qawa.” It doesn’t mean just to sit around and do nothing until God does something. It means to look for something with eager expectation. It is to live our lives, in whatever we go through, with the patient confidence that God will act in the perfect time and the perfect way. It is to have confidence that whatever happens will be for our good.
To wait has a similar meaning in the New Testament Greek. The word there is “perimeno.” It means to expect, to look for, or anticipate something eagerly and patiently. It indicates persevering and remaining steadfast until an outcome occurs.
Jesus used this word after His resurrection. Acts 1:4-5 says: “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait [perimeno] for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’”
To wait like this is to live like we believe God’s promise in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God calls us to wait on Him to lead us so we He can prepare us to serve Him and others.
We see this in Isaiah 40:27-31: “Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God’? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope [“qawa” = wait] in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
This has certainly been a passage of assurance and hope for Sabra and me as we have grown older and gone through my illness.
Another passage of God’s faithfulness no matter what happens in our lives is Psalm 27:13-14: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Waiting Brings Blessings
God’s Word is clear that we receive blessings when we wait. There are many mentioned in Scripture. Here a just a few…
We read about one such blessing in Psalm 130:3-7: “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”
When we wait on the Lord–put our hope and trust in Him–we find forgiveness. We experience His love and salvation. When we focus on the forgiveness of our sins and salvation God gives us, it gives us confidence to trust Him and wait on Him. When we realize He has brought about this opportunity for forgiveness of our sins and salvation through the death and resurrection of His only Son, we know we can believe Him. And this leads us to live for Him and serve Him.
And when we are forgiven of our sins, we can also forgive others. Ephesians 4:32 says: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” And Colossians 4:13 tells us: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
When we wait on God, we can do as He teaches in Proverbs 20:22: “Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.” We are able to forgive others, to leave any consequences up to the Lord, and move forward in peace to do His work.
We read about a second blessing that comes from waiting on God in Isaiah 30:18: “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” We experience the Lord’s grace and compassion. We can be assured that He will always do the just or right thing. If we run ahead of Him and do things on our own, we are heading down a destructive path.
A third blessing that comes when we wait upon God is found in Lamentations 3:19-26: “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
God will help us in whatever we face in this life when we wait well–as we place our hope and trust in Him.
Jesus promised this in John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Waiting is a part of this life. How we wait makes all the difference. When we wait upon the Lord and place our hope and trust in Him, our lives and marriages will be blessed in more ways than we can imagine.
The blessings listed above are only a few of what we can expect to receive when we choose to wait on God. Search for others in God’s Word using a concordance or online research tool (like BibleGateway.com or BibleStudyTools.com). You’ll be greatly encouraged.
Questions for Discussion
♦ Read this week’s teaching and discuss together what God has taught you through it.
♦ If you are in a waiting period in your lives and marriage, what can you do as you wait? If you are not in a waiting period, what can you do to prepare for the time of waiting that will certainly come?
♦ Which of the promises mentioned in the teaching relate most to you right now? Discuss together how God is using them to help you.
♦ Do what we suggest at the end of this post and look for other promises in God’s Word that come from waiting on God. Discuss how they relate to your lives and marriage.
♦ Pray together and ask God to help you wait upon Him. Pray about specific ways you may need His guidance in doing this right now.
Next week we will see what God’s Word tells us about how to wait on Him.
Until then, may God bless you in all His wonderful ways,