How Should We Wait?


“We want what we want right now. Yet the Word of God insists that we learn some of life’s greatest lessons while we wait. Waiting rooms can be hard classrooms, but God promises vast rewards to those who wait for Him. God plans to use the long pauses in our lives for our blessing . . . if we let Him.”[1] Dr. Charles F. Stanley

Waiting can be a gruesome experience. Whether waiting for your next child, or the results of a biopsy, waiting is frustrating and stressful. When our first child, Jennifer, was born, the hospital did not allow the father to be in the delivery room. I was set outside the maternity ward in a small waiting room, in the middle of the night. There was a TV playing an old black and white movie, but I didn’t care to watch it. I just paced and thought of Pam and our new child. Suddenly, after what seemed like hours, the double doors of the ward burst open, and the doctor gave me the news. My waiting (and Pam’s labor) were not in vain. God gave us a beautiful daughter.

Five years later, when our son Zachary was born, things were different. Yes, we had to wait through false and actual labor, but hospital rules had changed, and I was involved as a coach and interested dad.

I admit it; I’m not a patient person. Red lights often drive me crazy. I hate to wait for the green light. I have a difficult time waiting for anything, BUT God has, along the way, taught me some lessons on how we should wait. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Patiently. Psalm 37:7[2] says, “Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.” Here the psalmist is teaching us the blessedness of absolute trust in God. How many silly things do we fret over? We need to realize that even for significant times, instead of fretting, trust God. We can stand firmly in the place of trusting God. We can do all we can do, then stand in trust and confidence.

Quietly.  Psalm 62: 1,5 says, “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.” Andrew Murray wrote, “If but thine ear be open, and thy thoughts brought into subjection, and thine heart prepared in silence to wait upon God, and to hear what He speaks, He will reveal to thee His secrets.[3] What does it take to hear God? Silence. Waiting give us time to hear God and what He wants from us, instead of always telling Him what we want.

Trusting. David wrote in Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower.” Deliver is a critical word in this song. It carries with it the meanings of “drawing out of danger, snatching, taking away, allowing to escape. David trusted God despite his circumstances (He lived as a fugitive for many years before becoming King of Israel). He confidently knew God, and as a result, completely trusted Him for deliverance.

Expectantly. Once again, we read David’s words. This time they are found in Psalm 27:14, “Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.” While we are waiting, we need to be expecting God to be working. Do you have an aggressive expectation in your life? You can’t help yourself if you are assuming bad things or nothing. When we’re waiting, we need to expect and hope in God and His promises. Waiting is not passive. We may not be doing anything in the natural, but in the spiritual, we must believe something amazing will happen at any moment that only God can do.

Steadfastly. After recognizing and repenting from his sin with Bathsheba, many believe David wrote Psalm 51. He wrote in verse ten, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.” The word “steadfast” is kûn in Hebrew. It means to make firm or establish. It implies standing fixed in an upright position. What I’ve learned is that I need to stand while I wait—firm, upright, and fixed on God’s promises.

Standing on God’s Word. Psalm 130:5 says, “I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word do I hope.” Repeatedly in my life, I’ve seen God’s Word to be trustworthy. I’ve discovered that when God speaks through His word, He doesn’t stutter. I’ve found God’s mercy, grace, peace, and love in His Word. I didn’t find those qualities in many other people, my feelings, the circumstances, or my pathetic ways of trying to figure out the solution. “To know the truth of God’s Word extends beyond knowing what the Bible has to say. It goes beyond knowing Bible stories, Bible commandments, or the words of Jesus. To know the truth means to know the meaning of the Scriptures and to be able to make application of them to daily circumstances, situations, and relationships.”[4]

Most people don’t like waiting. But, in the waiting, we can find a deep sense of God’s presence. We can find new pathways in which His gentle hand directs us. We can find peace even when it seems that red light will never turn green.

How do you find God on waiting? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Wayne Hastings is the author of several books, including 7 Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them, 7 Tips to Market and Sell Your Books, and his devotional, The Way Back From Loss.


[1] Dr. Charles F. Stanley, The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2009), 866.

[2] All Scripture references are from The Amplified Bible © The Lockman Foundation, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987

[3] Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ: Thoughts on the Blessed Life of Fellowship with the Son of God (Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1895), 139.

[4] Charles F. Stanley, Pursuing a Deeper Faith (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), 15.


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

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