Waiting: A Final Thought

We’ve seen that we are to be patient, though all of us struggle with waiting for God to act. We’ve seen that waiting is not passive, but active, but we need not “wrestle God” for His blessings, since He promises to bless us and overflows with grace.

We’ve also seen that instead of conniving for His blessings, and manipulating people to get them, we should, instead, pursue love and mercy and walk humbly with the Lord while we wait. And of course we’ve seen that God often places “interludes” in our lives, times when we must wait, not to frustrate us, but to grow us, and to build our lives on a solid foundation.

What is left to consider? The nature of God Himself. James comforts distressed and persecuted disciples like this (James 5:7-11):

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

There’s far too much here to cover in a tiny article, but notice three things: First, our waiting is before the Lord. That is, He is coming again, He is coming for certain, and He is coming to judge and set things right. Second, our waiting is to mimic the farmer, who knows that reaping is separated from sowing by months of hard work. Third, our waiting is part of God’s will for us, and His intentions are not to harm, but in the end, to bless us out of His mercy and grace.

James sandwiches two key commands within the comfort statements: “Be patient until the coming of the Lord,” and “establish your hearts.” That shows us that our waiting is neither in vain nor an exercise in stoically accepting our fate. Recalling how God vindicated the prophets and restored Job’s fortunes enables us to take comfort in our own suffering and not think that some strange thing is happening to us when God seems to delay in answering our prayer.

Above all, it encourages us to trust our Heavenly Father to do good for us, and shows that this is a conscious choice we must make in our walk with the Lord. We not only can become better at waiting, we can do so confidently and faithfully as we remember His love.

“And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28

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