Faith is waiting in knowledge. Proclaim your testimony to the glory of God.

We spend a lot of our time waiting. Waiting in line. Waiting for news. Waiting for a response. Waiting for a promotion. Waiting for the next season of life. God is at work in our waiting. We might not see any changes in these times of waiting, particularly through times of difficulty and periods of personal growth, but there is a plan and purpose in all of it.

God can see things that need to be ironed out in our hearts and our lives that would only remain creased and messy if it wasn’t for the refining times of waiting. To encourage those who may be waiting, whether through a long, drawn-out process in their personal life or a line in a grocery store, here are seven examples in the Bible where waiting turned out to be worth it. 

1. Abraham – Waiting for a Promise to Be Fulfilled

“Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised” (Hebrews 6:15).

Abraham was promised an heir through his wife Sarah despite her old age. This period of waiting lasted 25 years. Sarah did eventually give birth to Isaac “and The Lord did to Sarah as he had promised” (Genesis 21:1). Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness; he trusted in God to keep the promise that his offspring would be numerous like the stars in the sky and sand on the seashore (Genesis 22:17). 

He willingly obeyed and trusted God by giving his son Isaac as a sacrifice, believing that God would raise Isaac back to life (Hebrews 11:17-19) and that God would uphold His promise. This offering of Abraham’s son pointed forward to God’s plans and purposes through Jesus, who would offer Himself as a sacrifice so that nations throughout the world would be blessed. Isaac was saved. Jesus, God’s only Son, would be the sacrifice at the appointed time. 

2. Joseph – Waiting in Prison for a Purpose

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).

Joseph was his father’s favorite son, which caused his brothers to hate him. He also had dreams which showed him ruling over his family one day which furthered his brothers disdain of him. They wanted to kill him, but instead staged his death and sold him into slavery. 

After being sold into slavery by his brothers and then thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit, Joseph made use of every opportunity that came his way. He interpreted the dreams of fellow prisoners, including one who served as cupbearer to Pharaoh. The interpretation Joseph made of his dream was that the cupbearer would be released from prison. Joseph asked him to remember him and show kindness by mentioning him to Pharaoh to get him out of prison too (Genesis 40:12-15). However, the cupbearer forgot about Joseph after his release. Two years passed before Pharaoh needed his own dream interpreted and the cupbearer then remembered that Joseph interpreted dreams. 

Eventually Pharaoh made Joseph the second-in-command in all of Egypt. From prison to power, Joseph was placed strategically by God to prepare the land against a famine. His position in Egypt fulfilled the dream he had that he would rule over his family as they came to Egypt for food during the famine. In the years of Joseph waiting in prison, he trusted in God and the Lord blessed him and saved many lives through him. 

3. Moses, Caleb and Joshua – Waiting in the Wilderness in the Hope of God’s Promise

“Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins” (Numbers 14:34).

Moses had the responsibility of leading God’s people out of Egypt where they had been oppressed by the Egyptians. He was tasked to bring them to the land that God had promised them. However, after ten of the twelve spies that scouted out the promised land said that they would not be able to take it (Numbers 13:28), all of the Israelites ended up on a 40-year detour in the wilderness because of their lack of faith in God. The Israelites grumbled, wept and rebelled, longing for their previous life of slavery rather than trusting Moses to lead them out of the wilderness. They also chose not to listen to the two other spies, Caleb and Joshua, when they said that they could take the promised land (Numbers 13:30). 

The miracles that the Lord had done amongst them seemed to be a distant memory. God wanted to destroy the Israelites for their continued contempt of Him (Numbers 14:11-12). However, Moses interceded for the people and turned the wrath of God away. The Israelites did eventually cross into the promised land after the unbelieving generation that doubted God had died, although Moses would not enter it due to his disobedience (Numbers 20:10-12). They were led by Caleb and Joshua who remained loyal to God.

In times of waiting, there may be temptations to not trust that God will do what He has promised. We may want to listen to the many voices around us which cause us to doubt God and instill fear in us, which is not from God (2 Timothy 1:7). May our attitudes be like Caleb and Joshua who did not rebel against the Lord, nor place their trust in man, but remained loyal to God knowing He was with them (Numbers 14:8-9). 

4. Job – Waiting Through Suffering

“You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of The Lord, how The Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11).

When it comes to understanding suffering, we can look to Job who was afflicted in horrendous ways, yet still trusted in God. Job lost his children, his wealth and his health. We never really come to a conclusion as to why Job had to endure so much, and perhaps we can relate to his suffering story in our own lives or the lives of others. Waiting through suffering is hard, yet Job is someone we can look to as he believed and trusted in God through it all. Job was honest in his affliction, but he would not stop trusting in God, even when his wife said, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). 

It is our human response to cry out for answers. Job’s wife saw all that her husband endured, as well as losing her children. Yet, Job remained faithful to God despite the unhelpful comments made by both family and friends. God blessed Job abundantly after his time of struggle, doubling what he had before. Today, we can know God’s blessing through Jesus Christ who suffered and died in our place, paying the price our sin deserves, so that we may have eternal life and relationship with God. Both Job and Jesus exemplify how to endure suffering with a firm trust in God.

5. David – Waiting to Be king at the Appointed Time

“I waited patiently for The LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).

Saul was made the first king of Israel, however he rebelled against God and God rejected him as king (1 Samuel 15:1-10). At the time God spoke through his prophet Samuel. It was revealed to Samuel that God’s anointed king was David (1 Samuel 16:12-13). However, David was not made king for some time. But he became prominent in Israel and Saul became envious, and so set out to destroy him. 

Despite being relentlessly pursued by Saul, David was faithful to God and waited to be made king. On one occasion, David had the opportunity to kill Saul when he was unaware that David was there. However, David honored Saul as God’s appointed king and spared his life (1 Samuel 24). After this encounter, Saul made another attempt to kill David, and David had the opportunity to kill Saul again, but once again he spared his life (1 Samuel 26). 

David did ascend to the throne in time, but had to overcome many obstacles before the promise was realized. God granted David a lot of success and favor with his people when he was king. There is a time for everything and every matter under Heaven  (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Waiting can be for a short or long season, but God remains the King of Kings and Lord of Lords through it all (1 Timothy 6:15).

6. Daniel – Waiting for Breakthrough in Prayer

“So I turned to The Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes” (Daniel 9:3).

Daniel’s persistence in fasting and prayer is an important example of faith and trust in God. In Daniel 9 we read Daniel’s honest prayer before God. Further on, in Daniel 10:12, an angel of the Lord came to him and said “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” 

Daniel’s prayers reached God from the very first day. This is an encouragement to continue and persist in our conversations with The Lord for He hears the prayers of the righteous (Psalm 34:17). When it is hard to pray in the waiting, we are wise to remember the words of Oswald Chambers: “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”

7. Jesus – Waiting to Begin His Ministry

“…the heavens were opened, and The Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from Heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.’ Jesus, when He began His ministry, was about thirty years of age…” (Luke 3:21-23).

The public ministry of Jesus did not begin until he was 30 years old. The following three years of his life were filled by living alongside His disciples to prepare them for when He would no longer be with them. It was a time of going from place to place, fulfilling prophecies that were made about Him and for telling people to repent and believe for God’s kingdom had come near (Mark 1:15). 

Jesus entered our world over 2,000 years ago to take the sins of the world upon Himself. He brought good news to a world that needed and continues to need hope and reconciliation in relationship to God. God the Father knows the appointed time for all things, including when Jesus will return. Will we make the best use of our time, including in times of waiting? We do not know when Jesus will return or when our lives on earth will come to an end, but we do have an everlasting hope found in Jesus. Let’s make our waiting worth it and trust Him in all things and at all times. He is faithful and keeps His promises. 

“…With The Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9).

Published by Fellowship of Praise: ALL praise to God our Reason, Hallelujah!!!

To God be The glory. Let us praise God together for His ALL in our lives, Amen.

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