26 September 2011

Waiting and Trusting in God

We live in a hyper fast paced society where no one likes waiting in lines or being told to trust in what we can’t control…

Our culture demands everything right now, from fast food, express check-outs, to 2 minute noodles. Companies spend millions of dollars every year on improving the speed of service so as not to keep the customer waiting more than necessary.

In America, it is standard practice that cars waiting in drive thru at McDonald’s beep their horn if they have waited longer than 20 seconds! Waiting and Trusting in God is therefore not surprisingly difficult for most of us…

Psalm 20:7-8 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

However, God is never in a rush. He is always patient. He doesn’t run on our time table of anxieties and worries. For Him a thousand years is just a day (2 Peter 3:8). For us, time is the greatest testing ground for faith.

Waiting and Trusting in God is an essential part of our Faith. God doesn’t work with ‘microwave blessing’ formulas. He desires for us to wait on Him and in His good timing to come to pass.

1) Trusting – Faith, hope and dependence on His plans and decisions for our life, to those who are weak, helpless or struggling, confidence in God in all our personal matters, reliance.

2) Waiting – to remain, linger, stop and pause ourselves, on His timing and promises to come to pass, expecting deliverance in an appropriate manner.

God desires for us to be patient, because He was patient on us to come to repentance and to live sold out lives for Him. Patience is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Another word for patience in the Bible is longsuffering! But it only feels this way when your eyes are on the blessing and not the blesser.

Faith would never grow if we got everything we wanted straight away. Waiting and Trusting in God is not a curse – but a blessing. Many anxieties and fears would disappear from our lives by simply waiting and trusting in God – the authour and perfecter of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Hebrews 6:12 [Do] not become spiritually dull and indifferent [lazy]. Instead you should follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their Faith and Endurance [patience].

Faith + Patience = Promises of God

For hundreds of years the ancient prophets were earnestly looking for when the Messiah would arrive and set up His Kingdom on earth. But when the right time came, God sent His son into the world… (Galatians 4:4).

Not in mans timing or circumstances, but in His – which are mysterious, best and perfect. Likewise many seek to determine when Christ will return and take us all to Heaven. Again, it will be not in mans timing or circumstances, but in His…

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Human nature hates to wait longer than necessary in life. We want fast results and quick fixes - all the time! So you can understand why we have an especially tough time waiting on God. He just doesn't seem to fit His plans into our rushed, hurried and panicked world.

When we were children, there were moments where we had to wait and trust in our parents timing– often longer than what our selfishness could stand, but hopefully more surprised by the rewards that soon came. God is exactly the same for us today.

Jesus calls us to trust Him and to let go of having to control the outcome of every situation. When we do we will have great contentment and joy, even in challenging circumstances.

To do so requires a certain emotional detachment; a conscious ‘letting go’ of wanting everything to happen our way.

All of the great men in the Bible had to wait on God’s timing for His promises and blessings to come to pass, some agonizingly long. Let’s have a look at a few…

1. David to become King over all Israel – 13 years
2. Joseph’s dream of greatness to come to pass – 13 years
3. Abraham waiting for God’s promise of his first son Isaac – 25 years
4. Jesus first miracle and to start His ministry as the Son of God – 30 years
5. Noah to build an ark and see the world flooded by water – 120 years!!!

Do you see a pattern developing here? God often gives His people a dream and then puts them through a period of waiting. Patience does miracles like no other. It stretches us, stirs us, tests us and proves us.

All of these great men had to learn to trust God. Truth lasts the test of time. The committed crowd sticks around when everyone else has walked away (Acts 2).

It is in the waiting and trusting where your real character is forged. It is in this period of uncertainty that you life takes on a whole new dimension. You learn how to trust God and depend on Him. And you learn what’s important and what’s not important.

Trust is a choice that depends on God, the alternative to worry that depends on self. To choose to trust does not mean we don't care, but that we place our cares in the hands of the One who cares for us most.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up…

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