Sometimes We Should Just Wait on the Lord

By Scott Stephens

One of the hardest things for me to do as a Christian is to wait on God, particularly when the things all around me seem to be out of control. My natural instinct is to “try and fix things.” Sadly, many times my attempts to try and fix things cause the situation to become worse. On top of that, rarely does anything turn out the way that I planned. These are the times when I need to pray, read God’s Word, and wait on the Lord.

My natural, human inclination is to be self-sufficient. 2 Timothy 3: 2-3 describes us in our sinfulness as “lovers of self, proud, arrogant, and ungrateful.” By default, my selfishness and arrogance encourages me to handle life’s problems “my way.” I can even legitimize this with my Christian faith. I convince myself that I should be self-sufficient: “That’s why God gave me a brain right? I’m not supposed to bother Him with the little day-to-day stuff!”   Thank God, because of His mercy and grace, I am able to overcome these tendencies and do exactly the opposite… I can act in a way that glorifies God (Ephesians 4:22-24). With the help of the Holy Spirit, I can be a man who loves others and is both humble and grateful. Furthermore, because the Spirit can empower me with God-honoring characteristics, I can live a life that displays love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Of the Spirit’s fruit, peace, patience, and faithfulness are the characteristics I need the most when I find myself making decisions or acting without God’s help. If I have faithfulness, peace, and patience, I am completely trusting the Lord, understanding that it is because He is sovereign over all things that I can rely on Him to provide me the direction I need. In addition,  I can rely on Him to know and do what’s best for me, and I can rely on Him to bring me through the tough circumstances that happen in my life.  If I have the right perspective, I know that they will make me more like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29).

The Bible explains God’s sovereignty in Colossians 1:16: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Romans 11:33 explains His sovereignty another way: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” God exercises complete rule over all of His creation. By doing so, we can trust that He knows what we are experiencing, and He is working for His glory! (Romans 8:28; Hebrews 4:15).

Proverbs 3:5-6 is clear that we are to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and we are not to lean on our own understanding. In all our ways we are to acknowledge him, and he will make our paths straight.  When I trust God, I have peace in knowing that even if I have to wait, God is working the situation for my good and for His glory. Sometimes, patience is necessary while waiting for God to work. With the help of the Spirit, I am able to know that no matter how long it takes, God’s timing is perfect. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God has made everything beautiful in its time.