When God tells us to wait after praying, it is often hard ... especially when it seems like God waits until the last possible second, or too long in our estimation. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” In this short verse, we are given three reasons to wait on the Lord. First, it is a command. The almighty God is to be the Lord and master over your life, so we must wait for His direction and timing. Second, it is a source of courage. Our Father in Heaven does know best, and as we grow in our trust in Him, so does our courage in waiting for a sure answer. Third, to wait is to have your heart strengthened. As with physical strength training (working out), experience in waiting also strengthens our heart (seat of the emotions) and faith in God.
As a human being, we learn best by experience and example. There are many examples in the Bible of people who waited on God, and were blessed for it. Let me give you five.
Abe was to be the father of many nations, specifically the chosen nation of Israel, along with others. Did you know that he lived in paganism for 70 years before God called him? Then, after God called him and his family out of Mesopotamia, he had to wait another 30 years until the son of promise came. You can find Abe’s story in the book of Genesis, starting in chapter 12. He saw the realization of the promise of a home and a family but, as Hebrews tells us, many of the promises God made to him he would not see, except from Heaven.
Moses was born to be a deliverer, God’s promise to Israel for freedom from Egypt. It took 40 years of training for him to accept his heritage as a member of the Israelite nation, then another 40 years of training in humility and leadership before he was ready to lead them to freedom. That is 80 years! Then, to make matters worse, the people of Israel just couldn’t get Egypt and slavery out of their mindsets, so another 40 years of wandering in the desert were necessary before they could enter the land and begin conquering it. Moses made mistakes along the way, but the Bible calls him the meekest man on Earth (a compliment!), a friend of God, and the greatest leader the nation of Israel ever had before King David.
David was chosen by God to be the King of Israel that the nation needed, as opposed to King Saul, who the nation would choose because of his looks and leadership abilities. David was the humble man who kept going back to God for direction and repentance. Yet, from his anointing by the prophet Samuel, David would wait almost 20 years before he would begin reigning as King over all Israel. In the mean-time, he would be tested, chased, and Saul would attempt to murder him out of jealousy. Despite the way King Saul treated him, David was able to remain blameless, and even developed the skills along the way that would enable him to reign well.
Jesus was the Son of God, born to Mary, and adopted by Joseph. He was the promised Messiah, and His mission was to die on the cross, saving people from their sins. Yet, He spent the first 30 years of His life in the obscure village of Nazareth as a lowly carpenter. No preaching. No miracles. No significant impact. We know from Luke’s gospel (chapter two) that Jesus knew His mission from the age of 12. Patiently He grew up under the training of His parents, until God led Him into the desert at the age of 30 to be trained by the Holy Spirit. Then He was ready to do ministry and miracles. Those three years of ministry would have an impact on the world that lasts even to today.
Paul was an apostle, a missionary that would pioneer the work of spreading the gospel to the gentiles of the Roman empire. What most people skip over, or don’t realize, is that after his conversion at Damascus, Paul spent 14 years at home preparing and studying before beginning this impactful ministry that is documented in much of our New Testament Scriptures. He would then have a very fruitful ministry of planting churches and making disciples until his death at the hand of the Romans.
All of these gentlemen had such an impact, that we see them as superheroes of the Bible, yet they are fully human, and made mistakes along the way. Each of them had to wait quite a length of time before the promises from God were fulfilled in their lives. In every case, it was well worth the wait, and their testimony lasts even today.
When you follow their examples, and learn to wait on the Lord, you will gain the blessing of God in your life in multiple ways. You will develop faithfulness, courage, and strength along the way, then the blessing of seeing the fulfillment and answer. We must be convinced that God does indeed know best in every circumstance. It is then that we learn to trust and wait. If you find yourself struggling with that step of trusting, then you need to pray, “Lord, I want to believe. Help my unbelief.” God will then use you as part of His masterpiece. You may even be remembered like Abe, Moses, David, Jesus, and Paul, for the things God has done in and through you.