By Brooke Holt
“Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and he will provide for you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly.” Psalm 37:4-5, (The Passion Translation)
Let me ask you a pointed question: Do you wait well? Think about it for a moment. Do you get antsy when every grocery line is occupied, when you encounter a huge back up on the interstate, when the doctor says that your test results won’t arrive for two weeks, when you are awaiting a job offer, or for the house to sell?
Most often, I do not wait well. I am eager to check out at the grocery, clear the traffic jam, have my results, the offers, etc. I don’t know anyone who likes to wait. Why is that? Because waiting reminds us that we are not in control of our lives despite our best efforts. Waiting is humbling and even exasperating at times.
Yet, God continually calls his people to wait on him. The Israelites waited for over four hundred years to be released from the bondage of Egypt; God’s people waited thousands of years for him to send the Messiah; and now, two thousand plus years later, we still wait on Jesus’ return. Waiting is part of God’s plan, and I don’t think he wants us to miss the opportunities and growth found in the waiting.
If it’s true that divine opportunity and growth are developed in the waiting, the question becomes -- will we learn to wait well? Thankfully, God’s Word is full of encouragement for God’s people, and patience is a fruit of the Spirit, so we can assume that even the most impatient of us can learn to wait on the Lord with joy, peace, and expectation.
In Psalm 37, King David provides godly instruction on how to wait well. He is considering the ways of the wicked and the short-term success they seem to enjoy. In observing, David reminds himself and his readers that God is not primarily interested in the short term. God sees the whole picture. He understands the reason for the wait, and he knows the outcome. In fact, the Lord has a plan for the whole process! In this Psalm, King David provides insight for times of waiting: make God the first love and priority of your life; yield your life and your will entirely to the Lord; and trust the Lord to guide, provide, and bring his plan to fruition.
What is your greatest joy in this life? What are your greatest hopes, dreams, and desires? Your answer to those questions reflects your greatest love. The Lord has blessed us with many things to enjoy in this world, but those are never to become our main thing. Moses instructs the nation of Israel on the greatest commandment: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). Often in times of waiting, the divine invitation is to learn to love God above everything else.
Beyond learning to love God above all else is the opportunity to learn the practice of surrender. If waiting has stripped you of control, what do you do? Grasp for control of other things or people? Or do you learn the art of opening your hands to release what you are grasping and then receive what God is longing to give you? Yielding control, yielding your desires and plans is hard. Yet, it becomes easier when you remember which of you is God and who is not. You are not God! You are not sovereign over all things; thus, you do not see the bigger picture or understand the grand plan. As your Creator, the Lord understands you and his plans for you. His ways are always higher than yours!
We received another divine opportunity in the waiting — learning to trust. How much easier we find it to speak of trusting God when all is going well. But what about when life falls apart? When things are uncertain and uncomfortable, or when nothing has worked according to your plans? In those times, your trust in the Lord is tested and refined. Throughout Scripture, the Lord reminds you he is with you; he sees you; he knows you; and he has a plan for your life. You are his masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10, NLT). Thus, the Lord will lead you, provide for you, and bring his plan together. Now this might not be an easy process, and it likely will not take shape as you expected; however, God is always faithful and trustworthy. As the Passion Translation of Psalm 37 puts it, “you’ll find God pulled it off perfectly” (Psalm 37:5).
Are you in the process of waiting today? If so, how is your heart towards the Lord? Are you seeking him and seeking to love him with all your heart? Are you surrendering to his plans and his timing, assured he is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good? Lastly, are you exercising your spiritual muscles of faith? Just as our muscles gain strength through regular exercise so our faith grows when we continually choose to trust God: his plan, his timing, and his character.
Later in Psalm 37, David admonishes us in the wait: “So don’t get impatient for the Lord to act; keep moving forward steadily in his ways, and he will exalt you at the right time” (Psalm 37:34, TPT). God is with you in your waiting, and he loves you abundantly and completely. He will never leave you nor forsake you; he will never fail you. Cling to these truths and watch what he will develop in your life through the waiting time.
Why is trust so difficult? Unlike all the broken promises of this world, God’s redeeming promises are absolute, trustworthy, and true. The covenants of God afford us with abundant reasons to trust God with his plan for our lives. Trusting God: Redeeming Promises of the Word small group Bible study explores the six major redeeming promises of God found in his Word. Learn more about God’s commitment to his people, the nature of a covenant, and how you can find your security in being a child of God’s redeeming promises. Learn more about God’s promises today.
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