And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
While I’m waiting I’m getting stronger
My faith is rising and I will run on
While I’m waiting I’m lifting up on
wings as eagles
I believe I will trust in You.
(While I’m Waiting by Travis Greene)
The whole topic of waiting can be a ticklish one. The questions may arise: “How do I wait? What do I do while I wait? Should I be passive or active?” I certainly don’t have all the answers but as I told someone recently, waiting is not necessarily a passive exercise.
I think here of David. After he was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel, he continued to live a relatively normal life. He continued to submit himself to the relevant authorities and do as he was instructed. He served king Saul when the latter needed a musician to soothe his troubled spirit and even served his country when they needed a contender to fight against their Philistine enemy, Goliath. I think though that David’s most challenging season of waiting was while he was being pursued by king Saul. He knew he had been anointed king, but here was the present king trying to kill him. Many times he was discouraged and feared for his life. Maybe at times he wondered if he would ever become king.
He became the leader of those who were in distress, those in debt and those who were generally discontented (I Samuel 22:2). He could have chosen to keep to himself. Yet, whether or not he realised it, God was preparing him to lead an entire nation. Yes, he feared for his life and made many mistakes during this season, but God was moulding and shaping him more than he realised. He strengthened him in his times of despair and never left him even when he gave up. In this season, David was painfully learning to trust God even as first and foremost he waited on God to deliver him from his enemies.
Waiting is never an easy season to be in. It can be filled with uncertainty and fear as you wonder when deliverance will come, when and if your dreams will still come true. David said: “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). David held on to the fact that while he still alive he would see God’s goodness operating in his life. As bad as things looked for him at times, he held on to hope in God. He ends that Psalm with this encouragement: “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord” (v.14). In spite of it all, David knew that his help would come from the Lord, that God would provide the strength and encouragement needed in difficult times.
So much can happen while we wait. As I said before, waiting is not necessarily a passive exercise, it can be a very active one. While we wait we can grow, we can learn, we can occupy ourselves constructively. As Isaiah put it, we can even mount up on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31). In short, we can learn to soar, to prosper and thrive while we wait. Jesus never waited for the storm to end, He simply walked on those rough waters and chose to be in control in the midst of the storm!
Waiting is NOT a dead season where nothing is happening. In fact, it can be a very active, productive one. It may mean working strategically on the problem; it may also mean allowing God to work in and through us so that when and however God chooses to bring that season to an end, we are more than ready to embrace all that God has in store for us.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to make that step today. Waiting is an inevitable part of life. It may not be an easy season but it is a necessary one. It is in this season that God may do His greatest work in us, moulding and shaping us into what He wants us be.
What my eyes can’t see, I still believe
Everything spoken to me
There’s no word that can come back void
I will trust the report of the Lord (While I’m Waiting, Travis Greene)
Today, I heard a song I have not heard for a long time. I found myself searching for it on YouTube and listening to it on replay. The above lyrics come from that song, While I’m Waiting, by Travis Greene. I am reminded of the reality that we may all be waiting for something - healing, financial breakthrough, restoration of a relationship, etc. I am beginning to believe that waiting is an integral part of our human existence. We don’t always like it but interestingly, we need it because it is in the waiting sometimes that God can do His greatest work in us. We would all like for the end result to come quickly yet, it is in that sometimes difficult season that we grow, we develop, we are made stronger, wiser, more able and equipped to handle whatever life brings our way.
I love the first few lines of the verse above. We would all prefer, I’m sure, to see so that we can believe. However, that is not always how God allows things to happen. I recall the story of Thomas, one of the twelve disciples who was not present when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection (John 20:24-29). When told of their meeting, Thomas declared that he would not believe until he was able to see and touch the nail scars in His hands and touch his side which had been pierced. We love to call him doubting Thomas but many of us are just like him. We find it difficult to hold on to faith when there is no physical evidence to back it up. Yet, God wants us to trust Him, to trust that His Word to us is all we need at times and it will come to pass. According to Isaiah 55:10-11, God’s Word will not return to Him empty but it will accomplish what He says it will accomplish. Have you ever trusted someone, trusted that they will do what they say? Well, it’s the same with God. We can trust that what He tells us He will do, He will truly do. The problem however, may not be what He says but the fact that we have to wait for it to come to pass. It is during this period that our faith and trust may begin to waver.
God had promised Abraham that he would make him a great nation (Genesis 12:2). The problem was Abraham’s wife, Sara, was barren. On top of that, they were both very old and his wife past the stage of child-bearing. There was nothing in their favour to help bring God’s Word to him to pass. This would have to be all God’s doing. Twenty-five years later God did as He had promised and Sarah gave birth to a son, Isaac (Genesis 21:1-3). I am sure the wait was not any easy one. I do not think, however, that Abraham ever wavered in his faith that God would make him the father of many nations. He just had a hard time understanding exactly how God would do it in the face of their obvious limitations. And sometimes, it’s the same with us.
I don’t know what your waiting season looks like but I am pretty sure it is not an easy one. Your faith may have wavered many times and maybe there were times when you simply gave up. But God may be saying to you today, don’t give up. If He has given you a Word it is His responsibility to bring it to pass, not yours. You may not know how, when or who He will choose to use. You just have to trust that He will get the job done. It may take a few weeks, a few months, or even years but God is not constrained or controlled by time like we are. His timing will always be perfect. So, while you’re waiting, choose to still believe His Word to you no matter how long it takes.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. While you wait for problems to resolve, for situations to turn around, for breakthrough to come, God is not worried like you may be. He knows that His Word is sure and His timing is perfect. So, as difficult as it may be, trust Him because He WILL bring His Word to pass.
What makes the Bible interesting is the fact that the stories told generally have an intriguing twist that reflects God’s fascinating character. God never quite seems to do things in the way we would expect. The way in which He delivers, saves, keeps, sustains His people is sometimes simply mind-boggling. He clearly doesn’t think the way we do, or does things in the logical human way we would expect. He also uses the most unlikely people to carry out great works on His behalf.
The story of the four leprous men in 2 Kings 7:3-20 is one of many examples of this. Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, had besieged Samaria, the then capital of Israel. There was also a famine in Samaria at that time. As four leprous men sat at the gate of the city, they realised that they had to make a decision - they could enter the city and die there from the famine or they could remain at the gate where they would also die. They decided to go to the camp of the Syrians and surrender themselves to the Syrian army. Whether or not their lives were spared, it would certainly be better than their present situation.
Taking a bold step of faith is not always easy. It usually means coming out of our comfort zone to go to the unknown. Those lepers had no idea what they were going to meet or what would happen when they surrendered to the Syrians but they decided that they had had enough. They were stagnant where they were and needed to do something to change their present situation. Trusting God can sometimes feel like that. Even though where we are is not the best, stepping out of that comfortable space may cause us to feel uncertainty and fear. Yet, when we move forward keeping our eyes fixed on God, we can have the confidence that He sees and knows what we don’t and He will lead us the right way.
When the lepers arrived at the Syrian camp no one was there. The Lord had caused the Syrians to hear the sound of a great army and they had quickly left their camp leaving everything behind. Isn’t it like God to fight battles for us without needing us to be present for the battle? The Israelites had no idea what had happened in the Syrian camp and that God had caused the army to scatter in fear.
There are times when God may step in and fight on our behalf and we don’t have to lift a finger to do a thing. I can testify of this. Recently God fought a battle for me and I wasn’t even around. I didn’t even know a battle was raging but I found out about it after it was over. That’s one of the intriguing things about our God. When He says He will fight for us, He really does! We may not always need to work up a sweat, or even present an argument, God just does it Himself. I can honestly say that at times, He is truly working in the background, shifting things around or simply scaring the enemy away so that by the time we arrive on the scene, God has the situation covered! In the end, thanks to those lepers, the Israelites were able to go to the Syrian camp and gather the spoil. The expected battle never took place and the famine finally ended!
However God chooses to fight the battle for you, you can have the confidence that you don’t have to do it on your own. Some battles may seem to require no effort on your part but some certainly will. Yet, it is about trusting God to never allow you to go through any challenge alone. He is not standing on the sidelines watching you fight but He is right there in the fight with you! To me that is a great comfort because it means that God loves and cares about you so much that He is interested in being a part of those unpleasant seasons in your life. God loves you and He cares about you. It’s a personal thing between you and Him.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. God wants to be there in every season of your life, both good and bad. He wants to be there to guide you when you need it and He wants to be there to help you when you feel overwhelmed. There is nothing too difficult for God to do for you!
When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites across the way, the water looked red like blood. “That’s blood,” they said. “Those kings must have fought and slaughtered each other. Now to the plunder Moab!” (2 Kings 3:22-23)
God has such an ingenuous way of fighting for and defending His people. He had filled the valley with water as He had promised but He did not stop there. He had also promised them that He would not only provide for their needs but He would deliver their enemies into their hands.
Two things come to mind - God provided what they needed to strengthen and sustain them for the battle and He promised them victory in battle. God never does a thing half way. I love the fact that when God steps in, He does a complete work, He leaves nothing undone. Sometimes we may ask God for one thing and God not only fulfils that request but addresses other areas that require attention - even though we did not ask Him for help in those other areas.
We can never determine how God will fulfil His promise to us. When God told the kings that He would deliver their enemies into their hands they could not fathom how exactly He would do it. Yet, the following morning, God sent water to them in the valley. As the sun shone on that water early in the morning, to the Moabites it looked like blood and they believed that the kings had killed one another. They rushed off to gather the spoil only to find themselves running straight into their enemies who were able to defeat them.
When God makes a promise to you believe that He will keep it. Even though you cannot see how He will do it, believe that He will. Over and over I have said that trust in God is important. He wants us to trust Him believing that He is able and He will fulfil His promises to us. Even when things seem impossible, even when faith is difficult to muster, if God says it, His responsibility is to bring to pass His own Word! He did not tell the three kings how He was going to provide the water nor did He tell them how He was going to deliver their enemies into their hands. Yet, interestingly, when He did fulfil His Word, it was in a way no human could take the credit. He caused the water to miraculously come from Edom and fill the valley and He caused the morning sun to shine on that same water in just the right way that when the Moabites looked at it, it looked like blood.
God’s thoughts and ways are truly past finding out! When He steps into our situation, we usually can’t begin to imagine how He will work things out … but He does. Trusting God sometimes means leaving the how, what, where, when in His hands and allowing Him full control to work the way He wants and chooses to work. The reality is, we love to tell Him how to do it, who to use, when to do it, what to do. But, when we relinquish our plan and our desires to Him, He will never disappoint us! That’s the hard part. We tend to forget that we don’t know more than God. There is always that innate desire for control because we want to have a say in how He works things out. But, sometimes, it’s about absolute surrender, allowing His will and His way to take precedence over our will. And, when we surrender, the peace that comes is truly a peace that just does not make sense and it is then that He is able to do above and beyond what we could ask or imagine.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to make that step today. God wants to do above and beyond what you could ask or think. He wants to give you His best because He has a beautiful plan and purpose for your life. All He wants is for you to trust Him, to trust that His love for you means that He will never give you anything less than the best He desires to give you.
For thus saith the Lord, “Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle and your beasts.” (2 Kings 3:17)
When I see this verse it reminds me of the reality that impossible becomes possible once God is in it. And, usually in situations like that, your hands are completely tied. You can’t do it on your own and it’s all up to God to get it done.
King Ahab, the king of Israel was dead and his son Jehoram reigned in his place. When his father was alive, Masha, king of Moab would pay tribute to king Ahab giving him a hundred thousand lambs and the wool from a hundred thousand rams. However, when king Ahab died, the king of Moab decided to rebel against Israel. When this was made known to king Jehoram, he decided to go to battle against king Mesha and asked Jehoshaphat, king of Judah to join with him. The king of Edom also joined with them to battle. As they journeyed through the wilderness of Edom, they realised that they had no water for their men or for the animals with them. They therefore sent for the prophet Elisha to enquire of the Lord on their behalf. With the help of a minstrel, the Lord responded and instructed them to fill the valley with ditches. The Lord then filled the valley with enough water for them and their animals. (2 Kings 3:1-17, 20)
Immediately what comes to mind is the fact that God provides what we need when we need it. I am always in awe of the fact that God is a Master of the impossible. He informed them that they would not see how it would happen yet the valley would be filled with water. All they had to do was obey His instruction - fill the valley with ditches. Sometimes, obedience can be a difficult thing especially when what we are being asked to do doesn’t make any sense. God was simply telling them of course to prepare for the miracle yet there was nothing in nature that indicated how this would happen. There were probably no rain clouds in the sky, no signs at all that indicated where the water might come from. Sometimes, God just wants us to trust Him even when everything around us is suggesting that we should not. God’s ways and thoughts are truly higher than ours and when He gives an instruction, it is sometimes completely outside of our human understanding. Yet, this is where the trust comes in. It’s easy to trust, when we can clearly see how it will all work out, when we can see what or who God may use. But, when our eyes can’t see and our ears can’t hear any clue of God’s leading, it can be difficult to trust Him.
As I said earlier, God provides what we need when we need it. God allowed them to pass through that wilderness knowing that they would need water. It can be so like God to allow us sometimes to take difficult paths, paths that He knows would put us in a position to have to cry out to Him for help. The nice thing is that when we do cry out to Him, He is right there waiting with the answer we need. God never takes us along a path that would destroy us. Although it could, He knows that He is right there on that same path, waiting to serve us, waiting to deliver us, waiting to strengthen us, waiting to provide exactly what we need to make it through. God is interested in building relationship with us. What He allows us to go through is never in vain, there is always a purpose behind it. He wants us to experience HIM for ourselves - His provision, His love, His care, His ability to enable us to make it successfully through the most impossible of situations. God is still a personal God!
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. Life will take us along difficult and sometimes unexpected paths. But God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us and He will be right there on those paths with us. We are never alone. Our God is there encouraging us, providing for us, keeping us...
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.