A Christian Approach to Waiting (Part 3)

Waiting can be painful. A lot of times we are waiting to be delivered from a negative situation. This negative situation is causing us to suffer and God is telling us to rest in Him amidst the pain. When we wait and nothing seems to be changing, that can cause frustration, fear and discouragement as well. Often, it’s not pleasant to wait, we long for things to change for the better and get discouraged when God’s only answer to our desperate cries is – “Wait”.

In those times when waiting is painful, your attitude towards waiting can make a big difference. Instead of getting upset over your negative, unchanging situation, release your negativity and relax in God. Rest in God’s peaceful presence. Fill your mind with Bible promises that God has a plan to prosper you (Jeremiah 29:11) and that God will work all things out for good (Romans 8:28).

Also, use the time of waiting to do good. Waiting doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re just sitting around doing nothing. While you’re waiting, find positive things you can do to fill up your time. For me, the time that I’ve spent waiting for a new full-time job to open up has been spent very wonderfully working on Christian book projects. These past five months have actually felt like a wonderful writing sabbatical, as it has given me the opportunity to study crucial Christian topics that I always wanted to study but never had time to do so. I’ve been studying topics like God’s favour, the prosperity gospel and how to overcome suffering and problems, and these past five months have been a great period of accelerated spiritual growth as I’ve had time to learn about great spiritual truths from the Bible and good Christian writers.

The key to waiting is to trust God to do it His way. It’s realizing that God is sovereign, He is in control of the universe and He is working behind the scenes to provide a way to save and bless you. Through our own logic and human reasoning, we often have preconceived ideas and our own plan of how things should turn out for us to be happy. Waiting forces us to give up our own plans and our own logic of how things should turn out, and makes us submit to God’s ways and God’s plans of doing things. As God says in Isaiah 55:8 –

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

Waiting means giving up our own ways and surrendering ourselves fully to Him, saying to God – “My life is in your hands, do with me as you will”. Waiting means resting, trusting and peacefully watching God unfold events in your life, instead of clinging stubbornly to your own ideas of how you want your life to turn out.

One thing that will help make your waiting more bearable is to count your blessings. Look for the positive things in your life during your period of waiting. For me, during my job search, apart from it giving me time to work on my passion Christian book projects, it’s also allowed me to spend more time with my friends. Since I’m working from home and have a flexible schedule, not having a full-time job has given me the ability to have more opportunities to have lunch with friends and I deeply value the time God has given me to fellowship with my friends. It’s also opened up opportunities for me to spend a lot of time at home with my mother, who I love dearly, so I value the time every day where we can share a tea break together, chatting over rooibos vanilla tea and dessert. God is good and God is light. You’ll find that even in the darkness of waiting, God has blessed you with certain things and by focusing on those blessings, it will increase your gratitude towards God and make you more appreciative of your time of waiting, and this will make the waiting more tolerable. The ideal situation is that by focusing on the blessings in your waiting period, you’ll see how many positive things have come about in your waiting situation that you’re actually happy that you have to wait. This is certainly true of my situation. I’m learning to enjoy the free time I have to study God’s Word and work on my personal writing projects, and spending quality time with friends, that I know that I’ll miss this time of joblessness when there comes a time when I have go back to the full-time job that God will provide for me.

The time of waiting can also be used to glorify God, as your patience is seen by others as a great testimony. As you cope with waiting with a positive attitude, bearing it with patience and not complaining, not despairing, the peace in your heart will shine like a light to inspire others to trust in God as well.

Seasons of waiting can be seen as times of testing. God uses the time to test you, to see whether during the waiting period you will trust Him with a peaceful attitude or succumb to fear, discouragement and impatience. Pass the test of waiting and you will receive a good reward from God. Those who wait will be rewarded with the gift of His salvation.

So it can be seen, that with the right attitude, handled correctly, the suffering of waiting can be transformed into a time of blessing. Be at rest, be patient, trust and depend on God and you’ll find that you’ll be able to rejoice in the night as you wait for the sun to shine again.

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