When God makes us wait for something, it’s not his way of depriving us, but rather his means of changing us.
Because God is sovereign over all, this is applicable to all of life. The big things like a spouse, children, a new job. Or the little things like waiting for a text message response, or waiting in line at a restaurant.
In life, we wait. We seldom enjoy it. But we all go through it.
But is there any purpose in it? Below are four reasons.
1) For our sanctification. God’s plan A for our life is to make us like Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:3). It seems like the longer we wait, the harder we cling to God and his promises. We may not realize it, but in the process of waiting, spiritual transformation happens.
2) To reveal our heart’s motive. God tests us not to find out how we’ll do (he already knows), but to show us, deep down, what’s really in our heart. Sin and idols in your heart will appear when you wait. Things you did not think you struggled with show up. Emotions of disappointment may arise. But this is a mercy from God. As Jon Bloom says, “If you find that sin is feeding your emotion of disappointment, then your event of disappointment is a kindness meant to lead you to repentance.”
3) To increase faith. If God always gave us what we want when we wanted it, he would be an evil Father. Think about it. Because of our fallen and sinful nature, if God never made us wait, we would never have a reason to trust him. We would do our own thing. We would never pray. We would not truly revere him for his character. Our lives would be much worse.
But God does make us wait. Often. And he usually does not give us things on our timing. But as we wait, deeper trust is instilled, and consequently our faith increases.
4) To instill appreciation. I got this idea from a Desiring God article. And it is so true. You waited for the job … and then you finally got it. You were single until age 29 … and then you finally got married. You couldn’t have children for the first 10 years of marriage, and then, behold! A baby boy!
It’s hard to take certain things for granted when God makes you wait for them. Greater appreciation is instilled when we wait.
I can think of several times in my life when God made me wait for something. During the process, I thought like the psalmist: “How long, O LORD?” For a few of the occasions, when the wait was over, it almost was like I forgot I even waited. The joy of God’s faithfulness in the situation superseded the wait that I experienced! And this is the testimony of so many others.
God will make you wait. He is never late. But he is never early either. His timing and purposes are always perfect.
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