When God makes you wait for something, it’s not his way of depriving you, but rather his means of changing you.
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 your favorite restaurant.
In life, we wait. We seldom enjoy it. But we all go through it.
But is there any purpose in it? Below are at least four reasons.
1) For your personal sanctification. God’s plan A for your life is to make you like Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Usually, the the longer you wait, the harder you’ll cling to God and his promises. It may not feel this way, but in the process of waiting, spiritual transformation is happening in your life.
2) To reveal your heart’s true motives. God tests you not to find out how you’ll do (he already knows), but to show you, deep down, what’s really in your heart. Sin and idols in your heart will appear when you wait. Things you did not think you struggled with will show up. Emotions of disappointment may arise. But this emotion — all and revealed emotions — are paradoxically a mercy from God. Why? Jon Bloom says it best: “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 your faith. If God always gave you what you want when you wanted it, he would be an evil Father. Think about it. Considering our fallen and sinful nature, if you never had to wait, you 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. If we never waited, our lives would be much worse.
But God will make you wait. Often. And he usually does not give you things on your timing. But as you wait, deeper trust is instilled, and consequently, your faith increases.
4) To instill appreciation in you. 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 38 … 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.
I can think of several times in my own 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. This has happened many times, and is also the testimony of 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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