I’m sure all Christians have asked God for something. Anything. And I know there have been times when He has left us in the waiting room before answering our prayers. Or is it only me?…
Well, turns out God doesn’t want us to enjoy only the end or His answer to the prayer; He wants us to enjoy the way too.
His plan is to take us to that place, the “promised land” but before we get there we must go through different situations… sometimes, situations that seem unbearable to us.
…They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
What NOT to do in the waiting room
- We shouldn’t want to help God to carry out His plans. Just like Sarai did. Neither of them (Abram and Sarai) trusted God enough even after He promised Abram that he would have a son of his own. (Genesis 16: 1, 2, 4) Sarai told Abram that he should sleep with her servant Hagar. After that, Ishmael and his mother had to run far away because of the way Sarai treated them. God’s will and his unknown dreams for us don’t become a reality through the works of the flesh because they are plagued with worldly stuff. Even after running away and suffering the consequences of a big mistake, the Lord made of Ishmael a great nation too (Genesis 17:20).
- We shouldn’t look forward to being ahead of God’s perfect timing. In Exodus 2:11-15 we see how Moses acted without having enough authority to do what he did: kill an Egyptian. As a consequence, he had to run away, delaying God’s plans for him.
- We definitely shouldn’t think or act wrong. Just like the Israelites did. Instead of trusting in God’s promise, they complained and spread false rumors in “the waiting room”. Numbers 14: 27-30 tells how some people would never be able to enter the promised land because of their complaints.
How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me. Now tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say. You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. 30 You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you.
On more thing, verse 28 shows clearly that the things we confess are the things we experience.
- We shouldn’t be rebellious and disobedient. In 1 Samuel 13: 8-14 Saul doesn’t wait for Samuel to arrive to sacrifice the burnt offering but he does it himself. This time, God shows us that sometimes He is the one who delays our promise to test our faith. Obedience is VERY important to God. The consequences of Saul’s disobedience are plenty, as we already know. That’s why we must be patient to stand the test of time. (This is me talking to myself :P.) Remember that God knows the intentions of our hearts and that God searches “the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9. What we say and do in obedience or disobedience determines if what God planned for us will happen or not.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. James 1:12
I am sure that when we obediently trust, we die to our own dreams and we achieve God’s dream for us which is bigger and greater!
God doesn’t tempt us (James 1:13) but He tests our faith and character. He wants to know the way we react to his trials. We either complain or we praise Him.
Another trial is Free Will.
How does God use trials? And, what is the purpose of trials?
As I mentioned before, God wants to know our heart and our character and to makes us realize of it so we can work on being better and making right what is wrong within us. (Deuteronomy 8:2) This is the purpose of the “waiting room”:
- He wants to teach us this lesson:
He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Ask yourself, what is God trying to teach me this time? And then read His Word.
- He wants to prepare us for His blessings. His will is for us to receive His many blessings but we must be ready to receive them HUMBLY. Once we overcome this test and we are ready, we will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12)
- He wants us to develop patience and endurance. “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:3
- Prove that our faith is authentic and genuine.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials,it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:7
How do we enjoy life while in the waiting room?
- By not letting it steal the joy. As James tells us: “when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” I know this is easier said than done. But remember God laughs at the enemies plans and we should too because we know the end of the story. He is faithful and His love never fails. He never will fail to any promise He has kept. That is part of our joy. Even if no one else understands. We have His promises and NO ONE can take them away from us.
- Do “not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9). Just like David. He never gave up and he kept on worshipping the Lord through all the hardship. That’s how he became “a man after God’s own heart”. And we can be men and women after God’s own heart if we trust the Lord and never give up on who He is calling us to be.
This time my recommendation is this beautiful song by Matt Redman: The Heart of Worship
I hope this post has helped you to endure and develop patience in the waiting room.
If you think this might be helpful to someone you know, don’t hesitate and share it with them.
Also, please comment below and let us know your thoughts about this topic, or you can always jump to our private Facebook group. What has helped you enjoy the “waiting room”? What piece of advice would you give others?
Be gracious and don’t forget God’s love never fails.