I think we would all agree that waiting for a specific outcome can be grueling. But as I said on my last blog, when we shift our perspective from “the outcome to the One who holds the outcome” everything changes.
What we do while we wait is important.
God is working all things out. He holds everything in His hands and waiting can produce abundant fruit if we wait in the right way. We don’t wait passively, but very much engaged with God. These are a few things that help me while I wait. These are not magical one, two, three steps, but a good practice to get our eyes off of our own circumstances and to stir up our faith.
1. BELIEVE that God hears you
“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7
God may seem silent, but know that He hears you. The cross is our promise that God who gave His Son will give all that we need.
“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
2. PRAY in Faith
Many times we pray not really believing God will answer.
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Than man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” James 1:6-7
3. WATCH Expectantly
It is easy to rise up from praying and live the same way. What if we rise up from prayer looking and expecting to see God? Walk through your day looking for God to show up., remembering we are not looking for our answer, we are looking to see God. Never stop expecting Him. (But know that is exactly what the enemy wants you to do.)
“And now, Lord, for what do I expectantly wait?
My hope [my confident expectation] is in You.” Psalm 39:7
4. CLAIM Your Promise
We don’t live by wishful thinking, but by the promises of God. When you take hold of His promise, you can pray with confidence because He is faithful to all He has promised. It’s not “cross your fingers and hope it will be”, but grab hold of His promise and know it will be.
“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:4
5. DECLARE Truth
The word of God is powerful. Something happens when you declare out loud what you believe to be true. We hear truth as we speak the truth. We are quick to speak the despair and negative, but why not speak truth instead?
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2
Worship changes the atmosphere. When I don’t know what to do about a situation, I press play. Hearing worship music shifts my focus. It fills my heart with faith. I recently made a playlist for myself titled, “I Believe”. It is full of songs that remind me to believe God is who He says that He is and He does what He says He will do.
“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.” 1 Chronicles 26:23-25
7. TRUST in the Lord, not your own understanding
Our minds go into gear trying to figure everything out. We ponder the situation and spend sleepless nights making a plan. It is so much better when we trust that God has it and His way is always perfect.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Laying down anxiety is a big part of trusting. Anxiety ties me in knots and keeps my life inwardly focused. I have to consciously refuse to be wrought with anxiety while I wait. Again, I declare out loud that I belong to the Lord and I will trust Him to carry me.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:5-6
8. SURRENDER Your Will
I find it is very difficult to hold tightly to my will while trusting God. I have to pry my fingers open through prayer giving up my way for God’s way. As I am practicing all of these things, this one seems to stand in the way of all the others. I am so set on the situation turning out the way I want it or the way I think is right. When I relinquish my way for His, everything within me shifts. Obedience to God’s way changes everything. This is really what God is after in our waiting.
“LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.” Jeremiah 10:23
9. COUNT Your Blessings
I can’t tell you how much gratitude has changed my life. When I look around expecting to see the goodness of God, I am amazed. Thanksgiving changes a grumbling heart to a grateful and joyful heart. Instead of focusing on me, and my great need, I am propelled to see the glory of God all around.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 118:1
10. BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS
One of the biggest battles in long seasons of waiting is fighting fear and discouragement. It seems that when fear has an entrance, all of his relatives move in too. Soon faith is crowded out by anxiety, worry, depression and panic. I ask the Lord to fill me with His strength and courage. I can’t just stir it up, but the Spirit of God fills me up in confidence as I call out to Him.
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
As we practice these, we will see beauty developing within.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-6