Rest, and Trust God's Timing
“Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for him to act …. Don’t fret and worry — it only leads to harm.” (Psalm 37:7-8 LB)
When you pursue God’s dream for your life, you’re going to run into delays. God uses those waiting periods to prepare you and test you so that you can face whatever is coming in the next phase of your faith.
Most of us tend to worry when we are delayed. We get stressed out. We complain. We become uptight. The Israelites, when God delayed their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, reacted the same way: “On the way the people lost their patience and spoke against God and Moses. They complained” (Numbers 21:4b-5a GNT).
The Israelites’ complaining and fretting were the sins that kept them out of the Promised Land. No matter what God did for them, they found something to gripe about. They had no water, so God provided water. Then they had no food, but when God provided food, they complained about the food they got. It’s easy to gripe when we’re forced to wait, isn’t it? We don’t mind waiting if we can complain about it.
Proverbs 19:2 says, “Impatience will get you into trouble.” It’s frustrating to be in a hurry and God isn’t. God is never in a hurry! The Bible says a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day to God. He’s larger than time. One of the most useless things to try to do is to speed up God. When we try to take matters into our own hands and help God out, we get in trouble.
When you get a dream from God and make the decision to go for it but then are forced into God’s waiting room, you start trying to figure out ways of doing God’s dream on your own.
But the Bible says to trust God’s timing: “Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for him to act …. Don’t fret and worry — it only leads to harm” (Psalm 37:7-8 TLB).
Resting can be an act of faith. It means you’re waiting on God. When Jesus and the disciples were in a boat that was caught in a big storm, Jesus just kept sleeping through all the ruckus while the disciples freaked out. When they woke him up to ask, “Why are you sleeping?!” he responded, “Do you think God is going to let the boat sink with me in it?” By sleeping through the storm, Jesus was saying that we can trust God even in the middle of a storm.
When we get into a storm, we tend to lay awake all night and fret about it. But that means that we’re not living by faith. We can’t get any sleep because we don’t really trust God to work it out. God says, “Don’t fret. Remember I’m always with you, and trust my timing.”
Worry only makes you miserable. So stop worrying, and start trusting God to work in you and through you while you are in a delay on the way to your dream.
Talk It Over
- Why does rest so often make us feel guilty?
- What do you think God is trying to teach you while you have been delayed? What have you learned about yourself and about God in a delay by design?
- What is one thing you can change about your schedule or your expectations so that you are not tempted to rush God in this phase of your faith?
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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