What, Not When

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Though God rarely tells us when, He usually tells us what. His promises begin with a vision of something specific, and by faith we take hold of it.

When we’re waiting on God—which happens often in a kingdom of faith and patience—the big question weighing on our hearts is, “Lord, when?” It’s a natural question, but a rarely answered one. God is accomplishing a lot of things in the process, and he won’t rush it. We have to persevere in faith.

Though God rarely tells us when, he usually tells us what. His promises begin with a vision of something specific, and by faith we take hold of it. Abraham’s process took 25 years. Joseph’s took at least 13, David’s lasted well over a decade, and virtually every other hero of faith waited years or decades too. While we’re waiting, faith is tried and tested, and we either give up or draw closer to God. It’s a divinely ordained process—an excruciating one, but ultimately good.

There’s a difference between waiting and waiting patiently. It isn’t very difficult to stress, strain, and complain for years, and, while passing time, never exhibit patience. “Patience means waiting without anxiety,” said Francis de Sales. This is the kind of faith that obtains promises—they come through faith and patience (Hebrews 6:12). And those who endure to the end will find that God does what he said he will do.

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