While You Wait, God Is Working on You
“God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart” (Deuteronomy 8:2 NIV).
If every prayer were answered immediately, if every need were instantly met, and if every problem were automatically solved, your faith would never be stretched. You’d be spoiled. You’d have no need for faith!
We’re humans, and we don’t like to wait. We hate it! We don’t like to wait in a doctor’s office or in a grocery store line or at stop signs. And you’d better not make us wait for our food at a restaurant!
But life is full of waiting. The Israelites had to learn this reality. Deuteronomy 8:2 says, “God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart” (NIV). The journey the Israelites made from Egypt to Israel should have only taken a few weeks. But it took them 40 years! They wandered around and around because of their disobedience to God. And as they were experiencing one delay after another, God was testing them. He wanted to see what kind of faith they had.
God uses delays to test us, too, to see what kind of faith we have.
Do you ever feel in a hurry but believe God isn’t? God’s timing is perfect, but often his timetable doesn’t match ours. When we’re in a hurry, we always ask the “when” questions. “Lord, when am I going to find employment again?” “When am I going to find that right person to marry?” “When am I going to have a baby?” “When am I going to get well?” “When are you going to answer my prayer?”
Maybe you are in God’s waiting room right now. It’s not a lot of fun. But it is a necessary time of building your faith.
The Bible says in Isaiah 64:4, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (NIV).
This means that while you’re waiting, God is working. You may not be able to see it. It may be behind the scenes. But while you’re waiting for that answer to prayer, for that thing to change, for the circumstances to be different, God is working—and he’s working on you.
Talk It Over
How does practicing patience in smaller circumstances help you grow in faith in God’s waiting room?
Why does it matter what kind of attitude you have when you’re waiting on God to do something in your life?
What have been the hardest times of waiting in your life? What have been the times of the greatest spiritual growth in your life?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.