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Sandra Deer, M.Div., a pastor and pastor’s spouse, is the personal ministries, women’s ministries, and evangelism school director of the Alberta Conference.

The Joy of Waiting (pdf)
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord” ~ Psalm 27:14

We live in a fast food culture where almost everything can be obtained instantly.  Through the internet, we receive “instant” answers, through technology we communicate instantly, through fast food outlets our food is ready in less than five minutes, and at ATM’s our cash is obtained in seconds.  Our culture is one of instant gratification. People generally do not like to wait. Waiting seems to be agonizing and unnecessary evil. So why is it that the Bible exhorts us to “wait?” In the KJV, there are over 101 verses in the Bible that contain the word “wait.” Living in a day when so much is “instant,” it is rather difficult to wrap our minds around the notion of waiting and even more so in finding joy in waiting.
Although I have done my share of waiting, I admit I have not always waited patiently.  I remember telling God how upset I was that He was taking so long in bringing my father into the Seventh-day Adventist Church so that we could worship God together as a family. I reminded God that He had over 15 years of prayers and yet there was still no visible change. God assured me that He was working and that all I needed to do was trust in Him. Years later, as I patiently waited on Him, I rejoiced to see my father baptized into the church. 
Waiting became the means by which God taught me to trust in Him more. When a relationship fell apart, I was left hurt and confused, but as I waited upon the Lord, He strengthened my heart and made it clear that He was preparing the very best for me. Within months, God indeed gave me the very best.
In Isaiah 40:31 we read
       “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
         they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary,
         they shall walk and not faint. (NASB)

God exhorts us to wait, for by waiting we receive renewal of strength, we are enabled
to run and not be weary and to walk and not faint. 
We also find many instances where waiting with patience is necessary before obtaining the blessing.
Psalm 37:7-9 says
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:
fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,
because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord,
they shall inherit the earth.

And in Psalm 40:1
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me and heard my cry.”
We can take matters into our own hands, but in doing so we lose the blessing that comes from waiting.  Waiting involves trusting in God’s timing and wisdom to accomplish what is best for us. Hope that is centered in God and His will, ultimately never disappoints and as we hope in God and patiently wait, we receive the joy of waiting.

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 we find the promise “He has made everything beautiful in his time.” As we wait upon the Lord, and trust in Him, He will renew our strength and bless beyond measure.  God invites us to enter into the joy of waiting!

                                              Discussion Questions  

   1  Tell about a time when you waited on the Lord. What emotions and thoughts did you experience?

   2  Share about a time in which God answered your prayer and what it meant personally to you.  By chance, during that time, did you experience ‘the joy of waiting’?