Waiting in God
A devotional by Kelly Blum
God promises that He made plans for His glory and my good. And I have been earnestly praying and waiting for His plans to come about. Friendships, restored relationships, career, home, resolved conflicts…yet at times it seems like it would be so much easier just to do things my way.
To just give up on that person who is hard to get along with.
To stop trying to get better at something I seem to fail over and over again at.
To take the first opportunity that comes along, even though I know it’s not where I’m meant to be.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s okay to be discontent with our circumstances. As Paul said…
Philippians 4:11b-13 NASB
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance, and suffering need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Because Christ strengthens us, we should be content in all circumstances. Our hope is in Christ, not in the things of this world.
We shouldn’t just do whatever we can to make ourselves happy. However, God gave us the ability to go and do, so we also shouldn’t just sit and do nothing.
So where’s the balance? I have been learning that we can be excited for the plans that God will bring about in our futures, but we need to wait on His timing for those plans. And while we wait, we need to continue to worship and serve Him.
My Sunday school group recently finished a 13-week study on the book of Genesis. A huge focus of the study was on the life of Abram/Abraham. If you ever want to find someone in the Bible to relate to when it comes to waiting, he’s your man. Abram was promised a son (Genesis 15:4). He was promised that He would have many descendants through this son (Genesis 15:5). But Abram was already 75 years old. His wife was 65 years old, and she was barren. Surely this promise was extremely hard to believe. I know for a fact that a lot of times I know something in my mind, but when it comes to truly believing it…different story. There must’ve been many times when Abram thought “Was that just me hoping? Or did God really promise that?” There must’ve been plenty of days of wondering how much longer it was going to be and becoming weary in the longing.
Remember as you read this that Abram was an ordinary man. He was human. Think of him as the next-door neighbor. If a 75-year-old man told you God told him he’d bear a son with his 65-year-old wife, you’d think he was crazy! And then as the years went by and it still didn’t happen, you’d try to rationalize with him. You’d tell him it’s not possible. You’d tell him he must’ve misunderstood. You’d tell him that you understand how powerful God is, but He just doesn’t do stuff like that anymore. And pretty soon, Abram would start telling himself those things as well.
After 10 long years of waiting, Abram and Sarai decided they could “help God’s plan come about”, and Abram had a child with Sarai’s maidservant, Hagar. (Genesis 16:1-3, 15) Ishmael was born when Abram was 86 years old — but guess what? That wasn’t God’s plan (Genesis 17:18-19). Abram knew the promise, but he didn’t serve God faithfully as he waited for it to come about. Instead, he chose a path of sin that led to a lot of conflict and broken relationships.
When Abram was 99, God appeared to Him again. At this point, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. Abram means “exalted father”. Abraham means “father of many nations”. God was reaffirming the promise that Abram would not only have a son, but he would be the father of many nations! Now remember, God originally promised a son to Abraham 24 years earlier, when Abraham was already tired of waiting and had probably been praying for years. (Genesis 15:2-3) Still, Abraham was told to hold onto faith, serve God, and keep waiting. This time, however, God included some more information in the promise. He told Abraham that Sarah (God changed her name as well) would have a son named Isaac within the next year. (Genesis 17:19, 18:14)
He now had a time frame for when the promise would come about! But Abraham stumbled and sinned again instead of living in faith that God would fulfill His promise. When traveling to Gerar, Abraham was afraid the king would kill him in order to take his wife because she was beautiful. So to save himself, he had Sarah lie and say she was his sister. The king, Abimelech, took Sarah, but God stepped in and restored her to Abraham. (Genesis 20:1-14) If Abraham would’ve trusted in God’s plan instead of taking things into his own hands, he once again could have avoided a lot of conflict and broken relationships. I want to remind you once again that Abraham was an ordinary guy. And like all of us, he sometimes gave into temptations and made mistakes. However, God never gave up on him or told him he was no longer worthy of getting his promise fulfilled.
25 years after the promise, Isaac was finally born. I haven’t even been alive that long! And I have trouble with doubting and trying to take things into my own hands when I wait 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, 1 month, sometimes even 1 week! However, it was in God’s perfect timing. Note the wording…
Genesis 21:2a NASB
So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time
At the appointed time.
Here’s a concept to think about. Don’t sit around and wait for God. Wait in God.
Wait in the knowledge of His promises.
Wait in the reminders that He is still there.
Wait in His presence as you continue to worship and serve Him.
Bottom line is this: Wait in God because God is faithful, even when we are faithless.
He is Faithful,