Patiently Waiting on the Future?
Are you committed to patiently wait on your future? Are things going your way or do you just don’t understand where life is leading you? Are you waiting patiently for a future of good things to come and a life filled with no problems? For most of us the two words of patiently and waiting really do not seem to go together and is often a struggle. And it seems that there is a lot less patience when things get a lot worse or the struggles seem to mount in great numbers. We do not know what the future on earth holds for us and maybe that is a good thing, at least if you are a frog.
One day a frog, desperate to know what his future held, decided to visit a fortune-teller. He hopped before the mysterious woman as she gazed into her crystal ball and asked what she saw for his life’s future. The fortune-teller looked at the frog and said, ”You are going to meet a beautiful young woman. From the moment she sets eyes on you she will have an insatiable desire to know all about you. She will be compelled to get close to you, you’ll fascinate her.” The frog’s heartÂ thrilled and he wanted to know more. ”Where will she meet me?” The fortune-teller shook her head, ”She will meet you, in Biology class.” Sometimes it pays not to know what the future will be as the future may not be what we desire. It certainly wasn’t for the frog.
There is a future though that we are aware of;Â a promised future that tells us that believers, will have a tremendous eternity of no problems, no tragedies, and no sorrows. Until that promised time arrives though, we must patiently wait on the future and that is where life becomes difficult to understand. Patience is hard but it does serve a purpose. Â Leonardo da Vinci said that; ”Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.” In essence the more we can patiently wait, the less our problems will have power over us. The more patience we can ”put on”, the better protection we can have against worry and anxiety. So having the controlled ability of being able to patiently wait, is really for our own benefit.
The key to waiting patiently is trust. A trust that God holds our future and will make all the wrong right. Patience is the ability to wait without worrying. (Swindoll, 1983) God will answer all promises and prayers. They may not come quick or easy, but we must trust that God will make all right, even if we do not understand the reasons our problems and issues occur. In our focus verse for this week, God told Habakkuk to wait patiently. God makes good on His promises and history clearly shows His pattern. The future is unknown but God is not. As Corrie Ten Boom said, ”Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” God is watching over us but we must do our part by trusting that He holds our best interest in His hands. Trusting what we can’t see however is not always easy even though our life may be depending upon it.
One night, the Jones’ house caught fire and young Billy unwillingly wentÂ out his bedroom window onto the roof, to escape the heat and smoke. His father could not get to him from the inside of the house and instead frantically ran out and stood below the roof that Billy sat on and stretched out his arms. He called to his son, ”Jump! I’ll catch you.” He knew that his son would have to jump in order to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was the flames, smoke, and the still blackness. He was greatly petrified to leave the false safety of the roof and could not see the more pressing danger of the fire, for fear of what he could not see below, where his daddy waited. His father kept yelling, ”Jump! I will catch you.” But Billy continued to protest, ”But, daddy, I can’t see you!” The father replied, ”But, I can see you and that’s all that matters.”
We must be willing to jump into an unknown future, knowing that God is standing by to catch us. We must patiently trust and wait on God to act. The sun does not always shine, but we know the sun is still there and will shine when granted the privilege to do so. We must know and trust that we have life with God, only through our faith and it is through our faith, that we can find peace in the turmoil, as we wait patiently for God to act.
Habakkuk learned that the most important thing to remember was that when waiting on God, we must be willing to wait patiently. That even when we do not understand, we must trust that God is in control and He will make true to His promises.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3c, d (NLT)
Patiently Waiting on the Future!
So what if problems have built up and things are moving slow in your life and yet you want them to sped up and be over with. What can you do? You begin by trusting that God will make all the wrongs right. This positive way of thinking will help you wait more patiently, because you know that the promises of God will take place. This is not to suggest that your problems on earth will be suddenly solved, but that eventually the problems on earth will disappearÂ for all believers. This is God’s promise. As you focus on this, your immediate problems in your life will fade because you will look to Jesus or as the old 1922 hymn, Turn your Eyes on Jesus, by Helen H. Lemmel goes, for when you look directly into His wonderful face all the things on earth will fade because His light will out shine them all.
The steps of faith are sometimes overwhelming when the problems of life are hitting hard and the only position you have is to patiently wait. But you must take the jump and leap forward into God’s waiting arms in everything that you do and say. So what are some practical ways to take the leap and patiently wait?
- Start focusing on what you do know and stop focusing on what you don’t. You know that God is in control of all and that He always come through on His promises.
- Expect an answer when you pray. After praying, wait like Habakkuk in the watchtower, expecting an answer at any moment. Faith is seen in whether you expect an answer and continue to persevere in expecting that answer. Important things are not a one-time prayer shot. Continuous prayer is most often necessary, as you expectantly wait for an answer.
- Gain strength with the greats while waiting patiently. Patience strengthensÂ waiting while the perspective of life lengthens. Focus on the day and not the future. Let God handle the future while you live your life day-to-day for His glory. Remember you are in great company while waiting patiently. Noah waited for 120 years before the rain fell. Abraham waited for 25 years before his promised son, Isaac arrived. Moses waited in the desert for 40 years before the promised deliverance of Israel from Egypt took place and then the people wandered another 40 years before arriving in the promised land. Joseph waited for years in prison before he became a top ruler of Egypt. David waited over 20 years before he was king over all of Israel. Even Jesus waited for 30 years before He started His ministry. Waiting patiently is what the people of God do. Count yourself privileged to be among the greats.
Sometimes life just doesn’t make sense and it is usually because the ”big picture” can’t be seen. Learning what it means to trust God fully and knowing that His promises all fit into His plan are part of the strength gained through patiently waiting. God will reveal the future in His time and through His hands. He will make the wrongs right for He promises never to delay His answer for one moment too long. This is where Habakkuk found his peace then wrote the words;
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine;
Even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren;
Even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:17 – 19
No matter your personal challenges be challenged with an unshakable faith letting your heart be convicted in knowing that all of God’s promises of the past have come true, so there is no reason to doubt the future. Allow yourself to be motivated by taking the leap of faith waiting patiently and expectantly on God to answer your concerns. Know that your future is graciously filled with an unbelievable eternity of no problems. In this, lies peace experienced on earth, while you patiently wait on your future.
Love in Christ,
Lines scratched into a wall at Auschwitz:
“I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining. I believe in love even when I don’t feel it. I believe in God even when he is silent.” (Denison, 2015)
Credits- Denison, J. (2015, October 1). WHY ARE JEWS EATING IN SHACKS? Dallas, Texas, USA. Retrieved October 1, 2015, from http://www.denisonforum.org/cultural-commentary Swindoll, C. R. (1983). Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life. Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Zondervan Publishing House.
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Are you patiently waiting on God? Do you struggle with having to wait, much less patiently? Have you found the key to waiting patiently? Do you have a story to share about the rewards of waiting patiently and expectantly for God to answer your prayers? Join us in discussion as we wait patiently together.