Week 42: Thursday – The Power of Waiting

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Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. – John Ortberg

“Wait for the Lord and keep His way. He will exalt to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.” – Psalm 37:34 

King David knew and understood that waiting isn’t just sitting and doing nothing. He said, “Wait for the Lord and KEEP HIS WAY.” In the New Living Translation, it says:

Psalm 37:34 Don’t be impatient for the LORD to act! Travel steadily along his path…

Waiting for our prayers to be answered, waiting for our dreams to become a reality, waiting for a crisis to be solved, waiting for a sickness to be healed, waiting for a prodigal daughter to come home, waiting for a lifetime partner, waiting for people to change, waiting for a pain-filled relationship to be restored–all kinds of waiting will definitely test us, it will test our faith, our character, and our love for God.

But it will not only test us. It will actually train us.

According to a recent study by Ayelet Fishbach, Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, waiting actually does make people more patient, which can provide a payoff for consumers by helping them make better decisions.

Historically, research on patience has been approached by offering people the choice between a smaller reward sooner or a larger reward later. Given the choice between $10 now or $15 later, for instance, many people choose the $10 now, even though it makes them less well-off financially.

“People tend to value things more in the present and discount their worth in the future,” Fishbach says. “But my research suggests that making people wait to make a decision can improve their patience because the process of waiting makes the reward for waiting seem more valuable.” (http://www.chicagobooth.edu/about/newsroom/press-releases/2013/2013-09-25)

One pastor prayed, Lord, give me more patience. He expected his problems to decrease but they got worse! So he said, Lord give me more patience! And the problems really got bad! Later he realized that God had indeed answered his prayer, he had become much more patient. Thank God for increasing his problems!

Many times, we ask God to give us the right attitude in life. But attitude is a choice. Take a look on what it means to have that right, positive attitude!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UinVSvJyQY8 (short version) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiLDMBDPCEY (longer version)

We often ask God to give us the right attitude, to give us those godly traits but God will not! What God gives us are opportunities (it may be in a package of delays, difficult people, disappointing circumstances) where we can practice patience, kindness, gentleness, kindness, love, forgiveness, grace.

For a Joseph in the Bible, Joseph the Dreamer, he waited for God to vindicate Him, He waited for God to restore his relationships, he waited for God to let him go home to see his father again, he waited for God to heal his broken heart, he waited for God to make his dream a reality. He waited, waited, waited, and waited!

But in waiting he was transformed! Why? Because waiting for him meant walking steadily in the path God has chosen for him.

I love what G. Campbell Morgan said: “Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.”

In waiting, Joseph learned how to be patient, how to be forgiving, how to be gracious. Read his story again and again! He learned how to choose love over hatred, he learned how to become better, instead of bitter. In waiting, he learned to serve others and not be consumed by his own grief and pain. More than anything else, he learned how to simply trust and obey the God who had such an amazing plan for his life!

Wait for the Lord, keep His way, travel steadily in His path, and in the process, you will never be the same again. Waiting is the hardest, but it is also the best way where God can freely move to transform us and prepare us for His great plan for our lives!

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