When God Says Wait

A while back we talked about times when God says no and trusting in His love even then. This trust rests in our knowledge of His character:

God is good

Good is love

God is faithful, powerful, and sovereign

God is always with us

It’s largely about a change of focus. Will we focus on the closed door or on God and His unchanging nature?

But what about when God says wait? Sometimes I think that is harder than a thousand closed doors! It goes against our “do” nature and pricks at our insecurities. What if we surrender our all, keep walking, and God doesn’t pull through?

Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve wandered into the perpetual waiting room, and it’s easy to assume the not-yets mean no. It’s much harder to keep walking when the road continues to climb, the finish line shrouded from view.

Our faith is tested most, I believe, during times of waiting. The longer the wait, the more faith we’ll need.

For those of you waiting … for a job, an opportunity, a loved one to come to Christ, whatever, stop and meditate on the following passage. Take time to recall the history of each life mentioned and how long they waited.

Psalm 105 (I’ve pulled out the verses that impacted me most, but you can read the entire passage here.):

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts. 
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

When you can’t see the future, spend time recalling the past. Remember God’s goodness, His faithfulness. Most importantly, draw near, focusing on His strength working in you.

He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.

He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.”

12 When they were but few in number, 
    few indeed, and strangers in it, 

(You can read the full account of each event mentioned by clicking on the following sentences.) God’s promise to Abraham came when he and his wife were old and barren. God’s promise came to Jacob when he was fleeing the wrath of his brother, Esau. Joseph received his divine promise when he was a young man, hated by his brothers. Shortly after he was thrown into a cistern, sold into slavery, and falsely imprisoned. And then there was Moses, a man trained and educated as a prince, later hiding out in Midian ….
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
for their sake he rebuked kings:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm.”

16 He called down famine on the land
and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
    Joseph, sold as a slave.

To the observer, this would have seen like a step backward. How could these men be chosen people? A great nation? Was this how God treated His own? Why would He allow this famine and Joseph to be sold into slavery? We’re blessed to have the entire account, so we know the answer to all the whys … but Joseph and his father Jacob didn’t. They had to trust and cling tight to what they knew to be true.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
till the word of the Lord proved him true.
20 The king sent and released him,
the ruler of peoples set him free.
21 He made him master of his household,
ruler over all he possessed,
23 Then Israel entered Egypt;

Jacob resided as a foreigner in the land of Ham.

While in Egypt, the Israelites were oppressed and enslaved. What happened to God’s promise? I wonder how many gave up hope, how many turned away …. 
26 He sent Moses his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.

Israel’s redemption didn’t come quickly nor easily. It took centuries for God’s promise to be fulfilled. Centuries of trusting or fretting, surrendering or rebelling, focusing on God and His promises or the obstacles marring their way.
37 He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold,
and from among their tribes no one faltered.

Let’s talk about this!

Are you waiting on God for something? Does it feel like you’ve been waiting for ever? Perhaps so long that you’ve begun to wonder if you’re heading in the wrong direction? Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about perseverance and how we can do that during “the waiting period.”


  1. Waiting is not an easy task, but we will grow in our faith and learn more about our God. I waited almost 2 to 3 years to obtain my first job. I learned ‘patience’, ‘trust’, and ‘faith’.

    I will need to learn more about waiting when things are not coming my way.

    1. I imagine that was a difficult time, Dicky! But oh, how precious the lessons you learned! It seems often the harder the struggle, the greater and more resounding the lesson. 🙂

  2. Great psalm for waiting. I agree with you for sure about waiting being hardest. We just want to give up, because we think it’s “no.” But it isn’t always. Great post, Jen!

    1. So, so true! Sometimes I think we may even try to find a no, just for closure or “knowings” sake. Oh, trusting and waiting can be so hard, but what a prize endurance is, once trained.

  3. A timely post! We’ve been waiting for almost 5 years for God to answer our prayers and heal my husband. There are times when it’s incredibly difficult to not question and just wait.

    1. Oh, Edwina, that must be very hard and painful! May God keep you both close to Him as You wait on Him. And may He surround you with caring and supportive believers.

    1. Katie, thank you for your kind words and for stopping by! May God grant you an abundance of peace, patience, and perseverance as you wait on Him and the unfolding of His glorious, loving, and perfect will!

  4. I bet waiting is probably the one thing any Christian would say is hardest. I like it best when God give me the green light–right away. *-) I don’t seem to get any better at waiting despite growing older (but apparently not much wiser). 😎 Yet He has shown me at times what the wait was all about and then I was like “Aha! Now I get it!”

  5. I just stumbled onto this (lol, a God thing I am sure) months after it was written, but I wanted to thank you for it. My husband and I are in a waiting time right now with no real idea of what we are waiting for. When we pray about church and doing something for God we keep hearing wait. Thank you for writing this word, you are a blessing.

  6. I’ve been waiting for a long time… for a job. i have skills and experience, but i’m getting absolutely no interest from anyone. my family has been taking care of all my financial obligations since my divorce & unemployment benefits (tither) ran out and i have been DILIGENTLY applying every day! even had people inside companies advocating for me. i’ve been fasting every wednesday, praying, speaking, serving, naming and claiming God’s Favor. they’re withdrawing their hand of help now… nothing to do but give up my house, sell everything and go live in my parents’ closet/bedroom…

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