6 Lessons to Encourage You While Waiting on God

Here are 6 lessons to learn while waiting on God.

Do you like waiting? I don’t. I do not like having to wait for anything. Patience is something that I have struggled with for a long time. I even made the mistake of praying for God to give me patience. He gave me four boys! 

Listen, waiting is hard. Especially when you’re in a messy situation that doesn’t feel good. I spent years in an unhappy and unhealthy marriage waiting for God to do something miraculous. Waiting for the situation to change, waiting for things to get better, and waiting for the abuse to end. 

When God finally made it clear to me – when I finally saw what God had been trying to tell me – that the marriage wasn’t going to be saved because my husband wasn’t going to change I still had to wait. It took almost four years more for it to be over and it was hard. 

I don’t like living in the gray. It was not fun, and years ago, when my dad was diagnosed with stage four cancer, I spent a whole year living in the gray, waiting for him to get better. Ultimately, it wasn’t God’s plan for him to be healed on this side of heaven. 

When that became clear, I spent three agonizing months waiting for the phone call that he was gone. Those were some of the hardest three months of my life. I realized that even knowing what was coming didn’t make the waiting any better. 

So, as much as waiting sucks, I have learned some fundamental lessons about myself and about waiting on God in general, and I’m going to share those with you today.

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Waiting on God is something that we all experience. Some of us wait well, some of us don’t, and some of us, like me, are daily learning how to wait better for God to do all the things that he has promised that he’s going to do. I want to share some lessons that I’ve learned in my journey of learning to wait and learning to wait well. 

Waiting on God Lesson #1: Jesus is There with You

The thing that I want to start with is this truth that even when you’re waiting on God, Jesus is there with you. If you envision yourself in a waiting room, like at a hospital or office building, where you wait for the person that you’re going to see. You wait for news or something else. 

You sit in the waiting room during your life and whatever you’re walking through right now, I want you to remember and know and hold close the fact that you’re not in there by yourself. You’re not sitting in there twiddling your thumbs, pacing the floor by yourself, or getting your own coffee. Jesus is right there with you in the waiting room. 

It’s so easy to believe the lie that you’re all alone. You’re suffering and experiencing the worst pain that you could imagine, and nobody else can see or understand the true extent of your hurt. 

At the beginning of my divorce, it seemed like I had a lot of people on my side, in my corner supporting and encouraging me. That number started to dwindle around the six-month mark and by year two, there were maybe two or three people who were still there. I felt abandoned and alone. 

I felt unsupported and on top of all of the things that I was dealing with – walking through a divorce, healing from an abusive marriage, and helping my kids walk through it all – I also had to grieve the loss of all of those relationships. This is exactly what Satan wants. 

He wants you to feel isolated and alone. He wants to get in your mind and make you believe that all hope is gone. Your challenge is to not let him do that. The truth is that even if there’s no other human in your corner or walking with you, Jesus is always there. 

There are many times when you don’t see him, you don’t feel him, you don’t hear him, but he is always there. In scripture, it says that God will never leave nor forsake you. So you’ve got to ground yourself in that truth and find comfort in that. 

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Waiting on God Lesson #2: How You Wait Matters

The second lesson is that what you do while you’re waiting matters. When I used to take my older two boys to the doctor when they were really small, I always made sure that they had something to do because we had a long wait for that pediatrician. 

I would take snacks, books, schoolwork, and stuff for them to draw on. When they got older, we would have a deck of cards. It was mostly to keep them occupied and out of trouble so that I didn’t have to discipline and fuss at them the whole time that we were waiting there. 

I would also take a book or my bible. I was in college at the time too, going to law school. I would take my schoolwork so that I could take full advantage of that time in the waiting room. 

The same thing applies to hard times and situations when you’re waiting on God to move and you’re waiting to hear from God

You need to remember that the things that you do matter. Don’t be like me and grumble, complain, and take out your anger and frustration on other people. Don’t refuse to go to church, refuse to pray, and just generally have a nasty attitude and not be pleasant to be around. 

Don’t do that. I did that. It didn’t go well. It was such a hard lesson for me to learn because I had never been through this situation before. I found myself going from one destructive thing to another destructive thing to another destructive thing. 

Hurting my kids, and myself, and damaging some relationships in the process. Until I finally crashed and burned, and I don’t want you to go through that. Are you taking this time to nurture your relationships with God, yourself, your friends, your family, and your close community? 

Take time to do that because you can never be too close to God. There’s no such thing, and you’re going to want to have that relationship be really strong when you’re walking through hard times. You’re not going to make it through that without that priority relationship solid in place. 

Dig into your word, join a bible study, do your own bible study, and focus on prayer. I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that I can go to God with anything at any time and lay it out bare. He listens and he doesn’t judge. He just cares and has compassion for what I’m going through. 

You can also look for ways to bless other people. Everybody’s walking through something, and one of the best things that I did was to look for ways to bless other people. I’m currently leading part of our single mom ministry at my church. 

It was my way to get the focus off of myself and my hard stuff and begin to reach out and encourage other people who are also walking through hard things. To build that community and foster some new friendships and relationships. 

Don’t forget to also take care of yourself. Exercise, sleep, take up a hobby and do something fun. Just find ways to grow and heal mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, while you’re waiting for God to do whatever it is that he’s going to do. 

The time that you spend on growing and healing is not going to be wasted. You’re going to need all of that to keep walking through this hard time and, when it’s over, to keep walking through your life. 

Waiting on God Lesson #3: The Wait Will End

This brings me to the third lesson, which is that the wait will end. I can’t tell you when. I can’t say it will end in three months or a year or one more day. We don’t know that. Only God knows when the end is, which is also another reason why we want to stay close to him, talking to him and listening for his voice, because he has the answers. 

I do want you to know that it can feel like all there is is hurt and pain. That’s not the case. At some point the wait will end, it will be over. Now do I know how it’s going to end for you? No. You might get everything that you’ve been praying for, or you might not. 

When my dad was sick we were all praying for him to be healed. We wanted to have more time with him here, but we didn’t get that. God took him home and healed him on that side of heaven. Your suffering will end. 

Even if your wait ends when you get to heaven, it is going to end. If you can, hold onto that truth and use that to continue to build strength during this time while you’re waiting. Because having no hope is terrible. It is awful and not a great place to be. 

If you can continually remind yourself that what is presently going on in your life will not last forever and that whatever season you’re in is not all that there is to life. It’s going to help you even hold onto a teeny, teeny, teeny tiny bit more of hope. 

That will be enough to get you through to the next minute, the next day, the next week. To help you keep going and put one step in front of the other. 

Final Thoughts on Waiting on God

I’ve learned that God uses these hard times of waiting to build your spiritual muscles. I didn’t realize that at the time, but waiting for my dad to get better, or waiting for him to pass prepared me for less than a year later when my spiritual father would get sick and pass as well. 

I had to walk through pretty much the same thing again and if I hadn’t taken the time and learned to wait well during that season, it would have been so much harder to walk through that second loss.

Those agonizing years of dealing with divorce and court and all of these things have helped me learn how to control my reactions, and how to depend on God for all things, and it’s a big reason why I have this podcast. It’s why I do what I do.

God promises in Isaiah 40:31, “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up with wings as eagles, they’ll run and not grow weary, they’ll walk and they will not faint.” 

God promises, for all of us who are waiting on him, waiting for things to change, and for things to improve, strength and to be there with you no matter what. As we wrap up our time today, I want to share three little tidbits that I want you to tuck in your back pocket as you’re going through whatever the season holds for you. 

These are things that really helped me when I struggled with fear and anxiety, or when I felt like I couldn’t keep going. God reminded me of these three things, and I want to share those with you. 

God Knows What You Need

Number one, God knows exactly what you need. When the children of Israel were freed from captivity they worried about everything. They were worried that Pharaoh was going to come back and get them. They were worried that they were going to go hungry or they were going to die of thirst. 

You know what? God already knew all of that and he had a plan for how he was going to provide every single thing. Knowing that God knows exactly what you need should be a great source of comfort for you. 

He’s hearing your prayers and he sees what you’re going through. He’s not just sitting on his throne twirling his thumbs or ignoring you. He sees all of that and he knows exactly what you need, and he will provide exactly what you need when you need it. 

God Provides Daily

This takes me to the second thing that I want to share with you, God provides what you need but he provides what you need daily. Oftentimes you’re walking through hard things and have this long list of all the things that you need for everything to get better.

I don’t know about you, but for me, a lot of those things are so far in the future that I can’t even see them. Looking at the children of Israel kept reminding me that God provides what we need daily and to take each day on its own. 

Do not worry about tomorrow because each day brings enough trouble all on its own. That’s what the scripture says. You can see that God provided manna for the Israelites and told them to only take enough for that day unless it was preparing for the Sabbath, then they could take enough for two. 

If they took more than they needed for that day, it went bad and they weren’t able to use it. God operates the same way with you. He will provide you with exactly what you need for today. I believe he does this because it helps to build your trust in him. 

When he gives you just a little bit at a time, he’s showing his faithfulness, he’s showing his consistency, and that builds your trust and it builds your faith. 

I have been so overwhelmed by money issues that I didn’t even want to look at the bills. I didn’t want to check the mail because it caused me to panic. Looking back, God would provide exactly what I needed for the day. 

We always had money to pay rent, we always had money to have food, we always had the lights on, and gas in the car. He provided every little thing every single day, even if what I needed for that day was a phone call from a friend or an invitation to a play date so that my kids could have some fun. He always provides.

God Always Keeps His Promises

The last thing is that God always keeps his promises. You’ve probably heard me say this on several podcast episodes, but it’s true. So many people have disappointed me over the years and I think because of that, I expected that from everybody. 

I never expected anybody to keep their word. I never expected anybody to do anything for me, because so many had failed. I realized that I was also thinking that way about God. But that’s not true.

The bible says that God’s not a man that he should lie. He always keeps his promises. So when God says he’s going to do something, you can take that to the bank. He’s going to do it. He’s going to see that his word is fulfilled. 

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