6 Things We Must Consider as We Wait for God to Act

6 Things We Must Consider as We Wait for God to Act

A good friend often shares this reminder: God is never late, and rarely early; He is an on-time God. These are encouraging words for all of God’s people who believe in prayer and worship a sovereign God. God doesn’t work on our timetable, but accomplishes all that He wills according to His own schedule.

No one likes waiting. We live in an age of microwave meals, instant access to information, and next-day shipping. The idea behind all our modern-day conveniences is that they will “save” time for us, but the reality is, we are far busier than our ancestors ever were. We strive to accomplish more and more, to pack as much as we possibly can into the twenty-four hours allotted to each day. And if by chance we must wait longer than we feel we should, we grow impatient, rude, and discontent.

I don’t believe this is the way God intended us to live. Life in the Garden of Eden was simple, as Adam and Eve enjoyed the beautiful world the Father had created for them. As each day ended, they had time to enjoy what surely was a spectacular sunset and looked forward each evening to walking with God in the cool of the day and enjoying His presence (Genesis 3:8).

Now, we squeeze as much as we can out of every minute and drop exhausted into our beds, only to do it all over again the next day.

No wonder we find it difficult to wait on God.

How do you respond when God fails to answer your prayers, or your questions, or change your circumstances in what you feel is a “timely” manner? Does it grow your faith, or challenge what you believe about Him?

Here are six things we need to consider as we wait on God.

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Man walking down a forest path

1. Trust That God Has a Path for You, and Will Keep You on It

“Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:4-5).

“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

It can be frustrating when we make plans that don’t work out. We can’t see into the future; we can only make decisions based on what we know, what we’ve experienced, and the good counsel and wisdom we find in God’s Word. As we wait, we must trust that God’s Spirit will speak to us, directing our steps, and that He is able to orchestrate events so that things work out exactly as He desires and has planned for us.

Have you ever found yourself in a traffic jam, frustrated and anxious that you are going to be late, only to find out later that the delay was a blessing in disguise, perhaps keeping you from a greater tragedy? Instead of seeing roadblocks and delays as frustrations or failures, trust that God is working behind the scenes for the perfect outcome, according to His plans for you.

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Cloud shaped like a heart

2. Remember That God Is Good, and Desires Good for You

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:13-14).

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

We all would prefer to avoid any kind of suffering or trials. Perhaps you’ve planned a long-awaited trip, bought the tickets, and packed your bags, only to get sick, or have something come up that demands your attention and cancels your plans. Without a solid belief in God’s character, His interruptions can derail us spiritually. 

Waiting on God for healing or for a change to better and easier circumstances requires us to remember that He is essentially good in His nature, and that His goodness is eternal and infinite. All His actions toward us are good and designed to accomplish good in our lives.

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young woman looking up at sky

3. Know That God Is Aware of Your Heart’s Desires

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land” (Psalm 37:3-9).

These scriptures remind us that God is not “playing” with our feelings when He causes us to wait. He knows us intimately and designed us personally. As our Creator, He knows best what will satisfy our hearts and meet our deepest needs. Whether it’s a relationship, a job, or something more tangible and physical, trust that what God provides for you will be worth the wait. Ultimately, He meets the desires of our heart with Himself as we deepen our relationship with Him.

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Couple pointing to the stars

4. Be Assured That God Sees You and Is Thinking about You

“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord. How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, and Your thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count” (Psalm 40:1).

When God isn’t answering our prayers as quickly as we’d like, it can seem like He doesn’t hear us. We may feel forgotten, as if He doesn’t care. According to His Word, this is never true. God’s thoughts toward us are too numerous to count.

Speaking of His beloved city, Jerusalem, and His people, the children of Israel, God says, “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;

Your walls are continually before Me” (Isaiah 49:15-16). All who have put their faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, are His beloved children. God inscribed us on the palm of His hands with the scars from the nails that held Jesus to the cross on our behalf. Never doubt that God sees you while you are waiting on Him to act.

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A man out in a field holding a Bible

5. Trust That God Is Present with You

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea. … Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold” (Psalm 46:1-2, 10-11).

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).

Waiting is hard at any time, but never harder than when we feel we are waiting alone. God said it was not good for man to be alone; that’s why He created Eve, so that Adam would have a companion (Genesis 2:18). Our brothers and sisters in Christ, our family, and our friends can make our burdens lighter as we wait, but the ultimate Helper we need is God Himself. We must believe He is present, and that He is with us in our waiting.

Knowing and believing that God is present with us gives us hope and courage while we wait for Him to act. Speaking to His disciples in anticipation of His return to heaven, Jesus promised, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). He was speaking of the Holy Spirit who would be sent by the Father to indwell His followers. God is always present with us; He is in us, and He waits with us.

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woman praying outside

6. Ponder and Meditate on God’s Word, Which Will Sustain You

“Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul” (Psalm 54:4).

“My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2).

Waiting patiently for the Lord to act requires occupying our minds and hearts with something greater. Our focus must not be only on what we need God to do for us, but on who He is and what He has already done. Waiting will not seem like waiting if we sustain our souls with the abundant spiritual nourishment we find in His Word. Instead, we will find that the waiting becomes a place of joy and peace, trusting that our Father is working, and will answer at just the right time.

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Author Sheila Alewine is a pastor’s wife, mother, and grandmother of five. She and her husband lead Around The Corner Ministries, which serves to equip Christ-followers to share the gospel where they live, work and play. She has written seven devotionals including Just Pray: God’s Not Done With You YetGrace & Glory: 50 Days in the Purpose & Plan of God, and her newest one, Give Me A Faith Like That, as well as Going Around The Corner, a Bible study for small groups who desire to reach their communities for Christ. Their ministry also offers disciple-making resources like One-To-One Disciple-Making in partnership with Multiplication Ministries. Sheila has a passion for God’s Word and shares what God is teaching her on her blog, The Way of The Word. Connect with her on her blogFacebook, and Instagram.