11.3.2016

How to Wait on God Without Losing Faith

Have you ever wondered whether waiting on God is really worth it? My friend Wendy Pope is guest posting on the blog today to encourage us through those hard (and sometimes impossibly long) seasons where we’re desperate for a breakthrough.

We prayed for healing.

We anointed with oil.

We believed.

We waited and we waited… And we waited some more.

Have you been there? Have you done that? I should probably back up a bit so you can get the whole picture.

On November 23, 1991, I married the man of dreams…literally. Tall. Blond hair. Blue eyes. Drove a fast red sports car. (OK. I know this is little vain, right? But I was in my late teens.) A Christian. There. Yes God, that kind of guy will do just fine. Yep. That was him, the man I wanted to marry. So standing before Scott on our wedding day, you can only imagine how divinely blessed I believed my marriage would be since God answered my prayers down to eye color. With great confidence, we danced into our life of bliss.

Fast-forward to our earlier 40’s, you know, that time when we start noticing lines around our eyes, loosen the belt to the next hole, and grunt when we stand up. These are the typical signs of normal wear and tear that come with age, but my healthy husband seemed to have aches and issues beyond the norm. Without warning, we were thrust into a season of sickness and revolving doors of medical experts.

We started this health journey with hope, but for eighteen months doctors probed, prodded, and stuck the body of my once strong and healthy husband. This specialist treated his symptoms with that medication. That specialist treated his symptoms with different medication.

The seemingly never-ending roller coaster of meds and doctor visits finally stopped when we heard two life-altering words to my worn-out and weary husband: rheumatoid arthritis. Finally, a diagnosis…finally, an answer. Oh how we wanted our medical wait to end; but let’s face it, sometimes our wait doesn’t end as we expect. Sometimes it seems our wait will never end.

The wait is more about experiencing God than enduring the delay. Instead of getting distracted by the object of our wait, a medical diagnosis, we can grow closer to God, the Person of our faith. Here are three truths we can tuck deep in our heart to help us wait without losing faith.

1) Maintain your spiritual strength through prayer and reading God’s Word.
I realize this is the Sunday School answer. I also know that when waiting has stolen your peace, praying and reading your Bible is not at the top of the to-do list. Long waits can drive a wedge in our relationship with God. Even though I didn’t feel like spending with God, spending time with God was exactly what I needed. Peace will fill our circumstances when we push through our feelings to stay close to God and allow His Word to navigate us through our wait.

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105 KJV)

2) Fight for praise.
On the days Scott could barely walk praising God felt like a huge sacrifice. I wanted answers from God. I didn’t want to offer applause to God. Through my Bible reading, I fell in love David’s psalms. This man knew about suffering and waiting yet praised God. We can be certain that even on the bad days, God is still good. He will carry us through our season of waiting. Even though it is hard to praise God when the future is unknown, there’s always something worthy of praise.

You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my fortress.
(Psalm 59:9 NLT)

3) Find small and simple ways to love people.
Our churches, neighborhoods, and communities are full of individuals who need a touch from Jesus. This truth is number three for a reason. It is only when we have immersed ourselves in the Word, spent time with God in prayer, and made praise part of our routine that we can help others. Scott and I don’t have to look far to find someone in need. Our troubles seem to be minimized when we focus on someone else.

Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25 NIV)

When we find ourselves in a holding pattern, it’s easy to ask, What was I doing wrong? Is God holding my past against me? What do I have to do to earn His favor? Rest assured, God never presses pause out of spite. Sometimes waiting has less to do with the strength of your faith and more to do the perfection of God’s timing. God makes us wait at times so we can glean valuable lessons. In the wait, He is preparing us for what He has already planned for us. Waiting isn’t wasting time; it’s training time.

Wendy is giving away 5 copies of her new book, Wait and See, today! To be entered to win, leave a comment below sharing which of these 3 truths you’re going to implement in your situation this week.

Comments

  1. Viv says

    No. 1 is literally the reason ive come back and read this blog post.
    I keep avoiding God because its painful to have no answers still.
    Will fight and try though to not make that a wall between us anymore.
    Thankyou x

    • Terry says

      I’m a man. is it OK to be reading proverbs 31 ministry articles or is there something else I should be reading?

  2. Sandra says

    Number 2! I’m going to seriously take praise to a new level. After one year without an income, I need God to bless me with a new job.

  3. Alicia Bock says

    I’m going to continue implementing all 3. I’ve been walking through a struggle the past two weeks…waiting on God..
    I have been pressing..fasting..praying. It’s been beautiful to watch my relationship with Jesus grow through this trail. I’m so grateful, because I can’t imagine going through this without him…I would SINK! I’m going to push myself to focus on #3 more. When I’m enduring trials & waiting on God, my tenancy is to be reclusive and selfish. I’m excited to see how God will move through this endeavor! Thanks for the encouragment!!!

  4. Angela Harvey says

    Wendy, thank you for your insight and words of encouragement. I will be implementing “fighting for praise”. It is easy to focus on myself and my circumstances while I wait. But in the midst of praising God it is very difficult to focus on anything other than the awesomeness of God.

  5. Jean C. says

    Number 2 is a big one for me….it seems quite challenging to PRAISE God when you are hurting, and especially when there is no “human” around to help you walk through your pain. However, I will follow through on what you said and did in your “time of waiting”and give God the “YET PRAISE” that he so dearly deserve. (Psalm 42:5 & Habakkuk 3:17-19)!!!
    Thank you SO much.

  6. Shelly Kissinger says

    Thank you for this article.. It is exactly what I needed at the exact moment I needed to see it!! I am praying daily, praising daily, and navigating God’s word daily while waiting on my marriage to be restored. Now I know what I’ve been missing.. Serving others. 🙂

  7. Kate says

    I really need to start at #1 for sure as I am in this waiting season. As you said, it doesn’t always make it to the top of our list during these times, but it is crucial.

  8. Denise says

    Maintaining my spiritual strength through prayer and reading God’s word. I pray and praise most all day and my life revolves around loving others, as I am a stay at home mom and foster mom…I struggle to find time to read God’s word. I struggle with a lot of things like getting up early and doing my reading to start my day. It is something I truly desire and pray about every night, but something I can’t seem to do.

  9. Yvette Rivera says

    I will put No. 1 iinto practice this week. This is the area that I find so easy to slack off from and then feel so very guilty. I know this is where God needs me to be so that I can be ready for what he had for me.
    Thank you do much. I feel so very blessed.

  10. Diana Brenman says

    Your words “Experiencing God more than enduring a delay……. Allow His word to help us navigate through the wait…..”

    This is SO TRUE!

    So I will aim to apply the first truth. God is with us in our waiting. Letting God be God and experiencing Him in the time He answers with “wait” in my specific prayer to Him.

  11. says

    Psalm 59;9 sums it up “O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.”
    The thing I like to implement is the simple daily acts of love. Meeting the small needs in times of desperate need. Many of my friends and coworkers are suffering from Autoimmune diseases, theses diseases are strongly correlated to diet. I love them so much, I make up recipes and bring them food from God’s garden that helps to heal. The years of highly processed food have possibly taken a toll on your husbands joints Wendy. I pray God opens the eyes of your husband to see what He offers in His garden to heal and relive symptoms. Just as He has revealed how His word heals.
    Blessings!

  12. Phyllis McElroy says

    By finding small and simple ways to love people. I truly believe that in service to others a God will meet you at your point of need each and every time, and in turn your being the message by showing the love of a Jesus.

  13. Lori J Shuman says

    Praise….When I think about recent life struggles, and the current world situation..I feel it is important to praise God , even in the little things, praise God for the joy we can feel at simple things like…The Cubs winning the World series. What joy Many people were praying for this, especially for loved ones who have waited their entire life to see it.
    So many were praying that my father, a life long Cubs fan, who now suffers from Dementia, would understand what was going on…and he did! Totally. Praise God..it meant so much to him. So the long suffering of Cubs fans is over, but I praise God that my Dad felt so much joy!

  14. Lauren M. says

    I will fight for praise this week. I have let the enemy defeat me far too long with what I’m going through and I know God has a plan for me. I WILL praise Him in the weak moments despite what I feel and see. God’s picture is bigger than what I see through my current view.

  15. Elizabeth says

    Thank you so much for these beautiful words of encouragement. The act of “Waiting and seeing” has been on my heart for several months. When my husband and I found out we were expecting our third child, joy and excitement was quickly covered by clouds of fear and sorrow. Our baby, our miracle, has been fighting to overcome a rare illness known as Hydrops Fetalis. With this diagnosis; survival rate is typically very low. It seems each day and each week that passes, we wait…and wait…and wait…while our baby girl continues to fight the odds of what doctors have informed; she continues to fight for her life. As a mom, and a daughter of Christ, I cling to hope and pray for strength as we wait and see the face of our daughter. I also know, should this not be in God’s plan for her or our family that she soon see the face of our Lord. Prayer warriors, please wrap your hearts and prayers around our family and our around this sweet baby as we hope for a miracle.
    With love and thanks,
    The Johnson Family

    • Lysa TerKeurst says

      Oh Elizabeth,
      We are so glad that you shared this with us so that we can join you in praying miraculous prayers for your precious baby girl. Jesus, we pray for strength and peace for this family as they continue to await their new reality. We pray that you would comfort when comfort is needed, give wisdom when wisdom is needed, and peace no matter what. We thank you for the gift of life both on earth and with you forever. We love you, and surrender this situation to You!
      Blessings and Love,
      LT Ministry team

  16. Traci says

    Give praise is what I choose. I am going through a two major life issues in my family. I am thankful for the good day.

  17. says

    I have to admit that Praying has not been a priority for me during this “Holding Pattern” season. I will do my best to meet God on my knees every morning so that He can give me the strength and encouragement I need to make it through the day.

    I’ve been running on empty trying to give to others without first allowing God to pour into me. Thank you for this post!

  18. says

    Thank you so much for this great post and chance to get this book!

    The one truth that stuck out to me and personally I find the hardest at times, is pressing into praise. God is so worthy of praise and often it is the first thing I let go because of my circumstances and the first one I should be running to. My situations are only circumstantial, God never changes and He is always good.

  19. Rhonda says

    Good evening a friend suggested we work on this bible study together so we are. Recently I took a job a long ways and in another state (warmer climate) away from family and friends and good job to what I thought was my calling in life. It was evident in a few weeks it was not a good fit. The job was serving many others which is normally energizes me,was frantic and traumatic. Not to mention pay contract was way below expected and contract was not provided until 1 week after my move. This was not what expected and not what envisioned, each week I seek the Lord in prayer and apply for jobs back near family.Then a threat came at me on the job although boss supportive, it was confirmation to leave. That night and next day after reading the first portion of book, blogs on “waiting on God”& with another bible teacher on changing attitude, I gained valuable insight on what I was to learn through this experience, and adjust my attitude to see through God’s eyes. The next morning after the threat I noticed myself joking and laughing more with staff members and joyful, looking forward to God’s next move instead of living in fear and desperation. It’s in His timing and we are to look to His face for comfort and know the winters only last so long.

  20. Janet Texeira says

    All 3! I’m currently in a bad situation with my husband and while we’re seperated I’ve immersed myself in Jesus Christ and the love of our God. It is there I have found peace during by his trying time.

  21. elisabeth says

    Thanks for this perfectly-timed post! I need to do #1. Wendy said it well- I don’t feel like reading the Word and praying to God as I wait, but I need to push past my feelings and do it. Aiming to do just that this week!

  22. Joy says

    I’m excited to read this book. Wait has always been a 4 letter word to me but as I have aged (knocking on 50) I’m learning to look for what God is doing in the waiting. I’m excited to see how and learn more about the treasure of waiting on a God

  23. says

    “The wait is more about experiencing God than enduring the delay.” – This is SO profound! I love this insight and wisdom. I have many friends in “waiting seasons” right now and I know this will bring comfort to them! Sometimes we get so impatient and we want answers NOW that we forget to be content with where He has us right now and to praise Him because we know that He is in control!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  24. says

    Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path…. I’ve been traveling through a lonely, dark place in life. The words of family members that sting the depths of my heart, the judgmental glances that pierce my soul are only placed in my life to strengthen my relationship with God. I am thankful for I know without a shadow of doubt, I must accept God’s will in my life and “wait for His timing”. Faith is my strength and dear sisters like you are my resource of encouragement. May God bless you all in His due time.

  25. Amber says

    This is an amazing story! I have been having some health issues myself and fell into the oh pity on myself.What a light to show me the things I neglect. Goodness Thy Will shall be done in God’s timing and not my own!! Even if I do not get a free copy of the book I shall buy it!

  26. Tiffany says

    Wow! Just what the “doctor” ordered. I have been standing and waiting for a breakthrough from God for almost 2 years without any light of hope. I needed this boost to get re-energized and built back up to continue to stand and wait on HIM. I will begin with 1 and end with 3. God speaks and this message is absolute proof of that.

  27. Dawn Stewart says

    Thank you for this encouragement. For a decade I have been waiting on the Lord for the spiritual and physical healing for my son. In prayer and Bible reading the Lord has given me such sweet promises. He reminds me that faith isn’t faith until the waiting begins. As it goes on and on, it may seem like it is taking too long to see the results in my dear sons’ life, but dear sisters, God doesn’t waste a thing. He promises to use every heartache for the building up of our spirits and of those around us, both now and in the future. 2 Cor. 1:3-7 And yes, daily I see those who need a hand up in body and spirit. There is plenty of encouragement to go around. Thank you for yours.

  28. Mikilisa says

    I’m going to try #2. I really have a desire to be a wife and mother. And at this point in life I have never been in an intimate relationship. I’ve never even been kissed. I’ve held out because I believed God had a bigger plan. But now that I’m in my mid-30s it’s getting really hard to keep that hope alive, a daily struggle even. I do pray and try to help one person daily but my praise has left. I know there are worse things in this world than being always single but for me… this is my struggle.

  29. Shelly says

    This book sounds like a great read for EVERYONE.
    I believe number two will be my go to plan for this week… and what a great month to practice being aware of things in my life to be thankful for and to give Him praise. I cannot think of a better time to “fight for praise” items. Thank you for giving me a good reason to work on this. Praise God!😍

  30. Linda C says

    I will continue to do #1 as I have been doing, and I will work harder to do #2 which I have been struggling with. #3 has been a focus of my life in the past but recently in the struggles we have been going through I have become selfish and have backed away from some of those opportunities. I am so physically tired from the struggle to keep moving forward when it feels like I am constantly flying into a 100 mph headwind.
    Thank you for all your encouragement and the knowledge that I am not the only one feeling lost in this seemingly unending season of waiting.

  31. Terry says

    I have been struggling with #2. Some days the waiting is more than I care to bear.I have to has the perfect plan and his timing is always right.

    • Terry says

      Oops. should have rea above before I posted. I have to remember God has the perfect plan and his timing is always right.

  32. Christina says

    I’ve been married for 25 years to a man who professes to know the Lord from his lips but not with his actions. I’m ready to give up on this wait except I want my children to be done with high school first. I guess I’ll start with #1 and see what happens.

  33. Donna G says

    I am going to build my spiritual strength by praying and reading my Bible. It has been difficult for me to do these things because I feel I have been treated unfairly by God.

  34. says

    I needed this so much today Wendy. Thank you so so much. “Sometimes waiting has less to do with the strength of your faith and more to do the perfection of God’s timing. ” – Over time, waiting for healing, the little lie has snuck into my mind that I didn’t have enough faith. Thank you for reminding me that it’s not about me, and it’s all about Him; His purposes and plans that span distance and my small understanding of time.

  35. Becky Young says

    Reading daily, God’s Word for strength and encouragement. I will begin my day with prayer and scripture so as to start with focus on the Lord Jesus. I’m looking for ways to love others. My love language is food and serving. I will use meal ministry to love others. I will fight for praise when I begin to get discouraged and heavy laden with feelings of hopelessness because the situation isn’t changing. I will listen to praise and worship music which will serve to remind me of God’s faithfulness and keep my focus on Him instead of the world and circumstances.

  36. says

    To maintain my spiritual strength they prayer and meditation. Asking for help in prayer to keep me in his word and truth, to be more intentional in his word. I need more discipline and strength lately have been drawn away.

  37. Trisha Willoughby says

    Thank you for all the encouragement. I will be trying my best to implement all three into my life. I am currently sick and waiting to get better. I am very tired of crying all the time when it seems to be for no reason, The pain never stops. My boyfriend who I have been with for a long time, is no longer a believer and is always attacking my faith. I am grateful for people like you who help me get through the struggle.

  38. Jeannie George says

    This is the first day I’ve read your blog Lysa, but oh how I needed these words. My family has been in a “season of waiting” for some time and it’s so easy to wonder why this lean period has lasted so long. But your words struck a cord with me when you wrote, ” it’s not time wasted, “it’s a time of training”.

    There have been times when I’ve wondered, “what have I done wrong or is my faith strong enough? But during these times, I’ve also discovered that it’s not about the challenges we face daily, it’s about taking the journey. And I an comforted as I remember what God said in Jeremiah 29:11 that reads, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you…. Plans to give you hope and a future. And it is at these times where prayer is my most powerful weapon. If God brings you to it, He will certainly bring you through it!

  39. Elisa says

    Wow! As I read these comments, I am reminded how there is so much need for encouragement.

    I had a struggle that attacked my very being, my very passion recently. As I walked through the struggle and sought the Lord, God reminded me about a request I had made to Him.

    I had requested, “Lord, please don’t send me anyone else to help right now. I need a break.” I know that sounds horrible, but it is the truth. I can’t remember exactly where I was in my life, but I must have been tired, exhausted and I asked God to stop the flow.

    So, in my own struggle, God reminded me. I prayed for forgiveness and asked Him to renew my ministry, because even in the pain, great joy comes from helping each other.

    I pray that I never forget that again and reading here today, I am grateful that others are willing to stand in the gap for each other.

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