Waiting…not something anyone likes or, for the most part, is very good at. Maybe you’re in a season where it feels like you’ve been waiting forever for God to do something.
No matter what your waiting season looks like, this post has something for you.
We’ll use David’s life, and the Psalms he wrote, as our guide for discovering what the Bible says about “waiting on the Lord” and how waiting benefits us.
By the end of this Bible study style post I pray you’ll be able to do as it says in Isaiah 40:31.
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
No matter what your waiting looks like, I pray this time in God’s Word provides renewed hope and trust in God and that you see the benefits of waiting.
Download the Bible study questions and scripture passages here: Waiting on the Lord Bible Study Guide
Waiting is hard. The memory of waiting on the Lord to fix my marriage seems like it was yesterday instead of 10+ years ago.
Day after day I waited and felt like I my prayers were falling to the ground like broken glass.
But God was faithful and despite my marriage ending, God didn’t leave or forsake me. During that season of waiting God provided for me in such amazing ways.
He provided for me through friends, neighbors, and family. He provided roommates so I’d be able to make my mortgage payments. And above all He provided for me by drawing me closer to Him than I’d ever been before.
I get how hard waiting is. I understand the suffering and difficulties of waiting.
For over 20 years I’ve also been waiting for God to heal my body and instead, things get worse with each passing year.
But I still wait patiently on the Lord and trust that if it’s His will, He’ll heal me. Even if my healing doesn’t come until I’m on my knees crying “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty” I will continue to wait expectantly on the Lord.
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength needed to wait on the Lord and use this Bible study and the questions provided to examine your heart in your season of waiting.
What is Waiting on the Lord
The meaning behind “waiting on the Lord” varies slightly, depending on whether you’re looking at an Old or New Testament verse.
In the Old Testament you typically find the word “wait” and in the New you’ll see words like “wait, patience, steadfast, or endure”.
The Old Testament “wait” implies twisting and stretching under tension, like the strands of a rope being formed together so it becomes strong.
The New Testament “wait” means to remain, to be steady despite obstacles, and to endure or put up with surrounding difficulties.
We’re to remain bold, faithful, and patient despite the pressure of waiting.
David got this. He wrote frequently in the Psalms about waiting cuz boy ‘oh boy did he get waiting.
How You're to Wait
There are three how-to points of waiting that I gleaned from David’s life.
- Boldness, and
These are three characteristics that David became known for by life-end. He’s known as the “man after God’s own heart” and how he responded to seasons of waiting are evidence of that truth.
I pray, “woman after God’s own heart”, you learn the benefits behind how and why to wait on the Lord from David?
Psalm 13:1 opens with David crying out to God asking “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?”
David was running from Saul, hiding in a cave, and fearing for his life. You might be asking God the same questions David did.
You could be asking God to provide
- a job or job change,
- salvation for loved ones, or
- restoration of a broken relationship with your husband or children.
Maybe you’ve been waiting on God to bring friends into your life or asking God to heal you, or a loved one.
- No matter what you’re waiting for, will you choose to wait faithfully as David did?
If you read David’s story, you’ll see that God proved Himself faithful on many occasions. One of the first instances you see, in 1 Samuel 17, is Goliath. This is a famous story of God’s faithfulness as David stood before a giant called Goliath.
The thing you’re waiting for might feel as big as, if not bigger than, Goliath. David, in Psalm 13:5-6, said: “But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.”
By the time this Psalm was written, David had waited on God many times and God always proved faithful.
God wants you to see David’s stories and Psalms and realize that He is the same God for you that He was for David.
God won’t fail you.
- What situations are causing you to say: “how long, O Lord?”
- In the past, how has God been good to you?
- How could you choose to mindfully rejoice, despite your circumstance(s)?
There are multiple stories showing David’s boldness and many show his boldness while he waited.
David was anointed king long before he actually became king. In fact, Saul was king at the time David was anointed and David ended up serving Saul while he waited for God to fulfill His promise.
If you want to read about some bold waiting, look at 1 Samuel 16-31. These chapters depict a long season of bold waiting.
A season where David faithfully and patiently waited on the Lord.
David lived as Proverbs 28:1 portrays “The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
In 1 Samuel 20 we find David boldly waiting for Jonathan, his best friend and King Saul’s son, to return with word about whether or not Saul was intent on killing David.
It takes a lot of trust to boldly wait in a field when you know someone’s intent on killing you. Especially when that someone is your friend’s father.
This was one of many instances where David was able to be bold because he
- trusted God,
- meditated on His Word, and
- lived his life in keeping with God’s commands.
David’s long season of boldly waiting on God to fulfill His promise of David becoming king, resulted in David being exalted to “inherit the land”.
- Do you need the Holy Spirit to embolden you for something?
- What is it and will you ask Him to help?
- How could keeping God’s commands help you boldly wait for the situations you noted above?
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3
Waiting patiently is tough. Goodness, I don’t even like to wait half a second for something to download.
We live in an uber fast society and waiting patiently goes against everything the world does.
David knew a lot about waiting patiently though. If you read the 1 Samuel chapters (noted above) you’ll notice this.
David waited patiently in the field, in a cave, in the desert, running from place to place, and with the Philistines. His life was marked by waiting patiently for God to fulfill His promise of David becoming Israel’s king.
We need to appreciate that waiting has value.
David wrote that waiting patiently resulted in God
- hearing his cry,
- giving him a firm place to stand,
- giving him a new song of praise, and
- many people putting their trust in God.
Those are some huge benefits for waiting.
I’d say yes, that the length of time you’re waiting is nothing compared to an eternity without Christ.
- What has God done for you in past seasons of waiting?
- What might God do in and with the waiting season you’re currently in?
- How could you begin waiting in patient expectation?
Why You're to Wait
God's in Control
David was able to faithfully, boldly, and patiently wait on the Lord because he knew God was in control of everything.
His prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 reflects this. He prayed
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.”
David was on his deathbed when he prayed this prayer in front of the whole assembly of Israel. He wanted his son Solomon and the people of Israel to remember that nothing lasts unless its rooted in God.
To remember that no matter what comes their way, God is in control and they should wait patiently on His provision.
- Do you need to put God back in control of whatever you’re waiting for?
- If so, would you go to Him in prayer and lay whatever it is at His feet?
God's to be Obeyed
“I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow Your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord, according to Your Word.” Psalm 119:106-107
If there was anyone who knew about obeying God, it’s David. His life was full of of diligent obedience and seasons of blatant disobedience.
What sets David apart is how quickly he acknowledged and turned from his disobedient acts. And despite suffering greatly because of his disobedience, he still glorified and praised God.
- If your season of waiting is due to things you’ve done, will you turn obediently to God and renew your commitment to follow His ways?
And regardless of the reason for your waiting,
- Will you wait patiently for the Lord by walking obediently in His commands?
God can be Trusted
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this…” Psalm 37:4-5
Earlier in this passage David’s talking about evil men and people plotting against the righteous but he continually contrasts this with how we’re to respond.
David followed these verses on trusting God with a reminder to
“be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways…” Psalm 37:7
He’s telling you to trust God. Telling you to wait patiently for God – don’t give up, God’s got this.
- In your season of waiting, do you trust that God is working all things for your good and to fulfill His good purposes?
How do you wait on the Lord? You wait faithfully, boldly, and patiently.
Why do you wait on the Lord? You wait on the Lord because God is in control, is to be obeyed, and because God can be trusted.
Even when God seems to be missing-in-action, you’re to wait on the Lord and trust that God hears and is working.
God hasn’t forgotten you and He hears every single prayer that comes out of your mouth or is said quietly in the deepest recesses of your brain.
- Would you resolve to trust and wait patiently on the Lord.
- Will you take the things from this Bible study on waiting and prayerfully put them into practice?
The Holy Spirit, who lives inside of you, is there because Jesus knew Christians would need help to successfully follow in His footsteps.
Depend on the Holy Spirit, rely on the power only He can provide, ask Him to make the things of God known to you.
He will. God’s Word says it.
- If your season of waiting is too much for you to bear, would you go to the pastors at your church and ask for help?
If you don’t have a church family, would you email us so we can be praying for you? We’d even be willing to talk with you over the phone or video chat.
Until next time, remember...
We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You. Psalm 33:20-22