Sometimes when we pray long and hard about a situation in our life without receiving any answers, we just learn to live with it. We go on about our business, wondering if or when God will send the answer. But God does hear those prayers, and He’s working out the answers even though we may not know all the details. Our situation can change suddenly—quickly without warning!
But one thing is certain: Before God moves suddenly, we will wait. Waiting for answers is a fact of life—nobody gets out of it. So the question is not if we'll wait, but rather how we’ll wait. And I believe how will determine how long.
Two Ways to WaitAll of us will wait passively, or we'll wait expectantly. A passive person hopes something good will happen and is willing to sit around waiting to see if it does. After a short time, he gives up, saying, "That’s it! I've waited and waited and nothing's happened." The passive person has a lot of wishbone but not much backbone!
The expectant person, on the other hand, is hopeful, believing the answer is just around the corner, due to arrive any minute. His belief is not a passive thing. His heart is full of hope, expecting his problem to be solved at any moment. He wakes up every morning expecting to find his answer. He may wait and wait, but suddenly what he’s been waiting for happens.
Expect It to HappenIt’s just like when a woman is pregnant; it's said that she is expecting a baby. She carries inside her the promise of a baby, and even though she can’t see it, she knows it's there. The moment she learns of her pregnancy, she begins to plan for her baby's arrival. She starts collecting items she'll need and busily gets the nursery ready. She actively prepares for the arrival of the baby because she knows the promise will be fulfilled—it's just a matter of time. She is expectant and she'll wait as long as it takes.
We know the word wait means "to expect" or "to look for." But remember, it also means "to serve" — just like a waiter waits on your table at a restaurant. Our act of waiting isn’t supposed to be spent sitting around passively hoping that something will happen sometime soon.
Be Eager with FaithOnce we've asked God to answer a question or solve a problem, we need to be eagerly awaiting His answer. We need to be serving actively, aggressively and expectantly. When our hearts are eager to hear from God, He loves to rush in suddenly with His solution. In many cases this waiting period actually serves as a time of preparation for the answer. If God answered right away, many of us would be ill-prepared to handle His solution.
Sometimes we find ourselves in such horrible messes that it's hard to imagine waiting one more second. But we need to keep waiting on God and trusting Him with a sweet and simple faith. Then, in a way we never could've figured out—God moves suddenly!
Then All of a Sudden...In the Bible Paul and Silas knew about waiting, and they waited well. Acts 16 tells the story of how they were attacked by a crowd, beaten and thrown in jail. Verse 24 says the jailer put them into the inner prison (the dungeon) and fastened their feet in the stocks. He was making sure they couldn't escape. But about midnight, God showed up. Now it would have been nice if He'd come a little earlier, but Paul and Silas didn’t seem to mind—they just decided to start singing and began to worship the Lord. They began to wait on God.
Verses 25 & 26 say, "But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened." God answered them suddenly!
When people patiently and expectantly wait on God in the midst of horrible circumstances, suddenly God breaks through.
So don't give up! Don’t stop believing! Stay full of hope and expectation. God's power is limitless, and He'll break through for you.
This article is taken from Joyce's DVD teaching, When, God, When?