Waiting on the Lord
Elijah prayed for rain. It was said that he was a man just like us and we can pray like he did.
James 5:16b-17, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit."
1. wait confidently - in spite of lack of evidence. Where did his confidence come from? The Lord said there would be rain, and he took Him at his Word, even though, He didn't say precisely when the rain would come. He only said it would be soon. Elijah prayed for rain until he saw a cloud. If the Lord has given us a promise to stand on, we can trust that His word is His bond and that He will keep it, even when we don't see evidence.
2. wait expectantly - as Elijah prayed, he kept looking for the Lord's answer
3. wait persistently - Elijah didn't stop praying when he looked and didn't see anything, even after six times!
4. wait in faith - Elijah expected the small cloud he saw to represent rain. He could have said, "Nope, that cloud is way too small to bring any rain," and kept praying. But as soon as he saw it, he got up and warned Ahab that rain was coming and ran ahead of his chariot while the rain fell. When we see small signs of the Lord's answer, we can take it for what it is and expect Him to move. Faith is active. There is a time to wait and pray and there is a time to get up and move. I think He will give the wisdom to tell the difference.
Other examples of people praying and how we should wait on the Lord.
5. wait in calm - God told the Israelites to be still and see the hand of the Lord move as they were waiting for Him to part the Red Sea, in spite of the Egyptian army coming upon them. Also, these verses:
Isaiah 30:15b, "For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.'"
Isaiah 30:18, "Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
7. wait in trust - Daniel trusted the Lord, even when he was lowered into the lion's den. The Lord didn't stop him from going into the den of lions. He protected him and kept him safe while he was in there. So it might be with us. The Lord doesn't keep us from evil times always, but he brings us through shadows of death safe and sound to the other side.
Psalm 34:18-19, "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all."
Why should we not give up hope?
Romans 8:24-25 (NIV), "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
Faith is confidence in what we hope for
Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for."
1 Corinthians 13: 4, 7 ,"Love suffers long and is kind; ... bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
Waiting teaches us patience and He gives us strength
James 1:2-4 (NKJV), "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
Isaiah 43:31, "But those who wait on 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."
Streams in the Desert, devotional on patience in waiting
Wait With Patience
Wait patiently for the Lord! Wait confidently for him! Do not fret over the apparent success of a sinner, a man who carries out wicked schemes!—Ps 37:7 NET
Have you prayed and prayed and waited and waited, and still there is no manifestation?
Are you tired of seeing nothing move? Are you just at the point of giving it all up? Perhaps you have not waited in the right way? This would take you out of the right place the place where He can meet you.
“With patience wait” (Rom. 8:25). Patience takes away worry. He said He would come, and His promise is equal to His presence. Patience takes away your weeping. Why feel sad and despondent? He knows your need better than you do, and His purpose in waiting is to bring more glory out of it all. Patience takes away self-works. The work He desires is that you “believe” (John 6:29), and when you believe, you may then know that all is well. Patience takes away all want. Your desire for the thing you wish is perhaps stronger than your desire for the will of God to be fulfilled in its arrival.
Patience takes away all weakening. Instead of having the delaying time, a time of letting go, know that God is getting a larger supply ready and must get you ready too. Patience takes away all wobbling. “Make me stand upon my standing” (Daniel 8:18, margin). God’s foundations are steady; and when His patience is within, we are steady while we wait. Patience gives worship. A praiseful patience sometimes “long-suffering with joyfulness” (Col. 1:11) is the best part of it all. “Let (all these phases of) patience have her perfect work” (James 1:4), while you wait, and you will find great enrichment. —C. H. P.
Hold steady when the fires burn,
When inner lessons come to learn,
And from this path there seems no turn
“Let patience have her perfect work.”