Already late, I stood in line to check-in for my doctor’s appointment. I arrived on time, but then the office told me that my appointment had been moved to a different building–across the Kaiser medical campus. Now I stood queued up for a second time, waiting for nearly ten minutes while the receptionist conversed with the person in front of me. Why do I have a tough time waiting? I knew I needed to read some Bible verses about waiting to get my mind straight again.
During small annoyances, many of us often struggle to wait. What about the larger zones of waiting where when we are praying for direction, healing, or help, and do not experience a swift reply?
Why is it so hard to wait on God?
I’ve been here before, and I’m sure I’ll be here again: a long period of waiting on God to answer me. A year ago, I sold a large website I founded, grew, and ran for 14 years. Selling this business was a welcome transition and I don’t regret my decision; however, it thrust me into a long season of waiting on God for guidance into my new phase of professional life. While I thought this period of waiting was only connected to my work, I’m finding that its source emanates from within. I’ve often struggled with identity issues and, over the years, confused what I do for a living with who I am as a person.
I know I’m not alone in this confusion.
Can you go to the Bible for help with waiting?
Because I’m a person of faith, I typically go to the Bible for guidance on a daily basis. I also pray throughout the day and pause to listen to hear God speaking (or nudging, or whispering) to me. While what I hear the most is silence, when I carve out time to pray for 20 minutes in the morning or listen to Christian music during the day, often I hear Jesus whisper to me through lyrics, in through sharing my struggles with close friends or family.
What does the Bible say about waiting?
According to Bible Gateway, the New International Version of the Bible has 129 uses of the word “wait” and 29 instances of the word, “waiting.” Clearly waiting is nothing new to God. He’s been there all along as the Israelites wandered (waited) in the desert looking for the promised land. David waited for Saul to regain sanity and stop chasing him. Ruth waited for a husband and kinsman-redeemer. Hannah waited for a child. Job waited for tragedy to stop consuming his life. Mary waited to give birth to the Son of God. The Bible, I’m afraid, is full of people who waited.
I thought to myself, If God was there in the waiting with these faithful followers who have come before me, can I be patient in my waiting now?
Because we all need encouragement, here are 12 Bible Verses About Waiting:
#1 – Take Courage in the Lord While You’re Waiting (Psalm 27:14)
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
#2 – The Lord Really Does Hear Your Voice (Psalm 5:3)
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
#3 – Rejoice in God While You’re Waiting (Psalm 3:20-21)
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.
#4 – Don’t Fret While You’re Waiting on the Lord (Psalm 37:7)
Be still before the Lord; wait patiently for Him and entrust yourself to Him; Do not fret (whine, agonize) because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
#5 – Have Faith That the Lord Will Answer (Psalm 38:15)
Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.
#6 – Be Patient as You Wait for the Lord (Psalm 40:1-3)
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 the Lord
and put their trust in him.
#7- You Can Put Your Hope in the Word of God (Psalm 130:5-6)
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
#8 – The More You Wait, the More Joyfully Expectant You Can Become (Romans 8:22-28)
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
#9 – Jesus Christ Will Keep You Centered as You Wait (1 Corinthians 1:6-8)
God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
#10 – Jesus Christ Will Bring Salvation to You as You Wait (Hebrews 9:28)
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
#11 – You Can Patiently Wait for Jesus to Return (James 5:7)
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
#12 – You Can Wait for the Lord’s Mercy to Have Eternal Life (Jude 1:21)
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Additional Resources About Waiting on God
- My Poem, Waiting Faithfully
- Sermon by Charles Stanley, Waiting on God
How about you? What is your posture towards God as you wait faithfully for him to answer?