Instant Gratification or Waiting
It is remarkable how much our society contributes to our expectation for there to be instant gratification for whatever we want. James shows that this concept may not always have application in our lives. “Be patient, brethren…see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your heart…” (Jas. 5:7-8).
Think about the simple illustration used by James. Farmers understand this principle. Hours and hours, days and days are spent in planting and weeding, and when all of that is done, he waits. The time of harvest is coming, but it does not come immediately. Christians must learn to exercise patience in serving our God.
Blessings He Gives to Those Who Wait
There are those blessings which await those who have learned to be patient. David speaks of the fact that God will exalt those who wait (Psa. 37:34). Solomon reminds us that another blessing God gives to those who wait is salvation (Prov. 20:22). While we tend to tire as we wait, the words of Isaiah promise us that as we wait, God will renew our strength and we will soar as the majestic eagle. We shall “…run and not be weary” (Isa. 40:31). The prophet Micah reminded Israel that as they waited for the Lord to act, God would hear them. Zephaniah added the assurance that God will arise to help us (Mic. 7:7). Paul describes our walk with the Lord based on the fact that we have assurance as we wait that the Lord will return to receive us some day (Phil. 3:20).
Our Response As We Wait
There are those values we must have as we wait for the Lord to respond to our petitions. We must continue to seek Him. “The Lord is good to…the soul who seeks Him” (Lam. 3:25). Paul describes it this way: “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9). Think of how often David had to wait for the Lord to deliver him. The psalmist said, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psa. 37:7).
There is no doubt that we shall win the battle and gain the victory. In His word, our God, who cannot lie, has promised this. Write these words on your heart, “In His word do I hope” (Psa. 130:5). It is this hope that is the anchor of our souls and reaches far beyond a present trial. It reaches beyond the veil into the heavens (Heb. 6:19-20). By faith we look upward and see our Savior sitting there. He is our forerunner waiting for our arrival.
God, help us to learn to wait on You!