Waiting on God's timing:
What does the Bible say about having patience in
Question: I was entreating the Lord on behalf of my trial and he gave me John
11:6. I believe He was telling me that He is aware of my situation but
will not take me out of the testing until the time He has determined so
that He will be glorified. Maybe I am reaching but I don't know why else
this verse would pop into my mind.
Response: This is indeed a great verse/parallel for situations where God makes
us wait. When one is under pressure, it is hard to remember that for
God, a day is like a thousand years. It is also easy to shake our heads
when we read of believers in the Bible not being patient enough to wait
for God's deliverance, being critical as we sit in our arm chairs. But I
know from personal experience that when the heat is turned up, a day can
seem like a thousand years, and I find myself tempted to say, as in the
Psalms, "How long, O Lord?" I need to start making a list of these
passages/parallels. I had never thought of the Lazarus situation in this
respect before, but it clearly is an excellent reminder that even when,
from the human point of view, it looks for all the world like "the game
is over", the decision has been rendered, and we were not delivered,
still, as long as we are alive, there is reason to hope in God, because
nothing is impossible for Him, not even raising the dead, not even
bringing forth life from a man and woman in their 90's, not even sending
His own Son into the world as a true man to die for us. It is very, very
easy to lose the right perspective, especially when the pressure mounts
and the time grows long, and the Abyss approaches. God let the Egyptian
army get right to the point of deploying to destroy the Israelites
before He made a way through that seemingly untraversable sea. It is
sometimes hard to trust His timing. As I grow in the Lord, I am trying
to take this perspective under pressure, trying to remember that we are
all tested, trying to remember that I actually want to be tested, to
enjoy the experience, to show my heart and my faith - this is not stuff
for spiritual neophytes, but it is essential to get to a certain point
of spiritual growth. I have learned a lot of things in my spiritual life
by failing tests. I want to get to the point of learning some things
through passing tests.
Thank you for your patience, faith and persistence. It really is a
reminder to me that all our "brothers in the world are undergoing the
same kind of suffering " (1Pet.5:9), and an example of the positive
witness of keeping one's chin up at all times.
Please also see the following links which may be of help on this issue:
On the Firing Line:
Encouragement in Christian Trials.
Fighting the Good Fight of Faith.
Faith and Encouragement in the midst of Fiery Trials.
Isaiah 6:11-13, and the Hope of Repentance.
Series: Coping with Personal Tribulation
You remain in my prayers for deliverance.
Your friend in Christ,