BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, cut of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth — praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies” (Psalm 40:1-4 NKJV).
The key phrase in the scripture you have just read is “waited patiently for the Lord.” Waiting for the Lord or waiting upon the Lord is one of the fundamental principles established and taught in the Bible. It is a principle that every child of God must understand and live by if he or she is going to walk effectively with God and become all that God wants each child of His to be.
Many know this principle but still think they can circumvent it and have their way – they don’t want to wait for God. They are in a hurry to have their heart desires in their own way and in their own time. To such people, waiting for God amounts to wasting of time. They run their lives by depending on their senses alone not knowing that their senses are not enough to run their lives. As the adage goes: “Not all that glitters that is gold.” Proverbs 3:5-8 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones” (NKJV). The Bible teaches that those who believe in God and have accepted His lordship over their lives should wait for Him.
To wait for the Lord means to depend upon Him, to trust Him, to look unto Him. “We depend on the LORD alone to save us. Only he can help us, protecting us like a shield” (Psalm 33:20 NLT). It means to count on Him and to long for Him. “I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn” (Psalm 130:5-6 NLT). The New King James Version uses the phrase “wait for the Lord” for the last two scriptures cited. To wait for the Lord (or upon the Lord) is a mark of trusting in Him. To do otherwise is to demonstrate that you have no trust in Him.
The Bible tells us that waiting for the Lord has great benefits which should make this discipline attractive to us. Only those who wait for Him will reap the reward of this discipline. Those who don’t will regret not waiting for Him. And a wise person should consider whatever and whoever does not want him or her to wait for the Lord as a wicked enemy because whatever advantage he or she thinks he or she has gained by not waiting for the Lord will soon manifest as a trap of the devil and a bankrupt enterprise.
Don’t be deceived by the progress those who are not waiting for the Lord appears to be making. It is a deceptive advancement. They may go fast but they won’t go far! What God wants for His children is not just any kind of success but good success. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8 NKJV). Take note of that phrase “good success.” And to have it, you need to wait for the Lord.
From the Scriptures, let me share with you some benefits of waiting for the Lord, which I believe should motivate you to wait for the Lord rather than impatiently run to do your own thing in your own way and at a time chosen by you. This is a recipe for a life of regrets. Here are some benefits that will accrue to you if you wait for the Lord:
(1) You will not be put to shame. God says in Isaiah 49:23, “They shall not be ashamed who wait for Me” (NKJV). There is no shame for those who wait for the Lord. People may laugh them to scorn now or revile them while they wait for the Lord but wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it (Luke 7:35 NLT). Those who deride such waiters for God will soon acknowledge their own folly.
Those who wait for God shall not know shame. Hear the prayer of David: “O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause” (Psalm 25:2, 3 NKJV). David makes a similar request to God in Ps 69:6 “Let not those who wait for You, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed because of me; let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel” (NKJV). God answered that prayer of David. He didn’t allow him to be put to shame. God will not allow you also to be put to shame if you wait patiently for Him. He will show you the path that you will follow that will lead you to honour and glory.
(2) You will be blessed. Isaiah 30:18 says, “… For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him” (NKJV). You can’t wait for God and be cursed, and anyone cursing someone who is waiting for the Lord is only wasting his time because you can’t curse someone that God has blessed. Whoever is cursing such a person is only cursing himself – his curse will return to him. “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you” (Genesis 12:3 NKJV). Anyone cursing whoever is waiting for the Lord is a wicked person and the Bible says concerning the wicked: “He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown” (Psalm 7:15-16 NKJV). Proverbs 26:27 says, “If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will roll back and crush you” (NLT).
Wouldn’t you rather prefer waiting for the Lord and be blessed to running impatiently and wearying yourself? Wouldn’t you rather wait for God to prove His word in your life than for you to settle for self-help which will later lead to regret? “Stolen food may taste sweet at first, but later it will feel like a mouth full of gravel” (Proverbs 20:17 New Century Version).
(3) You will experience the Lord’s goodness. Lamentation 3:25 says, “The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him” (NLT). Wonderfully good things from the Lord will come to those who wait for the Lord and seek him.
“Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach (unto thee), that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, Thy holy temple” (Psalm 65:4 ASV). God satisfies those who wait for Him with His goodness. Many have shared testimonies of different marvelous things they have enjoyed by waiting on the Lord such as good wives, employment, promotion, etc. If you wait for the Lord, this will be your testimony for the Bible says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17 NKJV). Therefore wait upon the Lord; believe to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). He will crown the year for you with His goodness and your paths will drop fatness (Psalm 65:11). Not only the year but surely goodness and mercy shall follow you ALL THE DAYS of your life (Psalm 23:6).
(4) You will receive heaven’s answer to your prayers. God answers the prayers of those who wait for him. He does not close His ears to their prayers. The beauty of prayer is in the answers that follow. It serves as encouragement for such persons to continue to have faith in God and wait for Him rather than going ahead to do their own thing. Many have shared the testimonies of the answer to prayer as they continued to wait for God. But the duration of waiting varies from one person to the other. Prophet Micah says, “Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7 NKJV). Did you see the confidence of Prophet Micah? He was so certain that God would hear Him. God does not deny those who wait for Him in faith. “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks” (Matthew 7:7-8 NLT).
(5) You will obtain your promised blessings. This is related to the last benefit discussed concerning the answer to prayer. Only those who have learnt to wait for God have been able to experience the blessings promised them by God. Those in a hurry and cannot wait will not only frustrate themselves but also receive nothing from the Lord. Psalm 37:9 says, “…Those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth” (NKJV). The Psalms for Today: A New Translation from Hebrew into current English says they “shall obtain their promised blessings” In Acts 1:4, the Bible says concerning Jesus and the disciples: “And, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, (said he,) ye heard from me” (ASV). The disciples must wait for the promise – no short cut. And they did wait and they received the promise. Referring to this, Peter said in Acts 2:33, “ …and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear” (ASV). If you will also wait for the promises of God both the general ones in the Bible and those specifically made to you by the Spirit of God, you will obtain them. Hebrews 6:15 says, “Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised” (NLT). This can be your testimony too. Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12).
(6) You will obtain salvation and establishment. If you wait for the Lord, you will enjoy deliverance, safety, preservation, and stability. David underscores this in Psalm 62:1-2: “Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved” (NKJV). If you wait for the Lord, you will not need to fear any evil for the Lord will save you and protect you. In verses 5-7, David emphasizes his conviction in God’s salvation because he waits for Him: “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God” (NKJV). The book of Isaiah records the same truth: “And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation’” (Isaiah 25:9 NKJV).
No matter the danger that surrounds you or the negative condition you go through, you will experience the Lord’s salvation. This is consistent with the promise of God in Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (NKJV).
The writer of Psalm 66 testifies of the salvation of the Lord from danger: “You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment” (Psalm 66:12 NKJV). When you wait for the Lord, this will be your testimony too. You will gladly say, “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth — praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD” (Psalm 40:2-3 NKJV). Did you see that? You will experience marvelous works of God that attract others to God.
You will sing a new song if you wait for the Lord – your old song will give way to a new one because your story will change. Your new song shall be an expression of your joy over the Lord’s salvation you have enjoyed. “For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory” (Psalm 32:7 NLT). When you enter a new season, your song automatically changes – lamentation changes to a celebration.
Even when the enemy plans or does evil against you, don’t be afraid; don’t pay him or her back with evil. “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17 NKJV). 1 Thessalonians 5:15 says a similar thing: “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (NKJV). Hear also what 1 Peter 3:9 says: “Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (NKJV). If you will not pay evil for evil, the Lord will fight for you; He will deliver you. “Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil’; wait for the LORD, and He will save you” (Proverbs 20:22 NKJV). Don’t ever forget that if you wait for the Lord, you will obtain salvation and establishment no matter the evil that the enemy does against you.
(7) You will gain new strength. Isaiah 40:31 says, “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” (NKJV). There is no weariness or fainting for those who wait for the Lord or upon the Lord. “They will fly high on wings like eagles” (NLT). In the place of waiting, those who wait for the Lord are able to exchange their weaknesses for the strength of God. The Bible says concerning Sarah: “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:11 NKJV). Sarah’s conception was not ordinary – the source of the strength for her conception was God. Both Sarah and Abraham had waited on God for years for the fulfillment of His promise without any result.
David regarded the Lord as his strength, no wonder the exploits he made despite all the problems that he faced. The secret of his exploits was God, his strength. He discloses this secret in Psalm 27: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident” (verses 1-3 NKJV). It takes more than ordinary strength to have victory in such circumstances that David found himself but the Lord who was his strength gave him victory. David says, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him” (Psalm 28:7 NKJV). He calls the Lord “The rock of my strength” (Psalm 62:7 NKJV). When Saul sent soldiers to watch David’s house in order to kill him, David expressed his faith in the Lord, his strength, thus: “You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my place of safety” (Psalm 59:9 NLT).
David was a man who depended on the strength of the Lord rather than trust in his own strength. David says in Psalm 54:1, “Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength” (NKJV). David was a man who appreciated the strength of the Lord. He says again in Psalm 29:11, “The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace” (NKJV).
Psalm 84 is a Psalm credited to the sons of Korah and one of the Psalms that speak on the strength of the Lord. It says in verses 5-7, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion” (NKJV). If you wait for the Lord, you may be passing through your valley of weeping – a season of pain or challenges but the Lord shall give you victory over your adversities bring you into a season of refreshing; the Lord shall cause you to go from strength to strength – you’ll become stronger and stronger while your enemy will become weaker and weaker (2 Samuel 3:1).
A wise person will depend on the strength of God rather than his own strength or the strength of other people and so will wait on God for His strength. “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength” (Psalm 33:16-17 NKJV).
(8) You will not make avoidable mistakes resulting from impatience or weariness. “Impatience will get you into trouble” (Proverbs 19:2 GNT). The New Century Version puts it this way:” “If you act too quickly, you might make a mistake.” Abraham and Sarah waited for God for a long time for a child but at a time in their life, flesh took over and they made a costly mistake that still smells today just like the name of the child born as a result sounds. God wants all His children to wait for Him and not to be in haste because haste makes waste; it leads to waste. Isaiah 28:16 says, “Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone) of sure foundation: he that believeth shall not be in haste” (ASV).
If you wait for the Lord and refuse to be stampeded by circumstances or anyone to act prematurely or presumptuously, you will save yourself the trouble of managing mistakes that your impatience gives birth to. Ecclesiastes 7:8 counsels, “Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride” (NLT). Remember that the Bible instructs us to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12). Hear also the counsel of James: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4 NKJV). Wait for the Lord. Don’t rush out. Be wise. “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control” (Psalm 32:9 NLT).
(9) You will enjoy God’s mercy. Divine kindness is the portion of those who wait for God. God’s mercy delivers them from the contempt of the proud. The writer of Psalm 123 cries: “Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt” (verses 1-3 KJV).
God has reserved mercy for those who trust in Him. The Lord will surround you with mercy if you wait for Him. “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him” (Psalm 32:10 NKJV). That is why the writer of Psalm 130 says, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning — yes, more than those who watch for the morning” (verses 5-6 NKJV). How did the watchers or sentries watch for the morning or the dawn? Those on the last watch of the night eagerly wait for the dawn which brings their watching to an end. The writer of this psalm says he is waiting for the Lord more than these eager watchers. And hear what he says in verse 7: “O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is mercy.” Did you see that? For with the Lord, there is mercy! I love that.
The mercy of God is available to and accessible by those who wait for Him. The book of Psalms, many of which were written by David, speaks so much about the mercy of God – David enjoyed His mercy abundantly, and he was a waiter. The mercy of God does nothing in vain. If you wait for the Lord, His mercy will make way for you and make room for you. I pray that you will enjoy His mercy in Jesus’ name.
CONCLUSION: The consequences of not waiting for God are the direct opposite of waiting for God. Every child of God should cultivate the discipline of waiting for God. Ignorant and unwise people call it a wasting of time but wise and obedient people know it is safety, protection, and blessing for them. Waiting for the Lord is trusting in Him, and there is no shame for those that put their trust in Him. Wait for the Lord, and I say once again wait!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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