The first thing we need to understand about God’s timing is that it is perfect, just as all of God’s ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30; Galatians 4:4). God’s timing is never early, and it’s never been late. In fact, from before our birth until the moment we take our last earthly breath, our sovereign God is accomplishing His divine purposes in our lifetimes. He is in complete control of everything and everyone from everlasting to everlasting. No event in history has put so much as a wrinkle in the timing of God’s eternal plan, which He designed before the foundation of the world.
One would think, then, that by understanding the sovereignty of our Creator, patience and waiting would come a little more easily. Unfortunately, however, that’s not always the case. Our human nature can make waiting for God’s perfect timing a difficult thing to do. In fact, in the hustle and bustle of our frenzied lives, we often find it difficult to wait for anything or anyone. We want what we want now. And with our modern technological advances, we’re often able to get what we want now. As a result, we are not only losing our patience, but also finding it increasingly difficult to discern God’s timing.
Patience is a spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22), and Scripture makes it clear that God is pleased with us when we display this virtue: “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7), for God “is good to those who wait for Him” (Lamentations 3:25). And our patience often reveals the degree of trust we have in God’s timing. We must remember that God operates according to His perfect and foreordained eternal schedule, not ours. We should take great comfort in knowing that, when we wait on the LORD, we receive divine energy and strength. “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” (Isaiah 40:31). The psalmist reiterates: “Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14).
Another key to understanding God’s timing is trust. In fact, our ability to wait on the Lord is largely related to how much we trust Him. When we trust in God with all of our heart, forgoing reliance on our own, often erroneous understanding of circumstances, He will indeed give us direction (Proverbs 3:5-6). “The LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts Him” (Psalm 32:10). To fully trust God, however, we need to know God. And the best way to know Him is through His Word. God’s divine energy is released in our lives through His inspired Word (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The work of God’s Word includes saving (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23), teaching and training (2 Timothy 3:16-17), guiding (Psalm 119:105), protecting (Psalm 119:11), strengthening (Psalm 119:28), and making us wise (Psalm 119:97-100). If we study and meditate on His Word daily, His timing will also become clear to us.
When we question God’s timing, it is often because we are looking for guidance or deliverance from a difficult situation. We can rest assured, however, that our heavenly Father knows exactly where we are in our lives at every moment. He either put us there or is allowing us to be there, all for His own perfect purpose. In fact, God often uses trials to strengthen our patience, allowing our Christian faith to mature and become complete (James 1:3-4). And we know that all things—including these difficult trials—work out for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). God does indeed hear the cries of His children and will answer those cries according to His perfect will and timing. “A righteous man may have many troubles; the LORD delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:19). The plans God has for His children are good plans—to help us, not hurt us (Jeremiah 29:11).
There was a church sign that once asked the question: “Who was four days late, but right on time?”
The question, of course, was referring to the time when the Lord raised Lazarus from the grave after he had been dead for four days. The Nelons used to sing a song about the same subject called “Right On Time.”
Everything God does is right on time. His timing, above all, truly is perfect. Sometimes we might wait a long time to see a prayer answered, but when the answer finally comes, it is at the exact moment when it’s needed the most.
During Christ’s earthly ministry, He had a very specific time frame to do all that He’d come here to do. And He did every bit of it just as He had planned, as well as at the precise moment He had chosen.
This is something that Christians tend to forget at times. Just because He hasn’t answered when and how we think He should, it doesn’t mean He won’t answer at all. He will … when it’s time.
“And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.” (Isaiah 30:18)
If God is working in your life to bring out a special quality, the process may take some time. Lumps of coal aren’t turned into diamonds overnight; so it is with our lives.
When you think you’ve reached the end of your rope, just hold on a little longer. Patience is often the key that opens the door to God’s blessings, and sometimes we must be content to wait for His answer. While we may expect God to put an end to our problems right now, He may know that later is a better time. God’s timing is impeccable. “He has done all things well.” (Mark 7:37) Trust Him!
If we refuse to concede defeat, but rather hold on to God no matter what, if we determine to believe His promises, even though we may not see the fulfillment immediately, victory will be ours in the end. Such faith cannot be defeated. He will always come through for us.
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