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Waiting in the Bible

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not tarry". (Habakkuk 2:3)

Throughout the Biblical narrative, we are confronted with accounts of men and women who, through circumstances often beyond their control, were thrust into the ‘waiting room’ of life, where they were called upon to exercise patience and resilience as they waited for the promise of God to be realised in their lives. These stories portray individuals navigating trials and uncertainties while embodying unwavering patience, demonstrating an enduring faith that resonates across generations.

Abraham and Sarah's journey is an emblem of steadfast faith in the face of time's unyielding passage. Promised descendants as numerous as the stars (Genesis 18), they faced decades of waiting for the fulfilment of God's pledge. Their story encapsulates the essence of patient endurance, showcasing that waiting does not equate to inaction but rather a profound trust in divine timing.

Similarly, the tale of Joseph echoes the resounding virtues of patience and perseverance. Sold into slavery (Genesis 37) and wrongfully imprisoned (Genesis 39), Joseph endured years of adversity, yet he clung to hope and faith. His story illustrates that the waiting period, though arduous, might serve as a preparation for unforeseen blessings and eventual fulfilment of God's purpose. That which the enemy had intended for evil, God intended for good.

The narrative of Job (Job 1), marked by unparalleled suffering and loss, is a testament to resilience amidst trials. Enduring the agony of profound loss and physical affliction, Job exemplified unwavering patience. His story teaches that in the crucible of waiting, one's character is refined, and an unshakeable trust in God emerges.

The centuries-long anticipation for the Messiah's birth in the Old Testament epitomises unwavering hope and patience. This active waiting wasn't passive but involved preparation and an increased desire to experience God’s deliverance. Jesus Christ's arrival highlighted God's precise timing –

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son…” (Galatians 4:4).

Waiting encourages us to embrace our seasons of patient expectancy, believing in the fulfilment of God's promises in our lives.

We glean an invaluable lesson in contemplating these narratives: waiting is a transformative force. During seasons of waiting, our faith is honed, our character forged, and our reliance on divine providence deepened.

Amidst our 21st-century hurried existence, these biblical accounts prompt us to embrace patience, understanding that it is within the waiting that our faith grows stronger. They remind us that every delay, every moment of anticipation, is an opportunity for spiritual growth and preparation for the blessings that lie ahead.

What are you waiting for, trusting for? You may not see the outcome yet; everything may be testifying against the fulfilment of your dream and God’s promise. But, friend, don’t give up, give out, or give in! Keep on keeping on. Wait on the Lord, as the saints of old did. His timing is perfect!

Points to Ponder

  • What Bible character's experience of waiting patiently for the promises of God to be fulfilled, resonates most with you? Why so? What lessons can you glean from their experience as you face your own season of waiting?


Father, thank you for the saints of old,

As they faced their challenges trusting in you;

Help me stand firm and faithful in uncertain times,

Knowing that your promises are certain and true.


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