Have you ever been so frustrated or discouraged while waiting on the Lord to answer your prayers? Maybe you’ve been wondering, How long do I have to wait??
Colossians 2:7 says: “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
This is one of my favorite scriptures because it teaches us how to wait on The Lord.
Whether you are waiting for Him to open opportunities, heal your marriage, or restore your health, I want to encourage you that waiting for God is never in vain. Oftentimes victory and breakthrough are right around the corner from the time you feel like throwing in the towel.
I’ve learned to wait on the Lord the hard way: I’ve had to wait to be released from a painfully deceptive marriage. I’ve had to wait for financial breakthrough. I’ve had to wait for healing in my body. You name it, I’ve had to learn how to wait for it. Even as I write, I am waiting for justice against my adversary.
There are very few things in life that I haven’t had to wait for, and they have all been worth it. Since waiting is such an integral part of life, it’s better to learn to wait well.
There are three habits from Colossians 2:7 that I’ve learned are necessary for success in waiting on God:
Habit 1: Let your roots go down deep. I know you want success quickly—overnight would be ideal. But without the stability of being grounded, you will never be able to withstand the storms that come. So whether you are waiting for a husband, a promotion, or your wayward child to come home, let God continue to cultivate in you what He needs in order to establish your roots. When the time comes for your prayer to be answered, you will have a firm foundation—not like the 70% of lottery winners who go broke within a few years. Remember, your skill may get you what you want, but it’s your character that will keep you there. Let God develop your character.
Habit 2: Stand in faith. Are you praying for the same thing day in and day out? While God does tell us to ask and to keep on asking, He means for us to do it in faith. If you are praying one day and dismayed by what you see (or don’t see) the next day, where is the faith in that? Your prayers should be prayers of faith, not of fear. That means that when you ask, you know God is going to answer in His timing. A prayer in fear sounds like “Oh God, you have to help me” and is filled with panic. A prayer of faith says, “Oh God, I need your help” and is filled with trust that you know He will answer. How do you know if you are praying in fear or faith? Are you peaceful or fretful after you’re finished praying? God responds to your faith. Don’t undo your prayers by praying in fear.
Habit 3: Be thankful. I know you already know the importance of being thankful, but when was the last time you thanked God for NOT answering your prayer? God dealt with me one day in my time of whiny, immature praying by saying to me, “Kris, would you even know what to do with the blessing you are asking for?” My first answer was, “Yes, of course. That’s why I’m asking!” But when I gave it further thought, I realized, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. Like a 10-year-old with keys to a Corvette, you may not realize that you aren’t ready for the blessing, as much as you may want it. But if you are thankful for where He has you and what He is keeping you from, you can enjoy what He needs to do to get you ready to handle the blessing.
I would love to say that I learned these habits overnight. I didn’t. It took me a long time to learn to wait on The Lord. My prayer is that you are nowhere near as stubborn as I was. Embrace the season that God is allowing you to be in right now. Allow Him to firmly plant your roots, stand on His promises without wavering, and you will see the fruit.
I love how Charles Stanley puts it in his book “Waiting on God”. As he talks about this common faith building challenge, we are to develop expectant endurance as God works on our behalf.
If you’ve been waiting, there must be big things on your horizon—the bigger the blessing, the more preparation is needed.
By Kris Reece, Counselor, Coach, Speaker