When. An adverb describing a point in time yet to come or a fixed point in the past, or a conjunction linking an action to a point in time.
As most people, I become impatient when I have to wait for something yet to come, especially if I am passionate or invested in it, and/or having been waiting a long time.
And like others in the Bible who have gone before me, there is often a waiting period before God responds to our prayers. Abraham & Sarah, Hannah, Joseph and David all immediately come to mind as people of faith who had to wait to see what God promised to come to pass.
So what are we to do in that waiting for our when to arrive?
Each of the above mentioned people of faith above (imperfectly doing so) revealed their trust in the God they were following.
That doesn’t mean that they stopped asking. But it does mean that they put their hope in Who they were inviting into their when, versus the result they were waiting for.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)
The above verse is a great outline of how we are to approach a “when,” as it shows us three things:
- WHEN – so whenever we do this, the following will come to pass.
- Our part? To cry for help when we have a need or trouble.
- God hears (note that this verb is in a present action tense) and He rescues us (again, the when is revealed as in the present) from all our troubles.
Psalm 34:17 reminds us that our part when we have a need is to bring it to God. And the response isn’t if God will come to our aid, but when!
Our part is to come to Him, trusting He will move on our behalf. This action is to be the strength which holds us until we see Him move into action or answer our prayers.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 20:15)
But what do we do with people in the Bible like Job? Or Joseph waiting in the prison? Or Abraham & Sarah, and Elizabeth & Zachariah, waiting decades to conceive? When we ask and don’t see God respond in what we think is a reasonable time table? What if He doesn’t respond, or all we hear/sense is quiet? What do we do when that happens?
Each of these people is credited as having a faith or doubt response to what was happening as they waited.
(Job was even accused of not having enough faith, or having unconfessed sin by his closest friends!)
Job gives us one of the most heart-wrenching verses of the bible to help shed light on the answer to this difficult question in Job 13:15. In the King James Version, it reads:
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.”
When God doesn’t answer the way Job expects, He chooses to trust Him and honestly approach Him, even if it leads to his death.
In the New International Version, this verse takes a slightly different twist:
“Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him; I will surely defend my ways to His face.”
Job is saying His hope is fixed upon God no matter what, whether God responds when he hopes He will or not.
I believe that this trust response is the one God desires for each of His children to have when they come into His Presence with their requests.
He knows our every need, and plans for us to have a great future. So when we do not immediately get the answer or response we hope for? Even if, we can trust that He will answer us, even if we do not know the when. And He will move on our behalf for the best outcome He has awaiting us. Even if it is not what we are expecting.
That’s when our trust drops us to our knees as we deepen in our faith and dependence upon Him.
Be sure to join me tomorrow for the song which God used to heighten my trust as He brought me to my knees over this matter of when.
#when #hopefortheharddays #hopeinHisPresence