In our modern society, we have become an impatient people. We are looking for instant gratification for our every whim. We see the crime shows and expect crimes to be solved in 60 minutes. We have war video games and expect wars to be concluded within days with no casualties on our side. We want it and we want it now! We have acted no differently with regard to God. We want our prayers answered and want them answered now. Plus, we want them answered the way we want them answered. God has not served us instant pudding. He has given us the words of life, and wants our trust and acceptance. As part of that trust, we must accept that He will do as He has always done; the right thing at the right time.
The Scriptures refer to the time in which God will act in a number of ways. The “right time,” the “proper time,” the “fullness of time,” and “due time.” We do not determine what is right or proper; God does. Whenever the fullness of time is accomplished, He will act. We are to continue trusting God and waiting on Him.
Psalm 28:14 tells us to be courageous and “wait for the Lord.” In verse 13, the psalmist says that he would have despaired if he had not believed he would see the goodness of the Lord. Do we truly believe we will see God’s goodness? What I must constantly tell myself is that God is in control, and to be truly a believer in Him, I must be patient and wait on Him. Do we worry ourselves sick during these difficult times that the evil doer seems to prosper while we suffer? It certainly bothers me. Do we wonder “where is God?” The psalmist tells us in Psalm 37 not to fret about the evil doer prospering and carrying out his wicked schemes. He tells us that this will lead to our sinning due to anger and wrath. Verse 7 tells us to “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” I must ask myself; am I relinquishing my inability to control things to His ability to be in control? Do I truly trust Him to handle things I cannot. And, I must ask myself if I am willing to be patient and accept His comfort in eternity or am I wanting my wants and wishes met in this life, in other words, right now.
God has His timetable and I must be willing to conform to it. Remember, He asked Job who he was to question Him, the creator of all things. Romans 5:6 tells us “at the right time” He sent Jesus to die for our sins. Luke 12:42 – 46 tells us the master will return to the servant “on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he does not know.” James 5:7 tells us we must wait patiently for the coming of the Lord just as the farmer waits for his crops. Does a farmer expect instant gratification or does he have the patience to wait for the produce of his labor? Verse 8 says we must be patient and strengthen our hearts.
I have a tendency to become impatient with my circumstances. I want to have the same health I had 40 years ago. I want the same income I had 8 years ago. I want this country to be the country I want it to be. I want the economy to flourish again. I want God to give me what I want and I want it now. Wow! Look at my wish list. It has nothing of a spiritual nature on it. Could it be that I want things God does not want me to have and has no intention of giving me? Should that list include things like help in growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord, being more spiritually mature today than yesterday, a better servant to my brothers and sisters in Christ, being a better husband, father and grandfather, and fearing God and keeping His commandments?
Let us take encouragement from the inspired words of Peter in 1 Peter 5:6–11. Let these words lead us to be more patient and look to our true goal – heaven. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.”