Waiting on God: Strength for Today and Hope for Tomorrow is the latest book from Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA since 1971. He opens his book with the assertion that the word never can stir the deepest fear in the human heart. Thus, the challenge of waiting on God is “the ability to keep hoping when the nevers of life bombard us.” Dr. Stanley’s definition of waiting on the Lord provides the basic outline for this book. Waiting on the Lord manifests an “expectant endurance that is demonstrated by a directed, purposeful, active, and courageous attitude of prayer.”
Our focus must be directed toward God, our Provider, rather than the object of our desire. We need to center our thoughts less on our questions and more on the Father’s ability to answer them. Even though we are tempted to figure out God’s plan and speed it along, we are to demonstrate confident trust that God is committed to seeing us through every trial we face and is raising up an answer to our prayers.
The second characteristic of godly prayer in waiting is being purposeful in pursuing the Lord’s plan. When our main objective is a personal and intimate relationship with God, everything else will fall into place as the Holy Spirit directs us- bringing out the very best of who we were created to be. God’s Word, prayer, and godly counsel are an integral part of this process.
Dr. Stanley notes that waiting passively is not what the Lord intended for us as believers. While we are to be still in allowing the Father to work through our circumstances, we must be active in growing spiritually. Perseverance is the key to receiving the very best God has planned for us and helping us endure the delay.
The fourth characteristic of waiting on the Lord, being courageous, is stretched and refined during our darkest times. Yet, it is when we feel most unworthy and defeated that the Father is closest to us. We are in a spiritual battle with Satan. Our weapon is the sword of the Spirit- God’s Word. The Father is “moving us toward the light on the most efficient and effective route possible.” Confidently wait on the Lord, for the best is yet to come . . . always.