The big picture

By Dave Henning / July 31, 2016

“In the end, if we really knew the big picture, we too would want what God wants for us- and in the exact way and timing he wants it to occur.”- Dr. Wayne Stiles

As Wayne Stiles concludes his Introduction to Waiting on God, he notes that our pain often blinds us to the big picture of God’s plans for us.  Therefore, to perfect the art of waiting, we need patience.

The Old Testament story of Joseph provides the foundational structure for Waiting on God.  Joseph’s story reveals, far better than most biblical accounts, how to wait on God.  Yet, Dr. Stiles emphasizes, the primary theme of Joseph’s story reflects God’s providence- God’s sovereign direction in our lives.

However, as the author points out, sovereignty is God’s attribute, not ours.  Temporal time and space define our existence, which is fraught with limitations and failings.  As a result, Wayne asks, “How do we apply God’s sovereignty to Monday mornings?”

Application of God’s sovereignty requires more than just pondering the concept or praising God for His control.  Although both processes provide a great start, Dr. Stiles strongly believes waiting designates the primary way we apply God’s providence to our lives.  Furthermore, Wayne defines waiting as an act of faith:

“Because the results of God’s sovereignty are delayed, waiting remains an act of faith.  We believe results will occur one day.  By waiting on God, we affirm our belief in his providence.  We trust his timetable.  We hope in heaven.  Waiting on God is inseparably bound to our belief in the sovereignty of God to bring about the good he promises.”

Dr. Stiles stresses that waiting often involves applying many other, more abstract biblical character qualities.  For example, hope, faith, patience, and trust all yoke to waiting.  In addition, Wayne believes waiting plays into every fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25).  Hence, the author states, our trust must be in God rather than in His plan:

“Joseph’s confidence had to be in God, not in God’s plan.  So it is with us.  We want God’s plan so we can trust the plan.  God hides the plan so we will trust him.  So we will wait on him.”

Today’s question: How has your need to see the big picture clashed with waiting on God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “Step by step”



About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button