Trusting God’s Timing
Human nature tends to want everything right now. We’re always in a hurry. Most of us get impatient when we miss a turn on a revolving door! When we pray for our dreams to come to pass, we want them to be fulfilled immediately. But we have to understand, God has an appointed time to answer our prayers and to bring our dreams to pass. And the truth is, no matter how badly we want it sooner, no matter how much we pray and plead with God, it’s not going to change His appointed time. It’s still going to happen on God’s timetable.
Because we sometimes don’t understand God’s timing, we live upset and frustrated, wondering when God is going to do something. “God, when are You going to change my husband? When are You going to bring me a mate? God, when is my business going to take off? When are my dreams going to come to pass?”
When you understand God’s timing, however, you won’t live all stressed out. You can relax knowing that God is in control, and at the perfect time He is going to make it happen. The Scripture says, “The vision is for an appointed time. Though it tarry, wait earnestly for it, for it will come to pass.” (Habakkuk 2:3) Notice, it’s called an “appointed time” It may be next week, next year, or ten years from now. But whenever it is, you can rest assured that it will be in God’s perfect timing.
I would love to tell you that if you prayed hard enough, and if you had enough faith, your prayers would always be answered within twenty-four hours. But that’s simply not true. God is not like an ATM machine, where you punch in the right codes and receive what you requested. No, we all have to wait patiently. That’s a part of learning to trust God. The key is, how are we going to wait? What will be our physical, emotional, and spiritual demeanor? Are we going to wait with a good attitude and expectancy, knowing that God has great things in store? Or are we going to be upset, frustrated, and muttering complaints? “God, You never answer my prayers. When is my situation ever going to change?”
Consider this: if you know you have to wait anyway, why not make a decision to enjoy your life while you’re waiting? Why not be happy while God is in the process of changing things? After all, there’ nothing we can really do to make it happen any faster. We might as well relax and enjoy our lives, knowing that at the appointed time God is going to bring His plan to pass.
See, you don’t have to struggle. You don’t have to go around always wondering why God is, or is not, doing something. No, when you are trusting God, you can be at peace knowing that at the right time, God will keep His promise. It’s going to happen, and the good news is, it’s not going to be one second late. Imagine how much pressure that can take off you!
If you are unmarried and are believing for mate, you don’t have to worry. You don’t have to beg God incessantly. You don’t have to pray every fifteen minutes reminding God to send your mate. No, you can relax, knowing that at exactly the right time, God is going to bring the perfect person into your life, and he or she will not be one second late.
By the same token, if you are believing for your family members to develop a relationship with God, you don’t have to quote Scripture to them at every family function as though you were firing a spiritual machine gun. You don’t have to shove the Bible down their throats. You don’t have to be upset because they won’t come to church with you as much as you would like. You can relax and live your life in front of your loved ones, speaking naturally about your relationship with God and knowing that at the appointed time, God is going to speak to your family members.
Maybe you have areas in your own life in which you need to improve, areas in which you need to change, and you’ve been extremely hard on yourself because you’re not growing as fast as you would like. Lighten up and allow God to change you in His own timing. We all want to change overnight, but the Bible tells us that God changes us little by little. You can quit struggling, stop worrying about it, and simply do your best to love God and live for Him, love others, and let God change you in His own way and in His own timing.
Do you see how liberating it can be when you understand the concept of God’s timing? When you are truly living by faith, you can relax in what the Bible calls the “rest” of God. That’s a place where you’re not worried, you’re not struggling, you’re not trying to figure everything out, wondering why something is or isn’t happening. The rest of God is a place of total trust. When you’re in God’s rest, you know that at the perfect time, God is going to perform everything He promised; He will bring it into being.
Why isn’t God working in my life? You may be wondering. I’ve been praying, believing, and waiting, but it seems God is not doing anything about my marriage. That difficult situation at work hasn’t changed. None of my dreams is coming to pass.
Understand, God is at work in your life whether you can see anything happening externally or not. In fact, one could almost make a case that God often works the most when we see it and feel it the least. You may not see any progress. Your situation may look the same as it did three months or even three years ago, but must trust that deep inside your life, God is at work.
Beyond that, behind the scenes, He’s putting all pieces together. He’s getting everything lined up, and one day, at the appointed time, you will see the culmination of everything that God has been doing. Suddenly, your situation will change for the better.
David had a big dream for his life. He had a desire to make a difference, but as a young man he spent many years as a shepherd, caring for his father’s sheep. I’m sure there were plenty of times when he was tempted to think that God had forgotten him. He must have thought, God, what am I doing out here? There’s no future in this place. I want to do something big for You. When are You going to change this situation? But David understood God’s timing. He knew that if he would be faithful in obscurity, God would promote him at the right time. He knew God would bring his dreams to pass in due season. He said, “God, I’m trusting You. My times are in Your hands.” (Psalm 31, 14-15) He was saying, in effect, “God, I know You are in control. Although I don’t see anything happening, You are working behind the scenes, and at the right time, You’re going to change this situation.”
You know the story. God brought David out of those fields, he defeated Goliath, and eventually he was made king of Israel.
Perhaps you have a big dream in your heart, a dream to have a better marriage, a dream to own your own business, a dream to help hurting people, but like David, you don’t really see any human way your dream could happen.
I have good news for you! God isn’t limited to natural, human ways of doing things. If you will trust God and keep good attitude, staying faithful right where you are and not getting in a hurry and trying to force things to happen, God will promote you at the right time, in your due season. He will bring your dreams to pass.
If you’re not seeing God move in your life right now, one of two possibilities must be considered. Either your requests are not God’s best and will probably not be answered the way you’d like, or it must not be the right time. If God were to answer that prayer the way you are hoping, it could interfere with His ideal plan for you.
To live your best life now, you must learn to trust God’s timing. You may not think He’s working, but you can be sure that right now, behind the scenes, God is arranging all the pieces to come together to work out His plan for your life.
You may be experiencing some difficult times, and perhaps your circumstances have seemed static and immobile for quite a while. You may not be able to fathom how your situation can ever move forward. But you need to know that God had the answer to your prayer even before you had the need. God has been arranging things in your favor long before you ever encountered the problem. And who knows, maybe five or ten years ago, God spoke to someone about the situation you’re going through right now, and He is shaping events to bring your paths together. You can’t fake that sort of thing. You’d be foolish to try to manipulate such events. No, God is in control. You may not think anything is happening, but remember, God often works the most when we see it and feel it the least. Learn to trust His timing. Don’t get in a hurry; don’t grow impatient; don’t try to force doors to open. Don’t try to make things happen in your own strength. Let God do it His way.
One sad truth is, if you push hard enough, and if you’re so stubborn that you must have things your way, God will sometimes allow you to undertake a project without His blessing or at the wrong time. The problem with that, of course, is when you start something in your own strength and in your own timing, you’re going to have to finish it and maintain it in your own strength. When you let God start something, He’ll finish it for you. He’ll provide everything you need.
When we try to force open doors and make things happen in our own strength, the end result is a constant strain on us and a drain on our resources. Life becomes a constant struggle. Nearly all joy, peace, and victory dwindle from your existence. That is not a place of contentment and satisfaction.
If you are in an area like that today, you need to do your best to get out of it. I’m not suggesting that you break up your marriage relationship or renege on business contracts. That would only exacerbate the problem. But if you are doing things that are not bearing any fruit, and they are giving you a perpetual headache, there’s a good chance that God didn’t initiate that endeavor or relationship. Or perhaps it is part of God’s plan for your life, but you are out of His timing, and you are proceeding under your own power according to your own timetable.
Be careful! If God isn’t in what you are doing, you need to make a change. Here is where many people miss God’s favor: They know God has spoken to them; He has placed a dream within their hearts. But they then set about trying to fulfill God’s plan on their own. We must be aware that if we get out of God’s timing, it’s the same as getting out of God’s will. We need to be patient and let God bring His plan together at the appointed time.
That is not to say that we should sit back passively and expect God to do everything. No, we have to aggressively pursue our dreams. But if a door is not opening, don’t try to make things happen in your own strength.
Understand, when you get out of God’s timing, you are stepping out of His favor. When you step out of His favor, you are operating on your own in the dark. I’m not saying that when we do something for God, we’re not going to have adversity. But fighting the good fight of faith outside God’s timing can leave you constantly struggling, never having anything go your way, never having any joy. On the other hand, when you’re in God’s timing, you can be in the midst of biggest challenge of your life, and you’ll still learn to trust His timing, He’s promised that at the right time, He will bring your dreams to pass and answer your prayers. The answer will come, and it will be right on time.
September 24th, 2011
Fall season start.