Return to God and wait for him.

In my time with God this morning, I came across the vitality of returning to God and waiting for him (Isaiah 30:15). They are repeated throughout his Word so often, it’s important for us to think about this.

We return to him because he is our only real hope. He desires a relationship with us, so, like the prodigal’s father, he is always waiting for us to return. He waits for us to make a move back to him so he can show us his love and compassion.

We wait on him because he wants us to trust him. The timing is his, not ours. We wait because he is God and we are not. To wait for him to come through, we must have faith. We must learn to trust him.

We wait because, more than anything else, God desires a relationship with us. He desires for us to walk with him, listen to him, and to have hope that he will work on our behalf. We wait on him to test our belief that he really does work for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. We wait because the testing of our faith develops perseverance, which will make us mature and complete. Yes, waiting is a huge part of what God uses to grow us spiritually.

Waiting is all part of his purpose. We wait because, as Isaiah put it, waiting in quietness and confidence is our strength.

I am currently going through a period of waiting in my own life.I am learning how to wait on God and people. I am learning to trust him each day and every minute of each day. I am learning that I can not control any of this, and so I surrender my ways of doing things and my timing. This is not easy. I’m prone to want to be in control, but God is showing me that only he is sovereign. In my waiting, I am growing closer to God than I ever have been. I am hearing from him so clearly right now. I see him answering my prayers, little by little each day. I am learning the difference between expecting things to happen (which is more about me and what I want) and having an expectancy for how God will work (expectancy is the hope and trust I have in God to come through in his way). Yes, waiting is very hard, and it would be the hardest part without faith in God. But I’m learning that this waiting is one of the greatest things that has ever happened in my life.

By the way, waiting is a fundamental part of the Christian life. We are all waiting for Christ to return. We are waiting for our real home. We wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. We wait for his kingdom to come in all its glory. “Come, Lord Jesus.” We are a people of waiting.

The Bible says that some people will have none of this (see v. 15), and that is sad, because they miss out on all that God wants to accomplish in and through our lives. Instead of waiting on God, they turn to the world or to themselves for the power to prevail. It doesn’t work. Or they turn to idols to fill them up. It won’t do.

Our God is faithful. Those who by faith wait on God to help them will be blessed (see v. 23)! Waiting has a payoff that is out of this world!

What are you waiting for? 

How is God using a time of waiting in your life to make you into the person he wants you to become?

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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