I know how hard it can be. You’ve been praying for weeks. Nothing’s happening. No answers have come. It seems like God doesn’t care anymore, or at least you have no hope of catching His attention. Or maybe you’ve been waiting for something, like the chance to own a car or the chance to finally have a close friend, and it just doesn’t look like it’ll happen. I’ve been through these kinds of things before, and I know how terrible they can make you feel. I long desperately to have a living connection with my Savior through prayer, and it can be difficult when it seems like He doesn’t listen. I know just how heart-wrenching it can be to want—but not have—a friend; a real, true friend, who not only cares for you but understands you. And I also know what God has to say about all this.
1. God tells us to wait.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” – Psalm 27:14
“But will that do anything?” we say. “What can waiting accomplish?” Well, when we wait for God He gives us a glorious, empowering strength to go on.
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
David tells us about what happened to him when he waited.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry.” – Psalm 40:1
Simple as that. David waited patiently for the Lord, and God heard him. Was it hard? Probably. But was it worth it? Most certainly! God sustained Him through it all and ultimately heard his cry!
Now this is not to say that God will always answer all your prayers if you wait long enough. There are many factors in prayer, and waiting is only one of them. What I’m trying to do here is encourage you to rest in God’s sovereignty (see my post about that “here“) and lay the situation in His hands, knowing that He can—and many times does—answer our prayers when we wait on Him.
2. God tells us to trust in Him.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” – Psalm 37:5
Not only are we to wait, but we are to trust. God wants us to forsake our need for control and let Him have whatever it is we want. This can be the hardest part of patience. We often think we’re entitled to a significant other, or a job, or the respect of our peers. We don’t want to let God have it, so we claim it for ourselves in our minds. God wouldn’t deny us this, would He? He mustn’t!
And yet, many times God’s way of sanctifying us is to strip away all that we so desperately cling to in this world until only He is left. Yes, it can be the most painful thing in the world, but it leaves us with nothing to hold on to but Christ, and that is the greatest position we can ever be in.
But what about the second part of that verse? “He will act.” That, my friends, is one of those great gems of the Bible. A promise! But it isn’t a promise for worldly prosperity. It is a promise that God will do great things with us and for us when we commit our ways to Him and trust in His sovereign hand. He will give us exactly what we need to serve Him best, and that is a far greater gift than any earthly thing we could ask for.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
“In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” – Psalm 56:4
Do not be afraid, dear Christian. You praise the almighty God! Do not let yourself fall into anxiety over something you desire. He will give you all that you need. If you do find it hard to be at peace, just follow this beautiful verse (I highly suggest memorizing it):
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
Ask Him for what you want. Just ask. Then thank Him for who He is and what He has given you. Finally, claim the promise of supernatural peace that is given in this passage. Following these simple steps when you are anxious can change your life.
3. God tells us to enjoy Him!
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Once we truly grasp that God is enough and forsake our claims on our desires, we become free to truly enjoy and cherish our Lord!
“I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:8-11
He will not let us see corruption! He makes known to us the path of life! If we set Him always before us, we shall not be shaken! These are causes for great rejoicing indeed!
“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in His holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” – Psalm 33:20-22
While we wait on God, He remains a helper and a protector over us. What reason do we have to be happy when we lack what we’ve been waiting for? We trust in God! We hope in Him! Therefore, our hearts are filled and our souls are satisfied with the overwhelming love and glory of Christ!
When you find it hard to practice patience in life, just remember to obey God’s commands. Wait on Him. Trust in Him and surrender your desires to Him. Finally, find joy in who He is and what He has done for you! Here’s some more advice if you find yourself in need of joy: Read your Bible. There is more joy to be gained from the sincere study of that book than from all the distractions the world can ever offer you. Do not neglect it. Use it as a weapon against the anger and discouragement that can come from impatience, and make the choice daily to trust your King for all you will need.