Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings, prayer prompts, and action steps to help you spend time with Jesus and strengthen your relationship with Him.
Romans 8:25 “But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently."
Waiting the Right Way
Being forced to wait on something to transpire that is really important, big, or life-changing turns minutes into hours, days into weeks, and months into years. Whether it’s waiting to be able to afford a better house, waiting on test results (of any kind!), waiting for a long-overdue promotion, waiting to become pregnant, waiting for pain or suffering to end, or waiting on the opportunity to pursue a lifelong dream, the list of things that can make waiting seem like an eternity is as long and varied as each individual. But how do we learn to wait well? What does God want us to do and how does He want us to handle these periods of waiting?
In Romans 8:25 Paul encourages us by saying that we should look forward to something we don’t have yet and to do so with patience and confidence. He compares any earthly suffering or season of waiting with childbirth, reminding us just a few verses prior that our “groaning” now is nothing when compared to all the good things God has in store for us in the future. The Message translation of verse 25 puts it this way, “That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.”
Still, waiting is one of the hardest things a human being can do because it usually involves the unknown. Even if we are waiting for something good to come, our minds tend to fixate on everything that could go wrong in the meantime. Furthermore, our culture today is driven by instant gratification and pushes us to take shortcuts or to complain at even a hint of waiting. Most people, therefore, view waiting as a means to an end or simply a waste of time altogether. On the other hand, God’s perspective on waiting is entirely the opposite. Many times, God’s aim in making us wait is to teach us through the journey of waiting, versus the end result of doing so, God sees waiting as an opportunity to bless us, while we often see waiting as a struggle or a hassle.
Lewis Smedes wrote, “Waiting is the hardest work of hope.” When we keep our focus on God, instead of whatever it is that we’re waiting for, the Holy Spirit will season our hard work with grace, patience, and confidence. In His faithful hands, we can trust that our Father will use the waiting process to reveal more about Himself and shape us into being more like Jesus in the process. James 1:4 encourages us with these words, “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Scripture encourages us to let waiting fulfill its God-directed purpose in our lives, as each moment of being in between the now and the not yet, or in between the desire and the deliverance, can draw us closer to the One who loves us completely in every second.
Daily Bible Readings
Throughout the coming week, we will explore five keys to waiting the right way. Scripture gives us a five-part prescription for waiting and included in this divine remedy we also find the reasons why He sometimes makes us wait in the first place.
Monday - Read Psalm 27:14 and James 1:2-3. Key #1 is to welcome the waiting. We must go beyond mere acceptance of our situation to fully embrace the season of waiting… however long it might be. When we fight the inevitable, we limit our vision, generate bitterness, and close any doors to spiritual growth. Sure, God can handle us asking Him “why?” But whether He answers us immediately or not, we must welcome the waiting with open arms. After all, sometimes the answers to the question of why become crystal clear during the process. If you believe in God, then you must have faith that He has a purpose in the waiting and then make your heart ready to receive it. Spend time releasing to God all your frustrations and complaints about waiting or suffering. Sit quietly, asking Him to make Psalm 27:14 a reality in your heart.
Tuesday - Read Philippians 4:6 and 1 John 4:16-18. Key #2 is to evict the anxiety. Kick it right out of your mind and instead fill it up with prayer, scripture meditation, and praise. Many of us were raised to believe that we need to worry or fear during times of uncertainty, but God wants you to trust Him to the point that you can be still, peaceful, and joyful in the waiting. If God is allowing the waiting, then He has a plan for it to end as well. Remember, He holds whatever you’re waiting for in the palm of His hand and He’s preparing you for it. If you busy your mind with prayer, scripture, and praise, it won’t have time to fret during the waiting. Spend time meditating on one of the verses or a single phrase that jumped out at you. Allow God’s perfect love to squeeze out any room for fear in your heart or mind.
Wednesday - Read Matthew 11:29 in The Message version. Key #3 is to stop looking for shortcuts. Release your need for control of the situation and stop trying to circumvent the process. Yes, God wants you to use your brain to be creative, resourceful, and efficient, but He doesn’t want you to spend countless hours over-researching, over-analyzing, and brainstorming ways to end the waiting prematurely. God has great plans for us at the end of the process, but we all too often miss out on the blessing because we took a shortcut or sought out a substitute for the real thing. As you enter into a time of prayer, surrender your need for control to the Holy Spirit. Ask Him for wisdom and to let you know when your “brain work” has moved passed the healthy mark and into obsessive control and impatience.
Thursday - Read 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Key #4 is to give thanks continually. One of the greatest temptations while waiting is succumbing to a bad attitude, tinged with bitterness, self-pity, and brimming with negativity. At the root of these dangerous feelings is pride, which tells us that we deserve better and we should have it right now. Instead, we are called to humble ourselves before God and thank Him for His goodness. When we sincerely and unceasingly praise God and thank Him for everything — not just the good stuff — something amazing happens in our souls, transforming our perspectives and generating overflowing joy. Through words and singing, spend time praising God for His goodness and love for you. Thank Him specifically for your season of waiting or suffering and ask Him to remind you of the glory yet to come.
Friday - Read Psalm 130:5, Isaiah 49:22-23, Luke 16:10, and Romans 8:18. Key #5 is to expect great things regardless of how things look right now. God never brings us second best when we wait on Him the right way. When we wait on God with patience and great expectation, He will be glorified and we will be truly satisfied. There is nothing we can wait for that can’t be enhanced by some kind of preparedness, whether it be spiritual, physical, or emotional in nature. In advance of whatever is coming, we have the opportunity to prayerfully examine ourselves and look for areas in need of improvement. Whatever you’re waiting on or suffering through, chances are there is something He wants you to work on in the interim with greater consistency. Take some time to ask the Holy Spirit to still your mind and calm your heart. Then ask Him to reveal to you what He’s trying to teach you right now. Write down whatever comes to mind and ask Him to show you the next step. Then commit to a date to begin that journey.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Grow closer to Jesus each day and explore what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.
Want to Go Even Further?
If you are not already using our weekly study guide with your community group or family members, you're missing out on thought-provoking questions for discussion or individual study.
Get Your Worship On!
Do you love the worship music at Cornerstone? Then our new worship YouTube channel is for you! Enjoy all your favorites now featuring the worship teams from all of our campuses!
CF Worship Channel on YouTube