It is hard to wait. Waiting is difficult because we do not want to wait. We want what we want when we want it. Businesses know this and that is why Walmart keeps everything in stock, an oil change can take less than 15 minutes, and Amazon offers, for certain items in select areas, 1 hour delivery. Companies understand our impatience and work to minimize it, but what if we are impatient with God? God does not guarantee same-day service on our prayer requests. We grow impatient because we want everything to line up perfectly without any problems. God makes us wait because it takes faith to wait. God will intentionally make you wait in order to increase your faith and trust in Him. Faithful waiting is a sign of spiritual maturity (Psalm 25:5). Let us turn our attention to Genesis 15 and see the lesson Abram learned from God about faithful waiting.
- God’s Affirmation. In verse 1, the Lord came to Abram in a vision and said “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” In this powerful statement God is once again affirming His covenant promises to Abram and encouraging Him to continue in faith.
- Abram’s Frustration. Abram’s response indicated that he was frustrated. He had been waiting approximately 10 years (Gen 12 to 15) for the son God promised. When Abram heard the Lord tell him that his reward is great, he complained: “What will you give me, for I continue childless.” Abram is thinking, “What good is a reward if I have no one to pass it on to?” Abram is impatient because he is focusing on his problem rather than God’s promise.
- God’s Confirmation. God heard Abram’s frustration and responded graciously (vs. 5, 7-21). He told Abram that “your very own son shall be your heir.” He then took Abram outside and said: “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them…So shall your offspring be.” Abram then asked for proof: “How am I to know that I shall possess it?” In response, God established a blood covenant with Abram to reveal to him His truthfulness. This covenant is very significant. Normally both parties making the covenant would pass through the animals and thus declare “May I become like these animals if I renege my oath.” In this instance, it is God alone who is passed through the animals to show His zeal for His promises.
- Abram’s Action. Abram had grown disgruntled because he focused on his problems rather than God’s promises. He could not see the fulfillment and was waiting poorly. When God graciously confirmed His promise to Abram, the result is that Abram truly believed and became content. Abram “believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.” This is how the Bible teaches us to wait. We must believe that God is trustworthy and has the best planned. This belief manifests itself in patience and peace. While we wait, we are intentionally to be obedient to all God asks of us; especially to love God and love others.
What are you waiting for God to do? Did you know that it takes faith to wait and God will intentionally make you wait in order to increase your faith? Waiting is possible only if you trust that God is faithful. We usually grow impatient when we focus on our problems rather than God’s promises. If you truly believe that God is trustworthy, demonstrate that by waiting in faith.