Friday, August 2, 2013

Four Ways God Fortifies Our Faith Part IV

"God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him." Isaiah 64:4
This week we are talking about faith, making our faith stronger, and four ways God fortifies our faith.

4.    By Making us Wait 
If every prayer were immediately answered, you wouldn’t need faith and your faith wouldn’t need to be increased. But it is not that way. We have to wait on things.  Do you ever find yourself in situations where you feel like you’re in a hurry and you get the definite idea that God is not in a hurry.
Why does that happen? Because God is more interested in growing our faith than anything else.  So we start asking the ‘when’ questions while we’re waiting. When is my marriage going to get better? When is it going to turn around? Or if you’re single, When am I going to find that right person and get married? Or, How long is it going to take until I get well? Or, When are we going to have a baby? Or, When am I going to find just the right job?

It is human nature that we hate to wait. We hate waiting in lines. We hate traffic, doctor’s offices, telephone support from India!!

Listen to David - How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death… Psalms 13:1-3

A large percent of your life is spent waiting. If you and I can’t learn how God wants to stretch and grow our faith during times of waiting we miss out on much of the faith lessons that God wants to teach in our lives.  I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. Psalms 27:13-14

But the times He really grows us are during through waiting. Waiting for something you never wanted to wait for.  A good example of this again is the people of Israel in the Old Testament as they’re on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land. They could have made it in two or three weeks. But it ended up taking them forty years.  "God led you all the way in the desert these forty years to test you in order to know what was in your heart." Deuteronomy 8:2

Why all the wasted time? Because God was more interested in developing their faith than in getting them from point A to point B the fastest way.  I’d say that it’s in this area, this area of waiting that God has worked to develop my faith more than any other area. In His time is something we don’t seem to hear.

Sometimes it also may seem that God is silent.  He may not be answering to protect you.  It may not be His timing and if we reach out, without God’s guidance and take what we want because we are tired of waiting on Him to answer, we can get hurt.  It can bring great pain and destruction to our lives.  Wait in faith.  Trust Him.  He knows what is best for you, better than you know. 

Some of you are waiting on something right now. Maybe you’ve been waiting a long time. While you’re waiting God is there. He does not leave you alone.

It just may be a test. Because God does use demands, difficulties, and dollars, but He also uses delays to build your faith.  It pays to be patient. Just remember this: While you are waiting, God is working. You’re not waiting alone. God is doing things behind the scenes, in your heart and other people’s hearts that you cannot even see.  Waiting is one of the hardest things we have to do as humans.  It may be the greatest exercise of faith.  But waiting, as hard as it is, is worth the pain to stay in God’s will and protection. 

Scripture to Claim:
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  ESV

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