Read: I Samuel 2:2 |
Dr. Thomas M. Carter, an ex-convict, tells a thrilling story of his mother who waited and prayed for his salvation for years. On one occasion while he was in prison, she received a telegram stating that he was dead and asking what she wanted done with his body.
Stunned by the news, she opened her Bible and laid the message beside it. “Oh, God,” she said, “I have steadfastly believed that You are a rewarder of them who diligently seek You. I felt sure that I would live to see Tom saved and preaching the Gospel; and now this wire says he is dead. Lord, which is true, this telegram or Your promises to me?”
When she rose from her knees, having won the victory, she sent this note to the prison: “You must be wrong. My boy is not dead!”
There had been a mistake — Tom Carter was alive! He was later converted and lived to preach, just as she had prayed in her believing prayer!
While waiting on God, Satan does not play fair. He looks for key vulnerabilities. He streams a worst-case perception to our minds in order to depress us and diminish our faith. As Dr. Carter’s mother proved, waiting with God is the only sure way to win against the devil’s ploys.
Successful waiting requires our faith to overcome our impatience and perception of reality
The biblical story of Hannah is a poignant reminder of the power of persistent prayer in the midst of a pregnant problem. Hannah was the favorite wife of Elkanah, a descendant of Jacob. Hanna was barren. She fervently prayed that God would bless her fertility and allow her to have a child.
Peninnah (the second wife) bore her husband children. She cruelly reminded Hannah of her barrenness. Hannah waited upon God to answer her daily prayers while suffering a tormented existence for years.
While fervently praying one day in the temple, Eli, the priest, mistook her behavior as being drunk and chastised her. She defended herself and explained her situation. The man of God told her to “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.”
Eli’s statement fortified her faith and allowed her to overcome her impatience and perception of reality. She believed and foresaw that God would answer her plea. She left a changed person by living on the promised answer yet to come.
In our lives, we cannot grow so forlorn and frustrated with our present reality that we forget that God is still in control. Trust Him at His Word not to put more on us than we can bear (I Corinthians 10:13). Trust Him at His Word that everything works for those called to His purpose (Romans 8:28). In short, trust Him to keep His promises while you wait upon Him.
God remembers and rewards those who wait upon Him
From the day that Eli gave her a word from the Lord; she was encouraged and believed that God would answer her prayer. God did remember and granted her request.
Hannah, gave birth to Samuel in due time. She followed through on her promise of giving him to the Lord. Eli in turn asked for God’s blessing on the couple. God granted them three more sons and two daughters.
God’s hand guided Samuel to grow to be the final judge and the prophet who anointed the first two kings of Israel.
While we are awaiting God’s answer, Hannah teaches us to pray and God will work it out. When God’s timing is right, He steps in and answers. Wait for God’s perfect timing to win.
As Christians, we win in the end. In this in-between time of now and eternal life, we have an opportunity to honor God by remembering and acting on His promises. In turn, God remembers us and answers our prayers in due time. Win by waiting upon God. Win by waiting with God. Win by waiting for God.
1. Discover –
A. What is the longest you ever had to wait upon God for an answer? The shortest?
B. Did your faith in God change as a result of either experience?
2. Develop –
A. Being patient is a challenge. How do you grow patience?
Here are some scriptures that might help: Colossians 1:11, James 1:3-4, Psalm 37:7, Hebrews 6:15
B. When waiting upon God, how do you balance the perception of reality with the promise that God has a plan?
3. Demonstrate –
A. Ask a prayer partner or spouse if you exhibit and attitude of confidence that God will prevail, even though you may be going through a challenging situation where you have to wait upon God.
B. Based on the feedback, what can you improve or pass on as a lesson to a mentee?
1. Discover –
A. Make a list of things you tend to worry about or grow very anxious about? Rank the top 10.
B. When you worry about one of your top 10, how long do you worry? How do your friends react to your worrying?
2. Develop –
A. Study Philippians 4:6,7, Break it down phrase by phrase to explore the deeper meaning. Use a commentary if possible.
B. When we are advised to “Cast our cares on Him,…” in 1 Peter 5:7 how well do you apply the concept to your top 10 list of worries?
3. Demonstrate –
A. Using your list of top 10 worries, ask God for help. Ask Him to help you leave the prayer with Him in the morning and give you the peace and strength to carry on.
B. Share with your prayer partner that you are trying to worry less and trust God more. Ask them to help you stay on track.
Profiles on Waiting Outline
Postures we should adopt when waiting for/with/upon God
1. Wait on Time (link)
2. Watch for Him (link)
3. Wait by walking within Touching Distance (link)
4. Work while waiting upon God’s Answer (link)
5. Willful Waiting does not Wilt (link)
6. Weather the Storms while waiting under His Umbrella (link)
7. Wait with an Unwavering Faith (link)
8. Wait while avoiding the Quicksand of Worry (link)
9. Wait with the Weight on God (link)
10. Waiting leads to a Victorious Solution (link)