I can understand the painful feeling of having to wait on God when it seems like everyone else is getting blessed but you. I can tell you so many stories. For example, being the only one without a job secured after college graduation and having thousands of dollars in student loan debt with no way to repay it or living at home in a small space when I really wanted to move out. It can feel like you’re stuck and everyone else is moving forward. So, what should you do when everyone else seems to be getting blessed but you? And everyone is moving forward but you’re still waiting? I want to share what has helped me. I pray that it will encourage your heart and help you to see the bigger purpose in your waiting.
How to Wait Well When Everyone But You is Getting Blessed
Believe that God is still working
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1
First, you must believe. This is essential. Believe that while you are waiting, God is still working. When I was in college, I planted a few seeds in a little flower pot, placed it on the window sill, and watered it each day. After some time, I became frustrated. There was absolutely no evidence of growth.
I started to care for my plant halfheartedly. Sometimes I’d water it, other days I wouldn’t. After all, it wasn’t growing. What I failed to realize was that the seed I had planted was growing where it mattered most. Just because I couldn’t see the work being done, does not mean that work wasn’t taking place.
Work is happening behind the scenes
After some time, leaves started to sprout and I began to see the fruit of my labor. It’s the same when we’re waiting on God to fulfill a promise to us. It may look like nothing is happening but really, work is being done behind the scenes. Perhaps he’s working on your heart, building your character and increasing your faith.
The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the Lord; in its time I will hasten it.Isaiah 60:22
Let’s briefly put this verse into context. Isaiah 60 is a prophecy about Israel’s future glory after a long period of struggle. God promised to completely restore them. Verse 22 says, in its time I will hasten it. When it’s time for Israel’s promise of complete restoration to be fulfilled, God will not delay it. It will happen suddenly and quickly. Likewise, when it’s time for God’s promise to you to be fulfilled, it will happen quickly. However, it will not happen a moment before or a moment after. God is always right on time. It might seem like nothing is happening but that’s because seeds are growing in the ground. When it is time for those growing seeds to spring forth, absolutely nothing will be able to delay it. So, believe that God is working even when you can’t see the evidence beneath the soil.
Related: 5 Things to Do When You are Discouraged
Trust that God’s Plans are Good
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11
Many people argue that Jeremiah 29:11 is not a personal promise for believers today. While this promise was specifically given to the nation of Israel, as adopted children of God, it extends to us too.
When Jeremiah wrote these words of prophecy, Israel was still in Babylonian captivity. God affirmed his promise that after seventy years, he would bring them out of slavery and back into their own country. He was reminding them that his intentions towards them were good and most definitely not evil. Though they knew they would be waiting for seventy more years, they could be confident that God’s promises to them were good and true.
Related: How to Trust God in the Middle of Uncertainty
God isn’t making you wait to harm you
Likewise, you can wait well by trusting that God’s promises are totally and completely good. You may be waiting for a long time and feeling like you’re all alone, but God isn’t making you wait to harm you. Hear me on this: He has not left you alone to suffer. We may never fully know why God allows us to wait so long, but we can be certain that despite the waiting, his plans are good.
Perhaps, you have not received the promise yet because God wants to take you through a process of preparation. The process can be painful but if we don’t walk through it, we won’t know what to do when we get to the promise. When Israel walked through the wilderness, God taught them to trust and depend on him. He gave them the Ten Commandments to guide how they would live in the Promised Land. He fed them with Manna from heaven to satisfy their hunger and gave them a Pillar of Cloud by day and fire by night to shelter them from the afternoon sun and provide warmth in the cold nights. In their season of waiting, Israel learned just how much God loved them.
Sometimes waiting seasons are made for pruning and pressing so that God can make you into exactly who you’re meant to be. Sometimes, he allows you to remain in the struggle so that you can wrestle through it and come out victorious on the other side.
I received quite a few prophetic words about the promise I’d been waiting on over the past two years. While each were powerful reminders of God’s truth, the last is most memorable. I had been praying for an answer concerning some things I had recently battled through and some doors that just seemed to stay shut no matter what I did. God used a preacher I had never met before to give me the answer to my pressing questions.
He told me something that was both painful and encouraging. Here is a quick paraphrase.
Those doors remained shut because God closed them. He was taking you through a season of preparation. Nothing you could do would get you out. He didn’t put you there to harm you and even though it was painful, it was a controlled environment. You were safe. He kept you there to build your character. He didn’t deny you the promise but it had to be delayed.
It was painful because as he spoke, I recalled a little over a year of intense struggle that I absolutely did not want to go through. I recalled knocking and knocking to no avail. I recalled my desperation and my wavering faith. But, it was also encouraging because God used that time to build my character and teach me the true meaning of faith and perseverance. He taught me to completely depend on him, when I was so used to depending on myself.
I still had a little more waiting to do after that prophetic word – two years to be exact but it encouraged me and reminded me that even if I was “stuck” in a place I didn’t want to be in, God had me there for a reason. Knowing that my Sovereign God has me somewhere for a reason is enough for me.
Related: Does God Seem Silent? 7 Ways to Hear God’s Voice in the Silence
Glorify God in the Waiting
Please don’t neglect to glorify God in your season of waiting. He is still good, no matter how long you have been waiting. Refuse to become cynical and doubt God’s character. When doubt does set in, praise God anyway.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?Psalm 13:1-2
In Psalm 13, David expresses some deep emotions to God. He asks, How Long, God?
How long will you hide from me?
How long will I struggle?
How long will I be sorrowful?
How long will my enemies be victorious over me?
Maybe you’re asking “How Long?” too. Do what David did and begin to glorify God despite your struggle. Trust in his character despite what you see going on around you. Sing to him because he has been good and faithful. God is still worthy to be praised in the waiting.
Be Obedient to God’s Instructions
Waiting always involves a posture of obedience. Don’t believe me? Imagine it’s lunch time and you’re in a restaurant waiting to order your food. Where are you standing? Probably in line, right? Either a sign says to wait in line or by now, you already know that in order to get your lunch, you have to wait in line. Whether implied or obvious, everyone who wants to eat adheres to those instructions.
If you are waiting on God to fulfill a promise to you and he says, stay here, then stay. Likewise, if he says go, then go.
Obedience is better than sacrifice.
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.1 Samuel 15:22-23
Sometimes in an attempt to make God’s promises happen ourselves, we do everything except what he tells us to. In 1 Samuel 15, King Saul and his army had just conquered the Amalekites. God commanded him to destroy everything they had. Saul did everything God asked except he spared the king and the best sheep, oxen, lambs, and fattened calves. Saul thought that if he saved them for a sacrifice, God would be pleased. Nope. God prefers our obedience over sacrifice. If God is telling you to stay and wait on him, stay. This may sound harsh but, your “sacrifice” means absolutely nothing without obedience.
Related: How to Find Beauty in Transitional Seasons
Those who wait for the Lord will inherit the land
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.Psalm 37:7-9
Let’s be real, it can be a huge struggle when people who don’t seem to deserve it are getting blessed instead of you, You know, the people who have hurt you or lied on you, or stolen something from you. But, God’s word reminds us not to worry about the evil people who are prospering. It goes on to say, those who wait for the Lord will inherit the land.
The vision from God may tarry, or take long to be fulfilled. But, it will most certainly come to pass. God may have given you a promise that seems impossible in the moment but it will come to pass. If he spoke it, it’s true. Remain obedient to his instructions so that you can be in the proper position to receive what you are believing for.
Don’t lean on your own understanding
I want you to picture the thing you’re currently waiting on. Now let’s be honest, if you did things your way, you could probably have it by now. Right? Well, that’s the half-truth the enemy wants you to buy into. Sure, you could do things your way and have everything you’ve ever wanted by now but not without a cost.
The cost of doing things your own way is God’s richest blessings on your life. If you do things your own way, you’d be settling for less than God has for you. You’d also be opening yourself up to failure and spiritual attacks due to walking outside of God’s will.
And I know other people are out there doing their own thing and getting “blessed.” I totally get the temptation. But, don’t follow their lead. Stay where God has you planted. Don’t lean on your own understanding. After all, God’s ways are higher than yours.
There’s a difference between counterfeit blessing and the true blessing of God. Just because someone looks blessed, doesn’t mean they are. Don’t look over at what they’re doing and forfeit God’s blessing on your life, The waiting season may be long but don’t step out of God’s will and walk into something just because it looks right in your own eyes.
Wait with great expectation
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9
Finally, wait with expectation. It’s easy to become complacent when you’ve been waiting for a long time. After 5, 10, or even 15 years, it’s tempting to throw in the towel and stop believing that God will come through for you. If you’re struggling with this right now, I want to encourage you. Keep expecting. Don’t stop believing that something good is going to happen. Continue to have faith even when you can’t see any clear sign of the promise.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!Psalm 27:13-14
You can wait expectantly when you know who you put your trust in. God never gives us a promise to disappoint us. If he says he will do it, he will. It may take long but he will come through. Don’t stop believing.
Waiting can be incredibly hard and painful. The longer you’ve been waiting, the more difficult it gets. But, waiting won’t last forever. God will fulfill his promises to you. However, what you choose to do while you’re waiting matters just as much as what you’re waiting for. So, wait well.
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