by Udeme Anosike
“Patience” and “waiting” are words many Christians dread when it comes to the fulfillment of God’s promises in their lives. We usually want to see His promises fulfilled soon after they are made. And while God does fulfill some of them right away, He delays some of the weightier breakthroughs we believe Him for.
Patience is a virtue that every committed follower of Christ must learn; it is a non-negotiable component of our journeys with God. Take the boy Joseph as an example: He was only 17 years old when God gave him lofty dreams about his future. He must have been astounded by them but, thankfully, he believed. What he did not know was that those dreams would only be fulfilled after a long journey with God.
Joseph was soon thrown onto the path that would lead to his desired destination, but it wasn’t a pleasant path. It was an extremely fruitful one, though, for it produced in him the virtues that he needed for the role God had shown in his dreams.
But we may ask, “How did Joseph cope with that challenging path?” Put differently, “How should we cope with waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled in our own lives?”
Here are three keys that I’ve learned from my journeys with the Lord. We cope by (1) submitting to God’s timing, (2) holding on to hope, and (3) asking for an abundance of grace.
Submitting to God’s timing
Contending with the Lord on the issue of timing only leads to frustration. This is because God always has a purpose for the time He takes to change our circumstances, and the fulfillment of that purpose is always more important than the alleviation of our discomforts. So even though we may whine, the Lord does not cut short the necessary timing because He has the higher value that our waiting will produce in view. When we come to terms with this truth and determine to work with God’s timing, we find ourselves a lot more peaceful during our journeys.
Holding on to hope
The Lord always keeps His promises — fully. However, the difficulties while we wait make us question His word and give up hope. But hope is essential to maintaining our joy. When hope is lost, we become despondent and lose faith. Joseph did not give up hope. He trusted that God would vindicate him and make a way out of his situation. This mindset was vital.
Sometimes, our situations bear down on us so much that it takes God Himself to restore our hope in Him. And restore hope He does, as we come and listen to Him. So on our journeys to the fulfillment of His promises, continual fellowship with Him — listening and hearkening to His voice — is vital.
Asking for an abundance of grace
There are special kinds of grace reserved for seasons of waiting — the grace to be patient and joyful in spite of our afflictions, the grace to see the challenges and yet not despair, the grace to focus on other aspects of life where we are blessed while we await breakthrough in the troubled areas, the grace to fortify our minds against Satan’s mockery, and the grace to cope with the physical constraints imposed by our difficult circumstances. It is essential to ask the Lord for these graces.
A beautiful ending
The conclusion of Joseph’s story always delights my heart. He was elevated to a lofty position, just as God had shown in his dreams. His breakthrough came suddenly, and when it did, Joseph was ready, for God had prepared him during his waiting period. Joseph’s life changed for good: the Lord fully compensated him for the losses he had suffered during his years of waiting.
As He did for Joseph, may God teach us to endure our seasons of waiting with patience and hope. And may our breakthroughs come suddenly at His appointed time.