Proverbs 1:7 : The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
[The Lord knows more than we do (Abraham 3:19). When we wait on Him we stay open to new understanding and thing never before considered. What was before an insurmountable challenge can take on new light and a new perspective as we learn from and wait on The Lord. Waiting is not rigidly clinging to and playing out old ideas, traditions, and patterns. It's instead staying open to receive higher understanding and instruction. Waiting implies remaining teachable. This as opposed to becoming old dogs who won't learn new tricks. The Lord is the Great Teacher, desiring for us to learn and grow in light and truth without force. Some instruction will undoubtedly challenge us and our views. When we close our hearts and minds and won't consider new, challenging, or unfamiliar things, we may not truly be waiting on the Lord. (Matthew 7:7-8, Proverbs 12:1, Matthew 5:6, 1 Corinthians 2:14, D&C 50:24)]
Waiting Straightens and Builds Character
Waiting is part of maturing. We see this with children, as they mature, they can develop the ability to be patient and wait when necessary.
One of the emphases in the following three passages is on what happens in us and to us as we learn to wait on the Lord. It builds our character because through the process of waiting, we learn to depend on the Lord alone and to find our source of strength, security, and joy in Him which is the lesson the Apostle learned and refers to in Philippians 4:11-13. But let’s look at Psalm 37.
Psalm 37:1-11 has three challenges:
(1) Look Ahead. Verses 2, 9a, and 10 are absolutely true of everything that is rooted in time and not in eternity. We must learn to wait on God’s time and purposes and turn our minds and hearts towards Him. (vss. 7-9).
(2) Look Up. An obsession with problems, with rivals, with painful circumstances and the consequent harmful attitudes and strategies cannot simply be switched off, but they can be exchanged or removed by a new focus which rests and waits on the Lord (vss. 3-8). Remember our explanation of what it means to wait on the Lord? It included spending time getting to know and love the Lord. Look at verse four “…delight yourself …” This means “take delight” or “find delight.” Remember Paul and Silas in prison who were singing as well as praying.
(3) Be Productive. This is put forth both in the positive and in the negative. This is seen in “do good” and “dwell in the land” (verse 3), and in the negatives of verses 1 and 8.
- Doing good involves living for the Lord and positive ministry. It means living out of deep dependence on the Lord.
- Not fretting, ceasing from wrath and anger which leads only to evil doing means setting aside our strategies for handling pain or getting our desires (cf. vs. 4b).
- Doing evil, the product of fretting rather than waiting and resting, constitutes our human substitutes and false routes to joy, a common ingredient:
All false routes to joy, … have one thing in common: they represent strategies for living that in some measure we can control. They do not require us to yield our core commitment to independence. God’s message is consistent: utter dependency is the route to satisfaction.7
The results of all this is verse six, the Lord is free to bring forth our righteousness as the light, and our judgment as the new day. The result is nothing short of godly character with wise choices reproduced in the life of those believers who learn to wait on the Lord by way of patient faith rather than by self-assertion. These are the meek who will inherit the earth.
Psalm 39:7-8 And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee. 8 Deliver me from all my transgressions; Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
Psalm 40:2-9: A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD ;And He inclined to me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. 3 And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear, And will trust in the LORD. 4 How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. 5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, And Thy thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with Thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. 6 Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired; My ears Thou hast opened; Burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required. 7 Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me; 8 I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart.” 9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, Thou knowest.
Waiting Lifts Us Out of Despair and Causes Praise to God
Psalm 40:2-3 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. 3 And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear, And will trust in the LORD.
Psalm 42:5-11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. 6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me; Therefore I remember Thee from the land of the Jordan, And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Thy waterfalls; All Thy breakers and Thy waves have rolled over me. 8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God my rock, “Why hast Thou forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance, and my God.
Psalm 43:5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance, and my God.
Psalm 145:15-21 The eyes of all look to Thee, And Thou dost give them their food in due time. 16 Thou dost open Thy hand, And dost satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His deeds. 18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. 20 The LORD keeps all who love Him; But all the wicked, He will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD; And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.
When we are in despair or depressed, we moan and groan, whine and complain. But waiting on the Lord gets our eyes focused on Him and our glorious future. It puts a song in our hearts and praise on our lips.