Much of your suffering is a result of your inner darkness, and the evil in others. As you wait with expectation for your complete sanctification, your sinful nature keeps you bent towards evil, and this often opens a door to suffering. Other times, it is the result of uncontrollable circumstances, of loss, of physical deterioration, of persecution, or of the harmful effects of someone else’s sin. We live in a decadent world where trouble abounds. But suffering is never without cause, for we know “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4). God changes us through every struggle and every moment of suffering.
Romans 5:3-4 (NLT) We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
- Psalm 130:5-6 (NIV)
God set a part the Levites (descendants of Levi, son of Jacob) to serve to look after the temple (Deuteronomy 10:8). One of the tasks that the Levites would have performed would have been guarding the temple, being watchmen, guarding the temple overnight. The reason why they did this was because the temple was important, and furthermore, God had told them to do so.
But the psalmist here says that he waits on the Lord MORE than the watchmen waited for morning. This is a powerful statement because this was an important task and something that was actually pleasing in God’s sight. However, the psalmist recognized that he must wait for the Lord even more than something that pleased the Lord. WOW. Even when we’re doing God’s work, even when we’re desiring something that pleases Him, such as a godly marriage, or to travel the world and get involved in mission work, we must still wait on the Lord. In the New Testament, there are quite a few verses for believers on patience and endurance and how it relates to our faith walk (*I’ve listed the scriptures below for your reference). Remember this even if you’re:
1. Waiting on a text/message/call/invitation to hang out from a guy from church, or a guy that you consider to be “godly husband” material
2. Waiting to be able to leave the job you’re working to be more involved in a passion God has placed on your heart
3. Waiting for your family member or friend to realize their worth and who they are in Jesus
4. Waiting on an opportunity that would allow you to use the gifts God has given you.
5. Waiting on results from a doctor or someone in authority at work or school
Whatever it is, even you’re waiting on something that would bring glory to God, we must still wait on Him more than we wait for anything else!
Biblical context + further reading: Psalm 130, Psalm 25:15, Deuteronomy 10:8-11, *Colossians 1:11, Romans 5:3-4, James 5:11, 2 Peter 3:9
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Every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fibre. Paul said, “We know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character” (Romans 5:3-4). What happens outwardly in your life is not as important as what happens inside you. Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever.