Waiting on God. Is that Active or Passive Waiting?


In our circumstances we often wait.  We wait for God to act to resolve the issues in life.

Very often Christians come to a crossroads between God’s action and our responsibility. How much is God’s action, and how much do I participate?  In the following verse, do we wait for God, or do we seek him?  What posture do I take in my daily life, active seeking, or passive waiting?

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:25

There are numerous New Testament examples of this struggle and balance between active and passive waiting.

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Phil 3:12-13

“For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Col. 1:29

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.  On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

The reality is that we are impatient people.  Waiting on God?  I have places to be an things to do!

It is difficult to wait for the solution to our circumstances.

  • The right relationship
  • The right job
  • The right place the live

As the situation unfolds there are layers of second guessing, lingering questions, depression, exhaustion, and a constant anxiousness of being out of our control.

We expect instant gratification.  The movie/story book ending.

When our wishes are not satisfied and/or realized, we feel defeated.

We give up and give in the the “What’s the use?” or “Who cares?” and have a defeatist attitude.  We feel trapped. We stay stuck.

This is NOT the waiting that the bible speaks of!

Instead, the bible talks about actively waiting for God to act.

Not expecting quick fixes and not sulking in disappointment and disillusionment.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:25

It changes our attitude from negative to positive.  From “I can’t” or  “I won’t” to “I can” and “I will.”
Do not be afraid to feel your suffering when the going gets rough.  Use them as a thermometer of your trust in God’s direction.
  • Ask for help.
  • Acknowledge your impatience.
  • Understand that life’s experiences, good or bad, are opportunities both for new learning and greater trust in God’s direction.

What is a significant difference between active and passive waiting?

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