We’re writing to encourage you to hang in there, to have faith … during those times when “others” are getting blessed … and, it seems you are not …
When you see someone else succeed, be thankful that, yes, God is still in the “blessing” business. That your time will come. Be careful of how you react to someone else’s success: Don’t you want others to be happy for you, when you prosper? Think about that. In our relationship with other people (which the world is always watching), it is important how we respond to others during times of sadness, grief, or tough times (both ours and theirs). We would all agree with that. We are thankful when people come to us when they are going through trials and troubles. But … isn’t it also important how we respond to others after they win? After they’ve had a great victory or success?
When you see someone else succeed, be glad for them, and let them know it! Inside, see their present success as your future success.
Always remember that what we are going through right now is meant to shape us, prepare us, for what God has planned for our future. And, especially, if it seems like it is taking a long time to come to pass, God is using this time to build our faith … our patience … our perseverance. While you are waiting, try to find specific Scriptures which will build your faith and perseverance. I know from personal experience that holding on to these precious promises from God makes all the difference in getting through the toughest of times.
Allow me to share with you a couple of verses that I’ve clung to, in the past, while I was going through a tough, tough, time of waiting:
Perhaps my favorite is this one, from Hebrews. This verse has meant so much to me that it is this verse we have printed on our personal mailing labels. It is also, along with Genesis 12:3, the one we write on personal signings the most: “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (Hebrews 6:15). In my personal study Bible, this verse begins on one page, and continues on the next page. I have written, underneath the beginning of the verse, “It’s time to turn the page!” It is true: Through faith and patience, we inherit the promises of God. We must not give up! Trust in the power which patience and perseverance brings.
While you’re waiting, don’t be lazy! Keep praying, keep reading, keep believing … and, keep thinking about those in Scripture-and, those around you now-which have seen God’s promises come to pass. Hebrews 6: 12 puts it this way: “That ye be not slothful (sluggish), but followers (imitators) of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Staying in Hebrews, how about this, from Hebrews 10:23: “Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).” Amen!
Later in the chapter, we read this: “For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36). The first question this verse raises is, “Am I, right now, following God’s will for my life?” When you can answer that question with a “Yes,” I promise that things will begin to change. God loves it when you show Him that you believe Him, that you believe His Word. And, He loves it when you “pray the Word.” He loves it when He hears the fact that you take Him at His Word. That you do have faith in Him. You must have faith! And, keep it! For, after all, “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
I encourage you to read Deuteronomy, chapter 28. In fact, I encourage you to read the entire book. I always say that I believe the book of Deuteronomy is the most “underrated” book in the Bible, if I may say that in proper context. It is just so full, so rich, so full of promises. Just read chapter 28. Remember that part about doing God’s will? And, diligently seeking Him? In Deuteronomy, we read much about the subject of chapter 28: The blessings of obedience, and the consequences of disobedience. We all want God to “do His part,” but we are unwilling to do “our part” to make it happen. The bottom line is, that “all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Here goes: It is what you do, while you are waiting, which will determine the results of your waiting.
While you are waiting, keep doing the things you know you should do. Maybe even more! Remember that part about being obedient to God’s Word? You can’t do this unless you know what God’s Word says! You must read your Bible every day, pray every day … This way … every day … you hear from God … and, God hears from you! Jesus said this in Matthew 7:24: “Therefore whosoever (that’s us!) heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them (faith is an action word!), I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock.” We know the story of what happens next. This wise man’s house, when the storms came, “fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:25). What about the man who “heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not” (verse 26)? Plain and simple: “it fell: and great was the fall of it” (verse 27). I can’t help but think that these two men, one considered wise, and one foolish: I imagine they were doing different things during the time of waiting (for the storm), weren’t they? So, while you are waiting … keep doing things you know to do, which will determine what happens when the waiting is over!
So, while you are waiting, be thankful for what you already have:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth … who healeth … who redeemeth thy life … who crowneth thee …” (Psalm 103:2-4). You have God’s Word, you have His promises, and you have His Spirit!