If ever there was a subject that needs to be studied, it is the matter of God’s timing. At the outset of such a consideration, we must again come back to the fact of our limitations to truly understand it. Jeremiah wrote the following: “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jer. 10:23) If we are so limited as human beings, so that we are not capable of truly knowing the way in which we should go, and actually walking in that way, then how can we know the timing of God? Indeed, it is only possible as He reveals it to us.
God called Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldees before he was 75 year old. Armed with the promises of God, he arrives in Canaan and lives there until he is 99 years old, at which time God will tell him that he will have a son, an heir of promise. What can be said of God’s timing in this circumstance? Was He on time or not? Paul writes of Abraham, and this experience and timing, by saying the following: “…It is of faith, that it might be by grace….before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who (Abraham) against hope, believed in hope…He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief…being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able to perform.” (Romans 4:16,17-18,20-21) There is no doubt that God’s timing is impeccable, for if Abraham would become the man of faith that God intended, God would need to put the realization of His promises beyond the capacity of Abraham to bring them to pass. God’s intention was to make a man of faith of Abraham…and this He did.
What about us and God’s timing? We know that the promises of God are “yea and amen,” meaning that they WILL be fulfilled, and come to pass in God’s time. But why does He not move more quickly, or according to OUR time? Simply, He is determined to make men and women of faith of us all. Waiting wholly upon Him, and Him alone, is part of that process.
Habakkuk’s words are so applicable here: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, WAIT FOR IT; because it will SURELY come, it will not tarry.” (Hab. 2:3) Faith is often tried by waiting…but holding firm. And sometimes the waiting is not an issue of just enduring the trials of a day or month. Sometimes, in certain circumstances, it is an issue of waiting moment by moment. How then will we know that God’s timing has come? Most certainly, when all of our hope and expectation is in Him, and we have surrendered “time” into His hands. We are called to walk by faith, and this steadfastly.
One encouraging word: “I had fainted unless I had believed to SEE the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Ps. 27:13-14) Waiting is the act and attitude of believing God to accomplish His work in His time, and in His way. “Wait on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land.” (Ps. 37:34)