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It's easy to feel discouraged when bad things happen in our lives, but it can be just as hard when good things don't happen -- when we wait for better things to come around, but they fall short of reality.
We keep our chins up, trying to stay positive, but deep inside, a mounting feeling of disillusionment grows. We question why we've held on for so long, letting ourselves hope and pray for something that just isn't coming. Where is the job we've waited for after months of unemployment? Where is that special someone we've prayed for all these years? Where is that opening to get enrolled back in school? Where is the answer to that vocation we've discerned for? Where is the end to this depression/spiritual dryness we've endured for so long--for too long?
Then the "Blame Game" begins. We blame 'luck' or 'destiny', that our time will never come. We blame ourselves, that somehow, despite all our efforts, we're not good enough. We blame God for not answering our prayers, regardless of how faithful we've been to Him. We've fought long and hard, but our victories haven't come.
THE BENEFITS OF WAITING ...
But take heart, for from this waiting comes great fruits:
Trust & Faith
One of the toughest things about waiting is when there is absolutely no proof in sight that your prayers are being answered, or that your efforts will be rewarded. But that's what faith is: believing, against all odds. "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1.
Continuing to have faith in the midst of discouraging circumstances not only strengthens your faith, but proves your faith, ultimately bringing glory to God.
Patience & Endurance
Persisting, regardless of how discouraged you feel, strengthens resilience, which then strengthens character. This strength of character will not only benefit you in this circumstance, but in all future circumstances you encounter through life.
We can want good things for the wrong reasons, and waiting is God's way of purifying our intentions. For example, we may want a boyfriend/girlfriend to validate ourselves, but God wants to show us that He can validate us.
Delays are always for our benefit. Sometimes we wait because there is a better time for us to receive what we've hoped for. We may be more prepared, or may reap more benefits, from receiving it at a different time.
Sometimes we don't receive the change we want because God wants us to make do with our current circumstances. For example, maybe you haven't been accepted to an overseas university because you'll impact someone's life in the place you are now.
Other times God doesn't allow certain things to happen in our lives because He has something better in store entirely--we just have to wait for that 'other thing' to unravel.
LESSONS LEARNED ...
Ultimately, we wait because we'll learn more from waiting than we would if we immediately got what we wanted. It's an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and what we're truly capable of, and to learn more about God and His faithfulness.
So if you're put through the trial of waiting, know that you are blessed: God wants to do something great in your life. Hold on tight, because the fruits of your trial will be unimaginable! "When you feel like God is doing nothing, that's probably when He is doing the most."