God's Timing vs. Our Timing
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"God When?" "When will you do __________?"
How often do we find ourselves waiting and wondering about God's timing?
In this blog, I want to give you four ways that you can trust God and His promises. We're talking about God's timing versus our timing. Oftentimes the question isn't whether or not I believe God is real, that's not really the question that I struggle with. It's not even the question that God has a plan for my life. I don't really struggle with that either. That God's got a plan or purpose for my life.
Where I have a problem mostly is in my patience, waiting on that plan. And I think that's probably true for many of us. I think it's probably really true for a lot of us that the real struggle, when it comes to faith is, "God, when? When, oh Lord, are you going to do this? When are you going to provide? When is the answer going to come?" We seem to get wrapped up in that.
And so, instead of waiting on God's timing, we jump out in front of it or we move beyond it. We create our own path towards our own idea of success, but then God's got this other, much better plan for us. And if we're not waiting on God, we jump out ahead of him, and we end up moving in all these different directions hoping that God may bless our plans and our timing.
This can cause us to think and say, "God, you're late. God, you're not on time. God, where are you? God, when?"
When it comes to God and time, even His existence we may wonder, "How has God always been?" Have you ever thought that before? How does God have no beginning and no end? It's one of those loops in your mind that can cause you to go down these paths of real deep confusion, because we just can't fully understand that.
God's is outside of time. There is no beginning to God. There is no end to God. He is not bound by our finite timeline. He's just not. We have a starting point. There's birth and then literally our timeline is linear. Time just keeps ticking forward. You can't pause it. You can't change it. You can't go backwards. And so you're born, you're growing up, you're going to school, you meet that special somebody, you go through all these things, and then one day, at the end, you die.
I mean, that's gloomy, but that's basically life... you're born, then you die. There's a straight line to it. You can't deviate from it. So, we also think about God in our context of time. We think God, you must operate the same way that we do when it comes to time. But, God views time very differently.
Time for us is like an hourglass, we don't know how much sand there is in our hourglass. We hope there's a lot. We hope there's 80, 90, 100 years of sand in the glass, but you don't know. We have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow. We don't know what's going to happen next. We don't know what's going to happen down the road. All we know is right now. But God operates outside of our time.
But therein is the problem, is it not? In our timeline, we have expectations that God's going to come and meet us at a certain point, when God views our time completely different, radically different in fact.
“To God, time is like a great canvas spread before him, every moment of which he can take in simultaneously. To him, all times are present. A thousand years in our experience are as nothing in God’s eyes.” Joel B. Carini, “God’s Eternity,” in Lexham Survey of Theology, ed. Mark Ward et al. (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018)
It really comes down to a matter of TRUST. Here are the four reasons you can trust God's timing.
4 Reasons to Trust God’s Timing:
1. God is Never Late
2 Peter 3:8-9
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Trusting in God’s timing and that He is never late will require STRENGTH & COURAGE
2. God Keeps His Promises
3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.
What is the “vision” or the “hope for _____” that God has given you?
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
Here again we may unfairly put our human disappointments on God.
3. God’s Ways Are Higher
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Here is the word “TRUST” again.
Trust in God allows us to walk on the straight path He made for us.
4. God’s Never Failed Us Before
45 Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
I love that verse because it's a reminder of a prayer and statement that just simply says, "God, I'm going to put my time, including all my goals, all my dreams, all my ambitions, I'm going to put all of that into your hands. And I'm going to trust that you're going to deliver, that you're going to save, that you're going to rescue."
At the end of the day, again, it comes down to faith. It comes down to how we operate and how we live our life. Do we trust that God's word is true? Do we trust he has a plan? Do we trust his ways are higher? Do we trust that he never failed us? Do we trust? Do we trust? Do we trust?
It doesn't mean we have to understand. In fact, oftentimes we don't understand, but we trust, which is what faith is.
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS:
1. What have you learned from your experiences about God’s timing?
2. Why do you think it is hard to trust God and His timing?
3. What have you been praying for and/or hoping for that is requiring trust?
4. Name a time when God answered your prayer and how did that build your trust for your current season?