I remember being so lost and not being able to figure out why everything was happening to us like it was. I knew God was there, I knew he answered prayers but I did not understand why he was taking his time. What was God waiting on? Why was my timing not God’s timing? Have you ever felt like this?
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, without their heart, without the possibility that mankind will find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
– Ecclesiastes 3:11 NASB
I couldn’t believe this was what he wanted in our life. How could he? The new direction was unchartered and scary, I would be alone with my kids in a place I never wanted to go back to. Sure, I’d been alone many times but this was different. Have you ever wondered when God was going to answer your prayers? Was God’s timing yours?
How to Accept God’s Timing in Your Life
The Bible always talks about God’s plan and that God’s timing is the best, and that it will make everything better. This isn’t always easy to accept, we don’t like not knowing our future sometimes, nor do we like to wait. We typically want the answer or blessing right away, which doesn’t always happen with God’s time.
Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write down the vision and inscribe it clearly on tablets, so that one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hurries toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it delays, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay long. – Habakkuk 2:3
My situation did have a wonderful ending but during the beginning and through the thick of it this was one of the scariest futures I was facing. I would finally come home to the church and bring God fully into my and my children’s lives, I even became a Sunday School teacher which even at the time I thought was crazy.
But God knew what he was doing, even if I didn’t. Had HE solved my solution before this move I never would’ve stepped into a church. This wasn’t why we moved but I think it is why God allowed this move to happen. I would lean into him for all my solutions, getting down on my knees and begging him for help. I won’t lie, I even sometimes was on my knees yelling at him with tears streaming. He knew all my feelings and he understood them.
If you are going through a challenge with no end in sight, here are some tips for helping you accept God’s timing!
What is God’s Timing?
God’s timing is simply that, whatever it is will be done when it is time, in HIS time. This does not mean when we ask for it or when we expect it. God already has a plan for our life, therefore he knows when things will come. Kind of like the song, “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott, we may not know but it’ll make sense later.
Always Ask God for Help
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and the and to the one who knocks it will be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8
Always ask God for help! He is a loving Heavenly Father who will help you if you ask. Tell Him that you are struggling to accept His timing, but you are willing to try. This is one of the best and the first things you should do when you need help. Remember God already knows what you need but he is waiting for you to call on him, to trust him.
You can share all your feelings with God through prayer or anytime during the day. He knows everything you are feeling and just wants to help. Sometimes the simple act of asking is all you need to be able to accept His timing.
Ask Others for Help
You can always ask your friends and family for help. They might be able to see things you wouldn’t see on your own. They can also share similar experiences they have gone through and how they handled them. If this doesn’t help, go to your pastor or your church group and ask them to pray for your situation. I have learned through experience that while attending a bible group everyone prays for one another and is there when someone needs them. Matthew 18:20 states when two or more are gathered he is there. Your answer may just be among them.
Study His Word to Get to Know HIM
If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7
There is so much power that comes from reading the scriptures. We can so much strength and wisdom just from studying His words. Try to make it a habit to read your Bible every day; that way, when hard times come, and they will, you will already have the faith and testimony to get you through.
If you haven’t experienced it yet, when you are faced with evil you will know it but you will also be able to fight it with scripture. I’ve heard scripture run through my mind a lot when I have doubts, when I’m scared or when someone is telling me something that isn’t true. I feel comforted in those moments because I know God is with me.
There are so many stories and examples in the Bible, look for the one related to your situation. What Bible story is like yours? What are you going through? Is there a story you can relate to? What happens to them? Does everything turn out in the end for that person? Doing this can help you know that everything will be okay for your trial as well.
Bible Verses on God’s Timing:
- The mind of a person plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. -Proverbs 16:9
- There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven – Ecclesiastes 3:1
- I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. – Psalm 27:13-14
Additional Bible Studying Ideas
- Create a Bible Study Notebook
- Join a bible study group online or at your local church
- Purchase a Bible Study Journal that is on the topic you need help on the most. (worry, guilt, growing your faith, gratitude, etc)
Shift Your Focus to Something Positive
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. -1 Thessalonians 5:18
While it may be hard, try to shift your focus from waiting to receiving an answer or blessing to something more positive. Shifting our focus happens little by little, but it is doable. Focus on the blessings you have received recently and in the past.
You can also keep a gratitude journal. These help you see the good no matter how hard the day might have been. Start by writing a few things you are thankful for each day. Soon you will start to notice that you are naturally happier. Plus when you get upset or worried about something you can go through this journal and remind yourself of all the things you are happier for. You’ll start to see God more in your daily life.
We often get so focused on when and how God will deliver us that we lose focus on what is truly important. Remi, in God Hears Her devotional book shared, “Our ability to stand in the midst of trials depends on our focus. If we’re looking only for immediate deliverance, we may not endure. But if we’re looking to Jesus, He’ll help us to realize that whatever happens, we stand on who God is-not on what He does for us.”
Keep a Spiritual Journal
Keep a journal where you write down all the spiritual experiences you go through. This will help you have something to look back on when you are going through a challenge. I like to keep what I call a Prayer Journal, where I list my prayers and answers.
A spiritual journal is for self-reflection which allows us to dig into deeper what is going on in our lives. We write down our experiences and our thoughts at the time. But this is also the time when you quietly listen to the Spirit to see if it is telling us anything.
You are a lot stronger than you think. When you record all the experiences you go through, both the good and the bad, you’ll realize you can be more patient and that you can make it through hard things. But you’ll also start to notice the signs God is near, the things he is doing for you, and the things he is helping you through.
Learn More About God
The more you learn about God, the more you see how loving He truly is. Time after time again, God always fulfills His promises no matter what. He is a merciful God and will always help you through your challenges.
Sometimes we have to go through hard times. It is like when we sleep train our kids. Sometimes they cry, and all we want to do is go and help them, but we know we cannot. It is better for them to learn how to be independent rather than do everything for them all the time. God is the same exact way, and you’ll see that when you learn more about Him.
Look for the Lessons in the Wait Time
Have you ever wondered why God wasn’t doing it yet? There are always reasons why God’s timing and your timing are different. Try to come up with a list of reasons why the timing is not yet happening. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from this experience.
Is he aligning everything you will need? Is there something beneficial for you while you wait. Sometimes we need to grow and learn from a situation so we don’t keep repeating it. A few people may need to learn patience. Remember he could be making you go through something that you will need to help someone else go through the same exact experience one day.
We may never know the true reason why God’s timing is taking longer than we thought, but sometimes coming up with a reason helps our brains turn off and allows us to move forward. I like to think he made me go through what I did to bring me back to church and dig into the bible. To stop relying on just myself and let others help. Letting others help me was one of the biggest issues I had. Next up was learning to forgive others, but that’s another post.
Remind Yourself His Timing is Perfect
God’s timing is perfect timing and all according to His plan, not always ours. (Jeremiah 29:11) Even if we don’t see that or fully understand it, we can still rely on His word to be true. When things seem like they are taking forever, remind yourself what you know to be true. Here are a few things to say to yourself daily:
- God’s timing is Perfect
- He created time
- God has a Plan
- He knows what I need better than I do
- God has bigger dreams for you better than you can ever imagine
- He will help me through this challenge
- God is merciful
Give it to Him
On my office wall is a stenciled decal that reads, “Let Go and Let God,” I think this is the perfect reminder that I must let go of whatever I am hanging on to and give it over to him. To trust him and not just myself. We often struggle with God’s timing when we are going through something difficult, and we just want a way out. This could be a trial or challenge. When you have tried everything and still struggle to accept His timing, give it to Him.
Surrender your will to His. This might not get you out of your scenario and might not even make things easier, but it can bring you comfort and relief. Accepting God’s timing is not an easy task. But, when you combine your efforts on focusing on God and use all the resources around you, things become easier. Use these 7 tips next time you are struggling and embrace the power that comes from it. Remember just because you get through something does not mean you’ll never have trials again. It just means now you’ll have a few ideas to get through them and you can continue to grow your faith a little stronger.