Waiting for the Lord is difficult, especially in seasons when uncertainty feels like an abyss. Earthly longings, like a desire for a new job or maybe a relationship, grab hold of our hearts and can steer our emotions. We’re all familiar with the itching and unsettling feeling of waiting, but the good news is that we never have to bear it alone. God promises to never leave or forsake us, especially in unpredictable seasons (Deuteronomy 31:6).

While you might not feel like you’re waiting for anything right now, technically, we’re always in a season of waiting. Christians live as in-between people. We’re waiting for full reconciliation with God, waiting for guidance in decision-making, waiting for deliverance from sin, waiting for healing… Waiting is a principal pillar of being a follower of Jesus— our entire belief system is based on waiting for him to return!

Scripture talks often about waiting. In fact, the Bible includes the words “wait,” “waited,” or “waiting” around 129 times in most English translations. But I think we commonly misunderstand what God wants us to learn about the concept.

In modern-day, the idea of waiting revolves mostly around time: waiting for the check at dinner, waiting for the bus, waiting for 5:00 to roll around to get off work. We throw this word carelessly into a sentence, where it can generally be interchanged with “passing time.” Especially when dealing with more ordinary aspects of life, waiting can sometimes feel trivial.

I’m technically in a season of “passing time” right now. I’m in my twenties, and not yet married, but I’d like to be. And I have one more year until I graduate college and begin my actual career. I often feel like I’m sitting in uncertainty. My understanding of the word “wait” is important because it determines my perspective during this period of uncertainty. I can either look at it as a purposeless passing of time or as an active hope and anticipation of what God’s doing in His redemptive plan. 

A Hebrew word for “wait” in the Bible is “Qavah” which translates as “to hope.” One common example of this is Isaiah 40:31: “But they who QAVAH for the Lord shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

An informal, personal definition of hope to me is the firm attachment to the promises God has made us in scripture, wholly believing they’ll be fulfilled. So, to “wait” or to “hope” for the Lord implies a forward-looking perspective. It implies an unwavering trust in Him and what He says, not simply the passing of time.

So what does this “hopeful” type of waiting look like each day? 

When it comes to our relationship with Jesus, there’s a lot of power in the concept of “today.” Repeatedly, Jesus put an emphasis on “today.” When He taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer, He told them to ask God for sustainability for that day specifically: “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). He also made it clear that following Him was a decision made each day to pick up our cross and keep to His lead: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

This idea was present in the Old Testament when the prophet Jeremiah reminded Israel that God’s “mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23).

Even though we know this, it’s still easy to get overwhelmed imagining the future, especially when it’s hard to see an end to present circumstances. No one wants to be waiting on a change, working through sin, getting out of that thought cycle, or surrendering to His plan. We think about the future, and we know what we’re waiting for. We become apprehensive about what will come our way and how to handle it all.

Jesus knows this. He knows we’re prone to worry and overthink. This is why he tells us in Matthew 6:34: There’s enough trouble in each day. He urges us not to worry about tomorrow. He emphasizes the power of “today,” reminding us over and over in scripture that He will replenish us and give us enough strength one day at a time—which is often all that can be managed in particularly trying times. 

So, practically, what can we do in a period of waiting? How do we maintain our hope and trust in the Lord, without giving into worry?

Here are a few ideas that might help.

  1. Write down one thing that you are waiting for at the top of a piece of paper or journal page, and then find promises from God in scripture that remind you of the situation of waiting that you’re in. Write those down below it. These scriptures can help you see the truth of who God is and how he has been faithful to his people throughout scripture, even if it was in a way that was different than they expected.

For me, I might journal something like:

“I’m waiting for a season of marriage and covenantal love in my life. God has spoken over the beauty of marriage: it is a good gift from the Lord with a distinct purpose.

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’”  (Genesis 2:18).

But, as I’m waiting, I want to remember that God’s already fulfilled this desire in my heart with his love for me. Just like he promises to love Israel like a husband, I know that his everlasting love for me is enough.

“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called” (Isaiah 54:5).

“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy” (Hosea 2:19).


  1. Use the reflections and verses from your writing to create a short prayer to help you cling to the promises of today. It doesn’t need to be anything long or super profound— just something you can easily remember and that helps you keep God’s provision for this moment at the front of your mind.

For my circumstances, it might look something like this: “Dear God, today, remind me that your love for me is enough.”


  1. Focus on a fruit of the spirit you want to try to grow in today (see Galatians 5:22-23). This might not seem directly related to your season of waiting, but it’s pretty hard to be overcome by worry about the future when you’re overflowing with joy or kindness. You won’t be perfect, and it would be overwhelming to choose them all, but picking an emphasis each day can challenge you to live into God’s hopes for you in the present, instead of worrying about the future. And, remember, these are gifts that come from the Spirit and drawing close to God each day— not something you can manufacture on your own.

Try placing small reminders somewhere you’ll see it regularly throughout the day. I might place sticky notes with the word “peace” on my dashboard, mirror, and on the back of my phone. This grounds me in the Fruit I’m especially trying to embody that day, reminding me to look for opportunities to better practice it. While it might not seem like I’m actively working toward my hope, I’m choosing to use my season of waiting each day to be proactive in becoming the kind of person God wants me to be.


So, today, I encourage you to give your day to the Lord. Give Him all your thoughts and actions and motives for this day. Give Him your worries and cares and plans. Give Him whatever you’re longing or waiting for. Give Him everything the day in front of you has to offer. Trust that He’ll sustain you today, even if it’s hard to imagine the days ahead. Then ask for His help to pick up your cross and follow Him, today!

And, tomorrow or the next day? We’ll do it again, and again. One day at a time.