Waiting implies inactivity. Dictionaries define waiting as delaying or postponing action. And sadly that is what many Christians think about when we talk about waiting for the Lord.

We get this terminology from the Scriptures, particularly the Psalms. But it doesn’t imply inactivity. Quite the opposite.

When we wait for the Lord, we are not delaying action, but preparing for action. We wait for the Lord like a soldier waits for the commanding officer’s command to “Charge!”

When the saints would encourage one another to wait for the Lord, they would think of strenuous preparation for actions that would require unusual spiritual strength and courage.

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Psalm 31:24
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD!

The same idea of strength and courage is put in word-pictures for us in Psalm 33, where waiting for the Lord is the moment of refreshment in battle, bolstering our courage to continue in the fight knowing that our protection comes from God.

Psalm 33:20
Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.

In a Psalm dedicated to the struggle against worrying about the evil around us, waiting for the Lord is associated with a number of spiritual activities. Psalm 37:7 appears to be a statement of inactivity.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

But the rest of the Psalm begs to differ.

Verse 3 considers waiting for the Lord to be a time to do what is good, to do the normal activities of each day and to do so faithfully.

Verse 4 commands us to delight ourselves in the LORD when waiting on Him regarding all the worries of this world

Verse 6 assumes that you are being righteous in your responses.

Verse 8 reminds you not to get angry in the meantime.

Psalm 37 ends with the same strength and courage topic of the other Psalms

Psalm 37:39-40
The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

So, Christian, wait for the Lord. With that we mean, be strengthened in your soul because of who God is even when your soul is overwhelmed by this life. Furthermore, do not shrink back in fear, depression, or hopelessness, but with God as the shield before you, courageously act righteous against all the temptations to do otherwise.

The active waiting of righteous living will keep us enduring for the passive waiting of God’s timing to bring justice to this world.

Psalm 37:34
Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
and he will exalt you