A black and white photograph captures a solitary figure kneeling in a dimly lit church, their hands clasped in prayer, as rays of light stream through stained glass windows, symbolizing faith and the enduring question of waiting for God's plans to unfold.

Why Does God Make Us Wait?

We’ve all experienced times when we’ve prayed earnestly for something, but God seems silent. We wait and wait, but our prayers go unanswered. If God is all-powerful and loves us, why does He allow us to wait so long for the desires of our hearts?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: God makes us wait to build our character, deepen our faith, align our will with His perfect plan, and bring more glory to Himself.

In this article, we’ll explore several key reasons why God makes us wait, even when we are pleading for Him to answer our prayers immediately. We’ll see how waiting can accomplish God’s divine purposes in our lives and bring Him greater glory.

Waiting Builds Our Character


Waiting can be a difficult yet necessary part of life. As we wait on God’s timing, we build the virtue of patience. Patience is the ability to accept delay or adversity without getting frustrated or upset.

According to research by the University of California, San Francisco, practicing patience helps reduce stress and promotes emotional resiliency. As we wait, we learn to accept circumstances beyond our control. This builds patience, equipping us to handle life’s inevitable delays and hardships.


Waiting also builds our capacity for endurance. Endurance is the ability to withstand hardship or adversity over an extended period. When we wait on God even through times of difficulty, we develop spiritual perseverance.

A 2019 Christianity Today article stated that “Scripture ties waiting to endurance that finishes the race.” As we endure the wait, we grow in godly character. The longer we have to wait, the more our endurance is tested and strengthened.


In addition, waiting cultivates humility. When forced to wait, we are reminded that we are not in control. This brings us to a place of humility, recognizing our dependence on God’s sovereign plan. A 2022 Barna study discovered that 61% of Christians say waiting on God increases their humility.

As we yield our timeline to God’s wisdom, we grow in modesty and submission. We acknowledge that our ways are not higher than His (Isaiah 55:9). Waiting humbles us as we make room for God’s perfect will.

Waiting Deepens Our Faith

Forces Us to Trust

When God makes us wait for something we desire, it challenges us to trust Him more fully. We can easily profess trust when things are going smoothly. But when we must wait, our trust is tested. Will we continue to believe God is good and loving, even when His timing doesn’t align with ours?

Waiting deepens our faith as we cling to God’s promises despite the delay.

As we wait, we are given opportunities to rely on God in new ways. We may need to trust Him for strength to persevere, wisdom to use our time well, or peace in the midst of uncertainty. We may have to trust that He will fulfill His promises, even when we don’t see evidence that He is at work.

Our faith muscles grow stronger as we bring our requests to Him again and again.

Ultimately, waiting draws us closer to our Father. We gain new insight into His loving character. We experience His comfort in times of struggle and His joy when we choose to trust despite the wait. Our confidence in God grows each time He proves Himself faithful.

Teaches Us to Hope

Waiting can be difficult, but it is often in the waiting that our hope is renewed. When God makes us wait, it reminds us where our true hope lies. Our hope is not in getting what we want when we want it. Our hope is in God and His perfect timing and trustworthy promises.

Waiting strengthens our hope muscle. As we wait, we are called to look expectantly to God and to anticipate that He will show up. We are prompted to hope in His goodness and believe that His plans for us are for our good, even if it doesn’t feel good right now.

Our hope is fueled as we spend time in prayer and reflection during seasons of waiting. We are reminded of all the ways God has been faithful before, which gives us confidence that He will be faithful again.

Our hope is renewed when we focus on the big picture of who God is rather than the discomfort of our present circumstances.

Ultimately, waiting reminds us that our hope is meant to be in eternal things, not temporary things. It lifts our eyes from the things of this world to the promises of Heaven and the final fulfillment of all God’s purposes.https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/why-does-god-make-us-wait

Reminds Us of God’s Sovereignty

Waiting highlights our lack of control and God’s sovereignty. We can do everything in our power to make something happen, but ultimately, God is in control. He knows all things, owns all things, and does what He pleases.

When God makes us wait, He is reminding us that He is Lord over time, people, and circumstances.

This truth protects us from viewing God as a cosmic vending machine who exists solely to dispense our desires when we insert the right prayers or rituals. It humbles us and prompts us to surrender control to the One who knows best how our stories should unfold.

God’s sovereignty gives us freedom to patiently trust while we wait. Since He knows what is best, we can rest in His capable hands rather than striving to figure everything out ourselves. We can find joy and purpose in each day rather than postponing happiness until we get what we want.

Waiting helps us internalize the truth that God doesn’t operate on our timetable. His ways are higher than our ways. As we surrender our agendas to Him, we find peace and purpose as we do His will each day. Our patient waiting displays God’s worthiness and wisdom to a watching world.

Waiting Aligns Our Will with God’s Plan

God Sees the Bigger Picture

As humans, we only see a small part of the big picture that is God’s plan. We tend to focus on the present moment and what we desire right now. But God sees the full scope of our lives and how each experience fits into His greater purpose for us (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Even when we can’t understand why God is making us wait, we can trust that He is able to see down the road and knows what is ultimately best for us.

God’s Timing Is Perfect

Only God knows the right timing for events to unfold in our lives. He is outside of time and sees the optimal time for answering our prayers, fulfilling His promises, and bringing His plan to pass (Ecclesiastes 3:11). What seems slow or delayed to us is right on schedule from God’s perspective.

His timing is not an indication of His love and care for us. Rather, He waits for the perfect time to act because He is a loving Father who desires the very best for His children.

God Knows What We Truly Need

Unlike us, God knows exactly what we need, and when we need it. In His wisdom and love, He sometimes withholds a desire from us because He can see that it would not be good for us, even if we cannot. But God promises to provide all that we truly need, even as He asks us to wait patiently on His perfect timing and care (Matthew 6:33).

The trials of waiting can strengthen our faith and trust in God. As we lean into His love, we can find peace in knowing that God’s plan is good, and He will faithfully complete the work He has started in us (Philippians 1:6).

Waiting Glorifies God

Shows God’s Power and Provision

Waiting on the Lord demonstrates our trust and dependence on Him. It is an act of faith that allows God to display His mighty power on our behalf. As we wait patiently for God’s timing, we give Him space to work in incredible ways far beyond what we could orchestrate ourselves.

This glorifies God by making His power and provision evident in situations that often seem impossible from a human perspective.

For example, the Israelites had to wait for God’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. During this time of waiting, God demonstrated His power through the 10 plagues, parting of the Red Sea, and supernatural provision of manna and water (Exodus 7-16).

The Israelites glorified God by waiting and witnessing His mighty acts on their behalf.

Testifies to God’s Faithfulness

Waiting brings glory to God because it testifies to His unwavering faithfulness. When we choose to wait on the Lord through difficult circumstances, we proclaim that He is dependable and will fulfill His promises in His perfect timing. This brings honor to God’s trustworthy character.

We see this modeled through Simeon in Luke 2. He waited years for the arrival of the promised Messiah. When the baby Jesus finally arrived at the temple, Simeon rejoiced and glorified God for His faithfulness in allowing him to see the fulfillment of God’s promise before his death.

Simeon’s patient waiting testified to God’s trustworthiness.

Allows God to Get the Glory

Waiting enables God alone to get the credit, honor, and glory when He moves in His timing. If we try to manufacture outcomes ourselves, we often unintentionally get the glory. However, when we wait patiently for God to act, only He rightfully receives praise for the results.

For example, Abraham and Sarah tried to fulfill God’s promise of a son through Hagar, which created family chaos (Genesis 16). However, later when they waited on God, He miraculously provided Isaac in Sarah’s barren womb to fulfill His promise (Genesis 21).

This clearly glorified God, not Abraham and Sarah’s efforts. Waiting allowed God alone to get the glory for this miracle child.


Though waiting can be incredibly difficult, we can take comfort in knowing God allows delays for our benefit and His glory. As we wait on Him, we can choose to trust in His goodness and timing. Waiting strengthens our faith and purifies our motives.

And in the end, our patient waiting will result in God accomplishing His perfect will in our lives.

Rather than resenting God’s apparent silence, we can see times of waiting as opportunities to glorify Him and become more like Christ. Our delays are not denials from an uncaring God. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. Let’s continue to wait on Him with hopeful, trusting hearts.

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