Life is complex and often doesn’t run as smoothly as we might hope. We trust in God to guide us, learn His ways through study and prayer, and grow our relationship with Him that is full of nurturing and care.
That’s what makes it hard to take when things go wrong; when our friends and loved ones don’t get what we know they deserve, when we face unforeseen challenges and setbacks, and when our best-laid plans get blown off course.
We can derive comfort from learning to trust in God’s timing. These trials and tribulations may seem like the end of the world at the time, but one thing that faith teaches us is to be strong in our belief that good will come.
God has the knowledge of the whole universe, and His plans are beyond our knowing.
What The Bible Says About God’s Plan?
It is a central element of our faith that we believe and trust in God’s plan, but as well as being a star to steer by, God’s plan is a comfort.
Knowing that He is there, and that our relationship with Him keeps us in His grace, allows us to face challenges in our lives with peace and acceptance. Knowing and understanding that God has a plan is the first step in trusting His timing.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
In Jeremiah, God gives solace to His people after they were cast out of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. It was a time of great strife and suffering, but God’s comforting words were to remain resolute in faith, because His plans would lead His people back to happiness and prosperity.
We can take the same message into our own lives.
When we face troubles in our own lives, be it the loss of a loved one or a plan gone awry, we can look to God’s plan for comfort.
We can’t see it, but His plan is for all of us who love Him to be made whole through our faith. In the verses that follow, God states that when we pray to Him, and be true to His word, He will find us and deliver us to happiness. It will be at the time that He sees fit, but it is our faith in Him that keeps that connection strong.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
There is so much wisdom in the Proverbs, but this verse is a brilliant example of the relationship of the Lord’s plans to our own. We can think and plan as much as we like, but we live on a tiny scale compared to the consciousness of God. Our plans are like little wheels within the great watch of God’s overarching plan for us.
It is distressing when our plans go wrong. Something like a vacation being cancelled or a change of circumstances at work can make us despondent, and leave us feeling like it’s pointless to try. This is where faith steps in.
We can plan as much as we like, and others can make their plans to help us or hurt us, but in the end it is God’s plan that will win out. We cannot think on the scale of the Lord’s plan, nor can we understand it.
What we have to do is to act in accordance with our faith, practice our faith, and accept that whatever we do God’s plan is being enacted at all times without our knowledge. When things go badly or well, we have to keep ourselves in the knowledge that it is all part of God’s plan, regardless of its effects on us at the time.
How We Can Understand God’s Plan?
Everything that the Bible tells us about God’s plan is that it is of a far greater magnitude than any plans we could ever make. God is enacting His plan at every moment, and everything that happens to us is within the boundaries of His plan.
That doesn’t make it meaningless for us to try, but it does mean we should give ourselves a break when things aren’t going well.
Sometimes these things are out of our control and repeatedly trying to force a fix, by our own or through faith, isn’t going to work. The most important thing about God’s plan is that we are part of it, and enacting our faith means we stay part of it.
What The Bible Says About Trusting God’s Timing?
There are many Bible verses that speak of God’s timing. Through these, we can come to a better understanding of our own place in the universe and in His plan, and feel secure in the knowledge that He is there in good times and bad.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14
This verse lays out the simplest message about trusting God. Its direct call for us to be courageous in the face of challenges is a clarion to patience.
God does not come to us when we decide. He comes to us in our hour of greatest need, and He has the knowledge of when that is. When we are going through hard times, the greatest assets we have are forbearance and faith. He will come, and when He does it will be in accordance with His plans.
Psalm 27 is a recounting of David’s faith in God. When his enemies come, he knows that his faith will protect him. When he is abandoned by everyone, even those closest to him, he knows to trust that God will see him on the path to righteousness.
Above all, Psalm 27 is about faith in God’s timing, because David is confronted with all manner of challenges but reminds himself to be strong in his belief and relationship with the Lord, and wait for God’s grace to come.
If you have struggles with the people you love it can feel like God has abandoned you. In our most hopeless situations, when everyone else turns away, we must take comfort from the Bible and our relationship with the Lord and know that when the time is right, we will see His plans and understand them.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25-26
This passage from Lamentations speaks to all of us who may feel that we have lost sight of God’s plan. Lamentations is a book full of sadness and despair, written following the loss of Jerusalem to the Babylonians.
The voice of Lamentations speaks in the knowledge that the city was lost for a lack of godliness, but does not seek to turn from God. In fact, Lamentations is one of the strongest calls for closer faith in the Lord in the Bible.
In the midst of total destruction, this verse is a study of resolute faith. Even when it seems that God has deserted us, we know that He has not; we know that by practicing our faith we affirm our love for Him, and we are rewarded with His love.
We cannot see His plan, but we must quietly wait for Him and be strong in our faith even, perhaps especially, in the hardest times.
If we don’t trust in God’s timing, then what are we saying about our relationship to His plans, and to Him as a guide and protector? For example, if you lose your job it is easy to become disheartened, and for your worries to overwhelm you.
You might start to think that God’s plan doesn’t include you, or lose faith in Him; how could He let you suffer like this? We can always find solace in the fact that His plans are unknown to us, but they exist and will be revealed to us at the right time. We just have to wait and be active in our faith, which will lead us to peace.
“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. 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.” 2 Peter 3:8-9
With all this talk of us being patient, it is worth remembering this passage from the second book of Peter. To understand God’s timing, and to trust in it, it is essential that we remember that God’s time is not like our time. He sees everything as if it were in an instant, and also the finest details of every second. This is the timescale His plan works on.
When it feels like our prayers are slow to be answered, remember that God is also patient. We wouldn’t want His plans to be rushed or hurried, in the same way that we don’t want to rush our own plans.
God is patient and decisive. We must also be patient and faithful. His timing is intrinsic to His plans, and so we should trust in it just like we trust in His plans.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiates 3:1
While we can understand that God’s plans move within a different sort of time to ours, it helps to be reminded that all things happen in their due time here on Earth too.
The parallel drawn in Ecclesiastes between the simple turning of the seasons and God’s timing is a good one for illustrating how things come at the right time.
God isn’t going to be looking for a harvest in winter, just like we wouldn’t! Even though His plans move in a different way to ours, we all know not to do things when the time isn’t right. God will step in when it is the right time, not when we think it is the right time. We can trust in His omniscience to know that he will do what is right, when it is right.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Not only is waiting for God’s timing right and fitting with His plans, but it also means that when we do act God is able to give us strength and abilities beyond our own. We can do our best every day, and try to make our own plans work out, but when we act in line with God’s timing we receive His power too.
When our issues seem insurmountable and our own strengths aren’t up to the task, waiting for God’s strength and His plan brings us the reward of even greater power.
Battling through every day on our own, against God’s plans and his timing, is a thankless task. Patience and faith means that we will be able to deal with our troubles with ease thanks to God’s hand.
How We Can Understand God’s Timing?
The Bible teaches us that God’s timing is like God’s plan. Its exact nature is beyond our understanding, but what we do know of it is that it comes from His complete knowledge of the universe at all times. God will come to help us when it is the right time, which only He can know.
We can’t assume that we know better, even though sometimes that might feel frustrating. The essential message from the Bible is that God’s timing comes with hope, and that hope must be maintained even through the darkest times. He will be there when He is most needed, and only He can know when that is.
We can have faith that He does know, and that His timing is perfect.
How We Can Trust God’s Timing?
There are a few ways in which we can keep our trust in God’s timing strong,even in times of trouble.
- Remember his past provisions for you – Think about the times that God has helped you in the past. You can keep a diary if that helps you to remember, or just spend time in reflection thinking about when you have needed God and He has been there. It is easier to remember the bad times than good times, so having a reminder is always valuable.
- Trust in God – If we trust in God, then we will find it easy to trust in His timing. Remember that God’s care is constant and eternal, and he blesses us every day with wonders and kindnesses. This is as true when we need it as when we are not in need. We trust in God during good times, so keep that trust when times get tough too.
- Remember the value of patience – We can’t hurry God, and nothing that we can do will make him act against His plans. Your patience will bring the reward of the right help at the right time.
- Pray – The power of prayer can’t be underestimated. If we give our problems over to God to resolve, then we are handing them over to the highest authority and trusting them ourselves to his care. This is an act of supreme faith, but also the right decision. Remember, God created time. He is its master and He knows best when and how to help us.
When we pray, have patience, acknowledge the good that God has done for us in the past, and trust in all of His good works during good times and bad, trusting in His timing is easy. God always acts out of love for us, and He is always on time. If we trust in him, we will find peace.