To wait on God is anything but doing nothing. In this sermon clip, Bill Johnson teaches the biblical meaning of three words that have been watered down in our culture today: “hope”, “wait”, and “patience”. Waiting on God with hope and patience is active and intentional, and positions our hearts ready to encounter Him.


SO waiting on the Lord is to lie in wait

it’s anything but sitting back and doing


it’s actually positioning myself for

what God’s about to do

I want to talk to you about

three words

that have been

unfortunately redefined by Christian

culture instead of Kingdom culture

they’re words that are biblical terms

but when they’re not understood

according to biblical definition

we end up creating a culture that lowers

our standard of living to create

explanations for the absence of

breakthrough instead of launching us

into pursuing greater breakthrough

the church often creates theology around

what didn’t happen

instead of what the scripture says did


the pool of Bethesda great example

history tells us it’s probably 900 to a

thousand people there Jesus healed one

person the Bible celebrates the healing

of the one

but if it were to happen today all the

interviewers would be talking to the 900

that didn’t get healed how did it feel

for Jesus to walk past you and theology

would be created around what didn’t


so I want to talk to you about these um

um four words counting the word joy that

we’re going to look at in chapter eight

but three words they set us up for that

so the first one is the word hope we

talked about it last week I I spoke last

week about the issue of Hope the nature

of Hope the uh the requirement for me to

maintain a heart of Hope

the word hope in our culture is it’s

basically a wish man I wish that would

happen or I hope I hope that happens

that’s it’s like you know if things

really work good maybe this will come

about and that’s not the Biblical word

hope the Biblical word hope actually

means the joyful anticipation of good

hope gives you


to enjoy the emotional benefits of an

answered prayer before it ever happens

that was better than your response that

was a lot that was a lot better

hope gives us permission to experience

the joy of a breakthrough Before the

Breakthrough comes it’s it’s too late

you missed your chance


the joyful anticipation because actually

my favorite definition

um watching my wife’s family’s uh

Christmas time

remember the video eight

cameras and some of the old people

remember with the spotlights that could

peel paint on the wall they were so hot

and bright yeah

and uh and my my father-in-law would set

up the camera and Benny and my wife and

and her siblings would be at the end of

the hole just jumping up and down

jumping up and down on Christmas morning

waiting for them to say Merry Christmas

and as soon as he said Merry Christmas

he’s got the camera set as soon as they

said Merry Christmas they would come

running down that Hall turn around that

corner dive in into the Christmas tree

and begin to open gifts that thing at

the end of the hall that’s hope

bouncing up and down back there that’s

actually that’s the best different

definition I know of Hope

they know they don’t know what there is

they just know it’s good

and and that’s the Biblical word hope

is uh is something that I can

I can set myself up to increase in my

life I I talked about last week I don’t

want to repeat that but I can’t create

Faith but I can engage with God in a way

that builds hope and hope is the

atmosphere that Faith grows in hope it

be like the soil you know in a in a pot

and then you plant the seed of faith and

it grows in that atmosphere of Hope

and hope is is uh the expectation of

good is something that actually should

drive the heart the thought the prayers

of every believer

what would happen if we prayed in

expectation of good and not just the

shot in the dark hoping something will


the second word that I want to uh

I was just actually I was ready to talk

about this Nehemiah thing this morning

first service and I started thinking

about all these words that that are so

common for us but they’ve because

they’re misunderstood they’ve created a

wrong culture

in how we think and do life and so I’m

just trying to kind of reset due north

again so the second word is the word uh

to wait

wait on the Lord

for most of us the word waiting on the

Lord means to sit down and do nothing

and make room for him to do something

he promised you know I hear people say

hear leaders say God knows we want

Revival he knows where our address is if

it’s his will

if that thought ever comes to mind slap

yourself or or ask your friend to do it

because they’ll gladly do it it’s it’s

it’s not is anybody else glad the wise

men didn’t stay in the Middle East

but they actually traveled towards

something they were in pursuit of

something the word wait on the Lord

especially like Psalms 37 waiting on the

Lord actually means to lie in wait

to lie and wait like in setting up an


it is reducing my options refining my

focus because I’m about to enter a God

moment and I don’t want to miss it

that’s what waiting on the Lord is

I’m a deer hunter

if you don’t like that just pretend I

take pictures

because all my hunts end with pictures

I would never go down to Mount Shasta


to hunt deer

there’s not any there

the whole point in laying in weight

is to discover where he’s at you say

well God is everywhere


I watched in the early 90s as people

would travel from all over the world

because they heard a rumor God was

moving powerfully in Toronto

entire plane loads of people from

England would be loaded with people just

going because they heard God was doing


one of the greatest acts of arrogance in

the life of a Believer is to sit back do

nothing and say if God wants me to have

it he knows where I’m at absolute


it’s normal to hunt


I’m liberally using my favorite words


but but you get the point

you position yourself with a refined

Focus for a potential God moment because

they don’t all come with blazing horns

and Angelic whatever most of the god

moments that change people’s lives most

of them I think start very subtly

SO waiting on the Lord is to lie in wait

it’s anything but sitting back and doing


it’s actually positioning myself for

what God’s about to do

the third the third word

is the word patience

now I’m not going to ask how many of you

want to increase in patience because you

know what that’ll do you already know

but but here’s my friend Joe McIntyre is

home with the Lord now but he um

he did this word study he is he has a

number of books in her in her wonderful

books uh but he he

took an old book from many many many

years ago

on called Throne life

and he kind of brought it up to date

through his own experience tremendous


but in

James verse uh chapter 1 verses two and

four let me read these two verses for


said my brother encountered all joy when

you fall into various trials knowing

that the testing of your faith produces

patience now listen to this let patience

have its perfect work that you may be

perfect complete lacking nothing

anybody want the perfect complete

lacking nothing

realm okay it’s on the other side of the

door called patience and it’s it’s

literally going through that realm which

is a fruit of the spirit which means

it’s the it’s an Evidence of his working

in a person

now here’s what I never what I never

understood is how the word is actually

translated what it actually means

patience in our world is much more of a

passive toleration of things we don’t



amen Bill good point all right the word

translated patience two times in these

verses is defined as independent

unyielding defiant perseverance in the

face of aggressive misfortune

and thus to a kind of courageousness

in case you were daydreaming let me read

this to you again

this is patience now this is different

than the passive toleration of things we

don’t like


many of you qualify already right there

is very patient

it was a joke unyielding

here’s here’s my favorite part defiant

perseverance in the face of aggressive

Misfortune and thus to a kind of


what is patience

it’s the intolerance

of the enemy’s work

to kill steal and destroy

and it provokes and builds in us a kind

of courageousness that just says enough

that’s patience

that’s patience

yeah I’m so glad that you watched this

video I do pray that it’s a great great

strength and encouragement to you and

I’ve got a verse that it really is My

Cry for all of us and it’s Psalms 20

it’s verse 4. may he grant you your

heart’s desire and fulfill all your


that’s my prayer that’s my prayers that

this would be the season of rich rich


thanks for joining us