Waiting on God’s timing can feel like being stuck in an elevator between floors.
Hello? Help, please!
It’s not easy to rest in God when we’re somewhere we don’t want to be. But resting in God is the difference between whether we dance and praise in the elevator or carve out our last will and testament in its walls with our fingernails.
Fully trusting in God matters—just like punctuation. (I’m sure I raised a question mark with this statement, but I can explain.)
Consider how a single comma impacts your grandmother in these two sentences:
“Don’t eat, Gigi.”
“Don’t eat Gigi.”
As a Gigi, I embrace the comma. It’s the difference between my going without dinner and my becoming dinner.
Clearly, punctuation matters when giving instructions. It’s even more important when it comes to trusting God. Understanding and embracing the principles of God’s punctuation can give us peace—and even joy—in the waiting.
The Principles of God’s Punctuation
Commas in writing invite us to pause and then continue. They indicate that we haven’t reached the end of the sentence yet.
God’s“commas” lead us to pause and then continue with expectant patience. They tell us He hasn’t given His final answer. They represent a work He’ll continue to do until the day of the Lord. Commas tell us to keep walking by faith—not feelings. (Definitely not feelings! They lie.)
Periods in writing stop us cold. They declare that the end of the sentence has come.
God’s “periods” mean He’s spoken. We don’t need more information or more confirmation. We can rest and obey, confident in the infinite wisdom of His period, which He reveals through His perfect Word.
Based on these definitions, consider the wisdom of these two principles:
- Don’t put a period where God has placed a comma.
- Don’t put a comma where God has placed a period.
Simple, right? But here’s the problem. How do we know which one God has given us?
Recognizing If God Has Given a Period or a Comma
God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). It holds the final say in every area of life. Thus, one of the surest ways to know if God has placed a period or a comma in our life is to ask if our situation or decision agrees with the Bible.
If not, there’s our period.
If it does, we can rest in the comma. (Actually, we can rest in both.)
For example, imagine a single lady meets a fascinating man. His warm smile and bright laughter linger in her mind as much as the spiritual conversation they enjoyed together.
He’s perfect. He’s the one. Except he’s married.
There’s your period. Move along. No comma on that path.
If you’re not married, God may be in the process of bringing you the perfect husband (comma), but it’s not going to be someone else’s husband (period).
Don’t put a comma where God has placed a period. Forcing anything else only leads to regret.
Likewise, don’t put a period where God has placed a comma.
If you’re single, don’t assume you’ll never get married. God created and blessed the institute of marriage. He has every right to call you to marry. And you have every reason to expect He’ll bring you a husband. To assume you’re living in a comma (not a coma—a comma). Wait with expectant patience.
(I’m not saying everyone must get married. Singleness isn’t a curse. Marriage isn’t a curse, either, though some of your experiences may make you think it is. Seek godly counsel if you’re in a less-than-blessed marriage.)
Commas and Periods in Salvation
If you’ve repented of your sins and believed in Christ as your Savior, your eternal salvation is sealed with a period by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:3). As Jesus declared, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
God doesn’t place a comma on our salvation until He can examine our pile of good works at the end of our lives. Or until we get baptized. Or until we never sin again. God does the work of salvation, not us. Those He saves receive an irrevocable period.
We receive a comma in our sanctification—the continual refining work God does in His children to make us more like Christ every day (Rom. 8:29). He’ll complete it, but not before our final breath or Christ’s return (Phil. 1:6).
Don’t place a comma on your salvation or a period on your own or others’ sanctification. Saving faith doesn’t remove our sin nature. We’ll still fall (and even leap) into sin at times, but Christ will draw us into repentance and restore us back into fellowship. Sin hurts us, but it can never remove God’s period from our salvation.
If you’ve never trusted in Jesus as your Savior, you’re in God’s comma of exceeding grace. Thank Him for the comma He’s given you, but please understand this: a period is coming.
There’s no second chance to trust Christ after we pass from this life. Before the time comes when God settles your destiny with an irrevocable and horrific period, repent now and believe.
For he [God] says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
—2 Corinthians 6:2 (ESV)
Because God is immutable (unchanging and unchangeable), His periods are set in heaven—carved in stone. We can stand on His unchanging Word, character, and nature for all time and in all situations. His commas are equally dependable.
Seven Immutable Periods of God
Dear Christian, are you stuck in a trial? Which of these seven periods will you stand on today?
1. God is the supreme God.
Our God rules all the powers of heaven and earth—even the ones opposed to Him. Even the wind and the waves (Dan. 4:35; Matt. 8:27; Lam. 3:37; John 19:11).
2. God is love.
All God does and allows to happen in our lives is born out of His love. He can do no other because love is His unchangeable nature (1 John 4:7–18; Rom. 8:31–39).
3. God is good.
Jesus proclaimed that only God is good. If He allows us to suffer, we can trust He’s doing a good work in and through it (Mark 10:18; Rom. 8:28; James 1:13).
4. God is omniscient.
God possesses all the information there is to know for all time. He never learns anything new. He knows your situation, your needs, and how (and when) to best meet them (Matt. 6:8; Psalm 147:5; 1 John 3:20; Rom. 11:33).
5. God is all-wise.
Despite what the world leads us to think,God never makes mistakes. He’s wise in all His ways. Creating Lucifer and letting him slither into the Garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve wasn’t a mistake. And neither was His creating you—or the person who’s making your life miserable. Our wisdom is tainted by our sin nature, but God is pure and flawless—even if we don’t always understand it (Job 12:13, 28:12–28; Daniel 2:20; Romans 11:33).
6. God is all-powerful.
God’s power knows no equal. From creating the earth to moving the hearts of all men, nothing is too hard for Him. It’s all equally easy (Prov. 21:30; Jer. 32:27; Isa. 43:13; Rev. 17:17).
7. God is holy.
God is holy in all His ways—free of even the hint of sin. His holiness covers all His attributes and actions. His love is holy. His power is holy. Even His forgiveness is holy. If we belong to Him, we never need to fear for this holy and perfect God is ours (1 Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 6:3, 57:15; Habakkuk 1:13; 1 Peter 1:16; Revelation 4:8).
Seven Reassuring Commas of God
Even in the commas of life, we can rest in God without fear. Period.
Are you trapped somewhere you don’t want to be? Which of these seven commas of God will you rest in today while you wait for Him to rescue—or move—you?
1. God causes all things to work together for the good of His children.
Nothing truly hurts Christians because, while our bodies may suffer and our hearts break over the pains in this world, God causes all our suffering to cooperate for our good. But not necessarily today. He grows our patience and teaches us to trust Him as we wait on Him, the Faithful One (Isa. 64:4; Rom. 8:28; 2 Tim. 2:13).
2. God tests us to prove us, not destroy us.
God tests us to refine our faith and produce perseverance in us for the praise of His glory. As He exposes weaknesses in our faith, He builds us up in believing. Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief (Mark 9:24; James 1:2–4; 1 Pet. 1:7).
3. What God begins He finishes.
What God begins is as good as done. He brings everything to the right conclusion at the right time. What He intends to do for you and in you, He will do. He’s never early or late (Psalm 57:2; 138:8; 1 Cor. 1:8; Hab. 2:3; Phil. 1:6).
4. God’s Word always accomplishes what He sends it out to do.
God inspired every word in the Bible for a specific—and unfailing—purpose. The more we soak in His Word and let it conquer our hearts, the more His Word will change us and strengthen us to stand firm in our trials (Isa. 55:11; Luke 1:37; John 15:5; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; Heb. 4:12).
5. God’s mercy is new every morning.
God’s mercy never runs out toward His children. No matter how egregious our sin might be, God’s mercy is greater. We can always turn to Him in repentance and find forgiveness. No matter how deep our sorrows sink, His compassion holds us until He accomplishes His good purposes for our pain (Psalm 103:10; Lam. 3:22–23; Heb. 10:23).
6. Our eternal God is never in a hurry.
God promised Adam and Eve to send a Savior. Thousands of years later He finally did. He clearly wasn’t in a hurry. Just because the answer to our trial or our rescue hasn’t appeared yet, doesn’t mean it’s not on its way. An eternal God doesn’t need to hurry. His timing is always right (Isa. 46:10; Eph. 3:8–11; 2 Pet. 3:8)
7. Jesus intercedes for us.
We can rest in our commas because even before we prayed, Jesus was interceding for us. He’ll rescue us in His perfect timing and way (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1; 5:14).
Embrace God’s Punctuation
Whether your life resembles an elevator stuck between floors or one plummeting to the basement, remember the power and comfort God’s punctuation provides. Even if question marks and exclamation marks infuse your circumstances, you can find rest in God’s commas and periods. Christ is with you.
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you,
I will help you,
I will uphold you
with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
No matter where you are, dear sister, God is holding you in His strong hands. Do not fear.
(And don’t eat Gigi. Period.)
What other “periods” and “commas” from Scripture would you add? Leave a comment below.