We have just posted a sermon on the Keep Believing website called In God’s Waiting Room: Lessons From the “Down Times” of Life. Here’s an excerpt:
When God puts us in a position of waiting on him, the answer almost always surprises us. Consider the situation in Acts 1. The Lord Jesus told the disciples to wait for the promise of the Father—the coming of the Holy Spirit. For days they prayed, “O Lord, send the Holy Spirit.” They prayed in small groups—“O Lord, send the Holy Spirit.” They probably lifted their hands and prayed, "O Lord, send the Holy Spirit."
"Now they knew something about the Holy Spirit from the Old Testament—and even more from the words of Christ—but they really didn’t know what they were praying for. The certainly had no idea of what was about to happen on the Day of Pentecost.
I can imagine a conversation. ''How much longer do we have to pray?" "I don’t know." "Well, how are we going to know when the Holy Spirit comes?" "I don’t know." "What if the Holy Spirit comes and we don’t know it?" "Stop talking and start praying."
So there they were on the Day of Pentecost—praying, no doubt—not knowing when the Holy Spirit would be sent. One disciples says to another, “Hey, there’s fire coming out of the top of your head.” “What? Hey, your head’s on fire too.” Then came a noise like a mighty rushing wind. Suddenly one of them started talking in Greek, another in Median, another in Parthian, another in Egyptian, another in the dialect of Cappadocia—and none of them knew any of those languages (See Acts 2:1-13). It was a wild scene in Jerusalem as the Holy Spirit came with great power. Their prayers were answered–but in a manner far beyond their expectations.
The people who saw it thought the disciples were drunk. They weren’t drunk at all—they were filled with the Holy Spirit of God. He is the God of great surprises. He makes us wait so that He can surprise us in the future and increase our gratitude when the answer finally comes.