Delay is Not Denial
Has God given you a promise? Perhaps in the reading of your Bible a verse lit up or in prayer you heard God say something specific to you. But then, nothing happens. In fact, your circumstances turn for the worse. Where are the promised blessings?
As a young man, God had given Joseph a promise that one day he would rule. But then, for the next thirteen years everything went exactly opposite to the promise. His brothers, who hated him, sold him to the Egyptians. As a slave in Potiphar’s house, he was falsely accused of raping his master’s wife. Then he was thrown into prison and forgotten.
But Joseph refused to let his circumstances shape his outlook. He allowed no self-pity or bitterness to rob him of energy. Instead, he chose to use each circumstance – whether at home, at Potiphar’s house, or in prison– as God’s appointed place where he would serve him with all of his heart. And God blessed him and made him a blessing.
Instead of using the delayed promise as a reason to grumble against God, he kept it in the back of his mind to give him courage and strength. He let go of expectations of how and when God would carry out the promise. In the meantime God was up to something much bigger than he could have imagined. In time – God’s time! – Joseph became ruler of all of Egypt!
God has a good plan for our lives also. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Trust him even when life doesn’t make sense. God’s good plan is being carried out and this set of circumstances is needed to prepare you. As Joseph’s life points out, even tragedy and evil can be part of God’s plan for good.
A delay is not denial, but a time of preparing you for the promise.
Dear God, cleanse my heart of self-pity and resentment I want to trust you that your good plan for my life is being carried out in my present circumstances. Amen.
Questions: What is God’s purpose for a delayed answer to prayer? What do you do with your time while you are waiting for an answer from God?
About the Author Helen Grace Lescheid