Delay is Not Denial

Written by Helen Grace Lescheid

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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

47 Responses to “Delay is Not Denial”

  • Cactus Jack says:

    Good advice,Chris-I`ll be visiting a church out of town sunday.

  • Chris says:

    cactus jack….personally i would recommend that if you arent meeting your mate in your christian church to be open to visiting others to meet new people within the family of jesus!

  • Cactus Jack says:

    50,single,never married no children.Praying and waiting for a wife since salvation at 19.Trying not to waver in faith.Does God`s delay mean denial?

  • Chris says:

    edwin…sorry to hear of your situation. the same thing happened to me so i can understand your dilemma. i would recommend a reading of 1 corinthians 7 on this subject to get more understanding on how God has said we can handle such things. at the same time, it is important to have a personal relationship with jesus christ as ones lord and savior and look to him alone for the direction and faith we need in life, no one else. if you want more information on how to do that log onto or click talk to a mentor above. praying now that jesus would guide you as your personal lord and savior according to the bible and not according to the traditions of religion. blessings!

  • Edwin says:

    My wife took our children and left me over a year ago. I prayed for hours over many weeks for her to come back to me, but felt disappointment because I couldn’t see any results. I reasoned that because my wife has free will, God could not force her to reconcile with me. I guess he could speak to her heart… Other parts of my life improved though – I got a high paying job, lost weight, and I am healthy (but very lonely). I spent a lot of time researching spousal abandonment and found 3 things to help me. I think they may be a response to my prayers – (1) Prayer to St Jude (2) The Divorce Remedy by Michelle Weiner Davis (3) Love Must Be Tough by Dr James Dobson. My wife’s attitude has improved recently and there is some hope, although obviously there are no guarantees.

  • Sharon says:

    to angel– prayer–father God I pray for restoration and I pray for wisdom and guidance for her to see if this guy is her husband I pray for give her dreams and visions to let her know your will for her and her Bf too if they are to marry let her know for her your will and then give her peace that passes all understanding and I pray for Christians to come along her path to encourage her I pray all of this in JESUS name amen I am praying for you both God be with you be this time— sharon

  • Angel says:

    I’m in need of prayer really bad, ice bn with my BF for 7yrs now & things were rocking at first but then i begin to pray asking god to cleanse our hearts make us better ppl for each other with guidance, wisdom & patience. I’m ready to get married build a foundation for my family so i begin to pray for my BF asking god to reveal to me if he’s my husband. I asked for signs meaning if he’s my husband then he’ll start talking abt our future together, living, calling me his wife, etc. It all came to… it seems like the harder i pray & cry out to god the devil ALWAYS tries to break us. Now my BF has changed! I need prayer for restoration.

  • Elkay says:

    Genny, I would be pleased to pray with/for you but can you tell me why you want this husband “very soon”? And also do you want to restrict God to leading you to a federal government job? I ask this because possibly the best possible husband (and that is what happens if God is doing the deciding) may not be so very near and the best possible job may not be in the federal government. So help me know how to pray . . . thank you!

  • Chris says:

    genny…i do pray with you for the husband god would hand pick for you and the job he would choose for you too in jesus precious name amen!

  • genny says:

    please God, bless me with a God fearing man as a husband very soon. I also need a good federal government job.


  • Aldo says:

    Tunde, Amen to that.

  • Tunde says:

    This article is just too much because I’ve always be waiting on God for a major break through in all ratification ranging from good wife,lovely kids,finance and lot more. Though as a human being @times I’ll be trouble but this is another confirmation that God time is always perfect, behold he did not promise stress-free journey but a safe landing…yippee

  • Sharon says:

    to Katrina– prayer–father God I pray for Katrina for you to lead her to a good man she can love and trust and for your glory God I pray that you will give her dreams and visions of a man of your choosing for her love and for this man to come along her path soon and she will know this man is for her to love and to for him to give the love back. I am praying for you. from Sharon

  • katrina says:

    I love this article it also helps me to wait and remember that GODS delay is not a denial because I want a husband I hv two kids already but thru life I hv been hurt and don’t trustanyone because I feel their do me the same way so I feel GOD is waiting for me to heal from. These situation but I waitig

  • Elkay says:

    Edward, God’s delays in answering our prayers seems to be a major way that He strengthens our faith. Once we see that He is faithful over a week, we find it easier to trust Him over ten days, and then a month and then more. The kind of faith that pleases God is steadfast faith that God is good and His plans are perfect when life does not make sense. The Bible is full of such examples, Job 2:10 and Hosea 6:1-2 and Habakkuk 3:17-18 being prime examples. “Thank You Lord, for his faith and the years added to Edward’s life!”

  • Delay is not denial, God delayed to heal me but I remained happy in his presence until his touch and decades added to my life to date.

  • Judy says:

    God does answer our prayers, in my opinion, Yes, No, and Wait….the latter being the one which builds Character.

  • Judy says:

    Tgirl, I would like to attempt to encourage you “in the Lord.” Waiting is very hard on the flesh (self) man. We don’t like to wait because we live in a society that wants it NOW….I know because I, too,would like Our Heavenly Father to answer my prayers now; however, I am “learning” to WAIT-EXPECTANLY. God is not a man that HE SHOULD LIE…Numbers 23:19. Paul stated in Philippians 4:11 – Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have LEARNED, for whatsoever STATE I AM, TO BE CONTENT. Also, in Romans 8:28 – And we Know (Understand) that IN “ALL THINGS” (THE BAD AND THE GOOD) THAT GOD WORKS FOR THE GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM, WHO, HAVE BEEN CALLED ACCORDING TO “HIS” PURPOSE. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:18….”IN” (GOOD OR BAD – NOT “FOR” GIVE THANKS, for this is the “Will” of God concerning you in Christ Jesus. So many times people will say but I don’t know the will of God….this is one Will. Also, so many people come to Jesus, thinking he is like a Sugar Daddy…..I am not saying you are one of them. The people who was brought out of Egypt complained against Moses…they wanted something to eat besides Manna. God said, you want something else, okay and he sent them meat to eat until they VOMITED IT OUT THROUGH THEIR NOSE. THAT WAS GOD’S “PERMISSIVE” WILL. Be sure to pray GOD’S “PERFECT” WILL BE DONE IN AND FOR YOUR LIFE. We settle for good or best but GOD WANTS TO GIVE US BETTER. God has good plans for your life. Let him take all that is happening in your life, right now, give Him time and He WILL turned it out for HIS GLORY and your good. I could go on and on but I have got to get to my job. Remember, he loves you with an everlasting love. Also, when God test our faith it is to build us up but, when satan test our faith – it is to “destroy it. God already knows how we are going to respond to the test but we don’t know…..Pray God help me my unbelief. Let go and Let God take care of your dreams – HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU. DON’T GIVE UP ON GOD – HE DOESN’T GIVE UP ON YOU.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Rey,

    I’m surprised to hear your suggestion that murmuring and complaining is not sin but something more dangerous that sin and no so easily forgiven. Everything that is not holy is sin and one sin is not worse than another. Murmuring and complaining can be dangerous if we don’t recognize them as sin (and so do not repent and seek forgiveness) but if you heard your pastor say that they are somehow harder for God to forgive than other sins then I think you must have heard him wrong. God does not rank some sins as “not that bad” and others as “truly awful”. All sin separates us from God. All sin misses the mark. And, thank God Himself for it, ALL sin is redeemable through Jesus sacrifice on the cross.

  • Rey says:

    Today’s service was superb. Was as if intentionally prepared for me. Theme was “Murmuring & Complaining”. These two acts are far dangerous than sin itself because God could easily forgave sin due to the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.

    Murmuring or complaining could invite the wrath of God as we read from: Numbers 11:1.

    May God give us the grace to wait patiently on Him without murmuring or complaining IJN, amen.

  • Rey says:

    My heart is sore pained within me, and the terror of waiting has overwhelmed and almost consumed me; God forbid.
    This is a very nice message indeed. I’ve been waiting on God for His blessings for a job to be specific, I’ve kept the faith; prayed, fasted and abstain from worldly acts. I’ve reconstructed my résumé over and over and applied for various jobs opening, gone for career fairs, met with recruiters, etc. but to no avail. I’ve locked myself indoor, sing praises to God and cried many a times, yet it seems the situation goes from bad to worse. I’ve made one mistake or the other sometimes after keeping a clean slate of long waiting and exuding the right attitude. At the moment I’m indeed sorry for my negative deeds and pray the good Lord strengthen me and elevate me above my dieing faith.

    To sum it up, patience is not really how far one can wait, but how well one behaves while waiting. May the good Lord help us all and meet each and everyone of us at the very point of our need IJN, Amen.

  • Sharon says:

    to tgirl– prayer– father God i pray right now for tgirl for comfort and strenght and wisdom for her life, i pray for christians to come along her path to encourage her, i pray that she will keep on with her studues and give her dreams and visions of that you are with her and you love her with an everlating love,God i pray for her hearts desires i pray all of this in JESUS name amen i feel for you i can feel insignaificant too at times but we you aren’t insignicicant in Gods eyes you are HIS and he loves you and you are precious in HIS sight.God be with you at this time God i pray for hope for her. i am praying for you.

  • Tgirl says:

    im reading this and all the comments and im really wanting for the message to comfort me but my heart is so heavy, the message is not hitting home..I completed my first degree 4 years ago, searched for a job to no avail, enrolled into a masters degree, the research isn’t going too well,doubt il ever finish and still no job up to now. im feeling so hopeless and burdened, im in study loan debts and my mum and brother are looking at me to take over from my mum and take care of both of them. matters worse im single and no children of my own..i just feel so insignificant and hopeless, tonight i cant even bring myself to read my bible or pray.

  • Geraldine says:

    Thank you for this encouraging message 2011-2012 has been a huge nightmare. One cataclystic event after another. And I was wondering if I heard God wrong. The dream He put in my heart in 2009 has still yet not come to pass. And plenty has gone wrong and I’m not out of the miry pit yet. But through this time God has showed me His faithfulness, His multitude of mercies and of course His amazing grace. I cling onto Him with my dear life. He also showed me how to trust Him, and how He will never leave me nor forsake me. The road include some pain and to grow we need the rain ; this has been my season of true growth of faith in the Lord. And God is a gentleman; even though we put ourselves in unpleasant situations, He will never ever force change upon you ; He does make it obvious though that the choice is ours. But what an awesome God we serve, there is no wrong in Him. Thank you for the awesome message, God bless!

  • Chris says:

    I enjoyed reading the topic and responses. This is really a confirmation to my situation. In shorten a long story, I will share a little. My adult son married and left home for over 8 years without contacting us. Being that we were a close family that did lots of things together made things suspicious. All sort of fears and doubts filled our heads. Trips seeking to locate him, praying and wondering if God was listening and not to mention the anxieties and sleepless nights. There was a time that me and my huband felt that we may never see hime again. Praise God on the last trip, Dec 2012, God showed up. Praise God, I am convince that “delay is not denial”. AMEN!! AMEN!!

  • Sharon says:

    good article

  • Joana says:

    I really appreciate this article…I needed it today:) I woke up this morning with so many questions, wondering if this waiting was just God telling me that what I’ve been praying for is not going to happen. I’ve been told by Godly people that if I’m praying for God like things that he will answer in His time…but I’m so impatient. My husband of 6 years left my daughter and I about two and a half months ago, saying he wanted to better his life and find himself, and that he couldn’t do that with me as his wife. He is an unbeliever and often says such hateful things whenever I talk about God. I have been praying, ever since that day, that God would take hold of him and help him to find himself through God, I pray that God can save him and show him to be the courageous father and husband, he’s never in his life seen. I also pray that when God feels that we are both ready, that He will help us to reconcile our marriage and our family. Things have been getting worse, and the verses that spoke to me in the beginning are starting to fade. Everytime I feel like giving up hope, something tells me not to. Be it the words in a Christian song, a new verse, or a website like this one. What should I be doing…waiting or looking elsewhere?

  • sir tiger says:

    god will not give us anything he truely know will detoriete our love for Him, He waits till we mature in Him. He values our soul more than anything we mighty ask from Him, in other words your ability to cooperate with what He will bring in your life will dertemine how long you will stay there.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Naomi, I am so glad that you were encouraged by this devotional! Waiting time is never wasted time, even though as humans it is so difficult for us to wait.

  • Naomie Pierre Louis says:

    I would like to thank you for posting this up. I have taken my LSAT (Law School Admission Test) three times and yesterday I received my score. It is really low, with this score it will be really difficult to get into a Law School. And I have reached my limit on taking this exam. My fiancee sent me this link and I read it. SO I thank you for posting this because it gives me some hope that I will become this attorney, it may not be when I want and desire it to be, but I will. I must learn to wait on God and trust His timing is better than mine. “Waiting is hard but the alternative is often devastating…” Thank you again.

  • Andrew says:

    The most difficult thing in life is to wait and wait as it seems like things we want take forever! However often we look inward saying we want all these things and God is looking at the path before us and because he loves us he will not give us what we want until he has prepared us to be ready.

    This applies with everything in life as when we look at scripture God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation as many as the stars. This was when Abraham was past his prime! Sarah was anxious and took things into her own hands as she was past child bearing years. Sarah decided to help God out buy offering her servant to fulfill God’s promise and the servant did bear a son and Sarah burned with jealousy and banished Abraham’s son and servant! God promised that the servants son would also become a great nation. Today the descendants of servants are the Muslim nations with Sarah’s nation being Israel and Christianity was born through Abraham. Christianity, Judicial, and Muslims are a result of Abraham. I think the World we live in would be a much better place if Sarah and Abraham had waited on God as the strife in the Middle East would not be occurring.

    We see the present and in today’s culture we want to gratified instantly however God sees the future and often when he tries to prevent us from walking of a cliff we try even harder to run towards the cliff! Waiting is hard but the alternative is often devastating. God Bless

  • Jena says:

    A delay may not be a denial, but, what is a denial?
    For surely, we are denied. Sometimes God’s answer is “no.”
    I’ve been waiting for a husband and child for over 15 years. I’ve never come close, despite all my efforts.
    Delay, or denial? Once you’re in your 40s, its time to reflect….

  • Ariel says:

    Beautiful, sweet, short, and to the point. Thank you for this encouragement. Sometimes things ARE delayed; I think now of… was it Michael, the angel? He was delayed by the Prince of Persia (an evil principality) in answering Daniel’s prayers. Read book of Daniel or use your conncordance to find exact chapter and verse.
    Right now I am waiting on something that seems so ridiculous I can’t even tell you. If Christ Jesus raised Lazarus, and we know He did, He’s going to need that amount of His power to get my promise up and running, LOL. He has a sense of humor, our Lord.

  • Shelley says:

    What I do is patienly wait for Him to provide for my situation. I read His Word and meditate on His goodness, as He always comes through and it is needed and not when I want it.

  • mba says:

    It was such a blessing to read this. Very strengthening. I have several promises from God, that I will have a child. We have been waiting for 5 years now. I had a miscarriage two weeks back. I don’t know his plans and his timings, but I know he is in control and he will keep his promise and give us our child in his time. Amen

  • Natalie says:

    This is a good article. I googled “God’s delay is not a denial” as I was listening to an old gospel song called “waited” by “the wings of faith”, and they mentioned God’s delay is not a denial, and how we have to wait on God. It talks about Job in the song, and the man at the pool in Bethesda waiting for healing.
    I am at a point in my life where I am waiting on God for my husband. I have been single for 6yrs, walking in the Word of God, seeking him, and waiting for my husband. I know God’s delay is not a denial. And even though I dont know how or when, I know he will come through. Thanks for reminding me about Joseph. There are countless stories in teh Bible, Christ didn’t get to Lazarus on time, and he died, but Christ raised him- Amen God’s delay is not a denial. Everything was restored to Job and he trusted in God, in the right time he was given more than he ever had- Amen God’s delay is not a denial. Abraham and Sarah were old, and years after God told them they will have a baby they had what the have prayed for. Thgey were old whne he really became the father of many nations- Amen God’s delay is not a denial. God’s delay indeed is not a denial…. my husband will come SOON!

  • kanj says:

    I don’t believe that there are ‘delays’. Is it not written that time is not a factor to God? A thousand years is but a whisper or a blink, no? But to us, time is very much a part of our lives. Everything we do revolves around the tick of the second hand. If I feel that God has delayed something I’ve asked for or requested for someone else, then there is reason for it, His reason. I have to wait, so be it. In the meantime I can continue on being His child, and I’ll continue to wait for an answer.

  • Annette McHenry says:

    I really enjoyed this article.Last oct I had a really bad car wreck.Iam just now beginning to recover.I had 4 hospital stays,3 operations,3 casts and a post surgical boot that I have just gotten out of and I am wearing shoes now.There was atime when I almost lost my foot or my life to infection, but God brought me through it and is healing my foot.I praise him for all he has done for me.God is good all the time.

  • Shelley Anderson says:

    SEEEK This is a word that God is wanting me to do.
    WAITTT This is a word that God has me doing.
    BE STILLL I need to wait upon Him.

    Now I am wanting to know Him more to live the life He has given to me.

  • Debbie Ogrodnick Debbie says:

    LOVED it!!!
    Was REMINDED of God’s FAITHFULNESS in ALL things!!!

  • Barbara says:

    I believe that God delays many of our prayer request because HE knows we need to “grow up” mature in HIs ways before such blessings can be given. I sooo much desried to be healed and set free from a horrible health condition BUT had not been given the “MIRACLE” i hoped and prayed for….however, through the pain and suffering my inner being (my charator) changed for the better and I’ve been blessed by such now as I live in freedom from the horrible condition I thought I would die to. How great is HE not to give us HIS promises until we are mature enough to handle the blessing and added responsability of such.

  • Ruthann says:

    What a powerful reminder of God’s sovereighty and love. WORDS OF WISDOM , once again from a woman who is obviously walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
    We are so blessed that Helen has chosen to serve God wherever she is in life.
    Thank you for your ministry !
    May He continue to bless each and everyone of you who bring these truths to us ! Ruthann

  • Angela says:

    Agreed: God’s time, not mine.

  • TAS says:

    Thank you for this message today, I am going through some very difficult financial times and I needed this today to remind me that God has a plan and it will all work out for good.

  • La says:

    Another amazing devotional from this author… her devotionals speak directly to me every single time. Thank you. In particular, I liked a delay “prepares” you for God’s promises…and I’m dinding out too in these last few weeks, that Jeremiah 29:11 has spoken to me more than once.“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)… I may be waiting here, but there is hope in that. I feel safe and secure in my waiting for prospering in God’s plan… actually as I wait, and am patient, I find blessings come along the way. His blanket of peace speaks to me and says “you’re doing things right”… There’s no “harm” in waiting for his blessings. No harm at all.

  • Judy says:

    This has been an encouragement to me this morning. The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance back in Jan., 2009, The God of ALL GRACE, who has called me to His eternal glory, after I have suffered a little while, will HIMSELF restore me an make me strong, firm and steadfast….I am still standing on that promise, as of July 15, 2010. He didn’t tell me when,where or how, just that He Himself will do it….He isn’t a man that should lie…His word does not return to him void.

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