Have you asked God for something—a job, a pay raise, or the resolution to a problem—but his answer has yet to come? Even if you asked with the right motives, are you still waiting for God to act? David expresses this sentiment in Psalm 69:17 when he calls out to God: “Answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.”
God always has good reasons for delaying. Consider the following four:
God delays because his ways are not your ways.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8–9).
God’s ways are higher. Trust that he has a divine purpose for his delay. Your viewpoint is limited, but God sees all things. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” God may be putting everything in place before revealing his answer to you.
God delays so you can demonstrate your faith.
Galatians 6:9 tells you how to wait for God: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Respond to God’s delay with faith, not doubt. God guarantees a harvest, and it will arrive at the proper time. Hebrews 10:36 says, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
To persevere is to endure with an expectation of victory.
God delays so he can bless your waiting.
Isaiah 30:18 promises, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”
Those who wait for God will be blessed by God. God will take care of you and show you his compassion while you are waiting for him. He will be gracious, which conveys the word picture of God descending from above to personally show you his kindness.
God delays so he can be glorified in the end.
John 11:4 says, “When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’”
This verse is part of a broader passage in John 11:1–43 concerning the death and resurrection of Lazarus. When Lazarus was sick, Jesus purposefully delayed in going to him. During the delay Lazarus died. Jesus ultimately resurrected Lazarus, which was a manifestation of Jesus’s glory for all to see.
Christians are still talking about this miracle today. God’s miracles validate his word.
In John 11:40, at the end of the Lazarus story, Jesus says, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
God’s delay is not his denial.