Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
(Proverbs 13:12 KJV)
What do you do when you think it has been too long for an answer from God? Do you pray more? Take the matter into your own hands? Turn your back on God until you get what you want? Be still and listen to what the Lord is telling you?
Abraham is a perfect example as to what typically happens in our lives when we are promised a blessing and then God waits to give it.
In Genesis 12:1, 2 God told Abraham to leave his country, his family, his father’s house and to go to a land that the Lord would show him. And here is the first time God promised Abraham that He would make him a great nation.
Later on in Genesis 13:15, 16 God promises the land and to make Abraham’s descendants as the dust of the earth. Abraham still had no children. How was he going to have so many descendants that they would be as many as the dust on the earth when Abraham did not even have a child yet? Abraham did not have a lack of faith, he just was not sure if God remembered that he had not had any children.
In Chapter 15 of Genesis Abraham asked the Lord if the man in his house was going to be his heir. God answered with a definite no, that Abraham’s heir would be from his body. The Lord goes on to say that Abraham’s descendants will be as many as the stars in the heavens. (Gen 15:4, 5)
Abraham wanted for a long time, but then finally decided to take things into his own hands. Abraham had a son with Hagar, Sarah’s servant, to help God in blessing him. This was not God’s plan, but God honored his promise. Then Abraham went on to have a son with Sarah who received the complete blessing. Ishmael, Hagar’s son, and Isaac, Sarah’s son, would always have strife between them. Ishmael’s lineage has become the Arab nations and Isaac’s lineage has become the Jewish nation. It was the Jewish nation that went on to Egypt and gave birth to the Hebrew nation.
God does not always answer our prayers in the matter in which we want. Sometimes He says no. Other times He says wait. God has perfect timing and in that timing, our desires will be met or changed. Sometimes, even if we take matters into our own hands, God still will bless us. Other times we have to come around full circle and things are much harder than they would have been in order to receive the blessing.
I am just as guilty s anybody else on wanting the answers now. I hate having to wait and I hate not being able to do what I believe I should be able to. As I am maturing in my faith, I am learning to be still and know that He is God and He knows what is best. It is in no way easy. Then again, trusting in the Lord and living according to His word is not easy either considering all the condemnation the world loves to pass on to you.
I encourage you to study in the Word and to see how waiting on the Lord is indeed the best thing to do.
The inspiration for this article is from Overcoming Difficulties: A Lighthearted Look at Joshua By Marilyn Meberg / Thomas Nelson