How God Builds Your Faith: Delay
By Rick Warren
— July 15, 2009
“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 LB).
Even as you make a decision to follow the dream God places in your heart, you can expect a delay. God will not fulfill your dream immediately because this is another step toward building your faith.
In Habakkuk 2, God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.”
In this step of faith-building you will most likely start asking the question, “When, Lord? When are You going to answer my prayer?”
And we hate to wait. We don’t like to wait in a doctor’s office, or in traffic jams, or at restaurants, or for Christmas presents, or for anything else. But what we hate worst of all is waiting on God.
Have you ever been in a hurry when God wasn’t? It’s so irritating! You’re ready, but God isn’t. God wants to work on you before He works on the project. Every believer must go through the University of Learning to Wait (ULW). Some of us are still working on our degrees from ULW!
• Noah waited 120 years from the time he started building the ark until it began to rain.
• Abraham was told he would be the father of a great nation and didn’t have a child until he was 99.
• God told Moses he would be the leader to lead his people out of 400 years of slavery, but then made him wait in the desert 40 years.
• Joseph spent years in prison before God raised him up and he became the ruler God wanted him to be.
• God had David anointed as king, but then David waited for years until he actually got to be king.
We all have to go through these waiting periods. Even Jesus waited for 30 years in the carpenter’s shop before setting out on his public ministry.
Why do we wait? It teaches us to trust in God. We learn that His timing is perfect. One of the facts we have to learn is this: God’s delay never destroys His purpose.
A delay is not a denial. Children must learn the difference between “no” and “not yet,” and so must we. Many times we think God is saying, “No,” but He is saying, “Not yet.”