When God Says 'Wait'

"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” (Habakkuk 2:3 LB).

When delay comes to your dreams, you’ll 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, in traffic jams, at restaurants, for Christmas presents, or for anything else. But what we hate worst of all is waiting on God.

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 really saying, “Not yet.”

Talk About It

  • Have you ever given up on a dream because there was a delay?
  • From this point, how will you respond to God's timing as you pursue your dream?


Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. He is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. Rick is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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