The God Who Waits
Hello Church Family,
Our God is an awesome God. He answers prayers with incomprehensible wisdom and power. Real and regular people like you and I have received direct and powerful answers to prayer on the spot. Elijah called down fire from heaven. Hezekiah received the destruction of 185,000 enemy soldiers overnight. David brought down Goliath. One hundred and twenty disciples of Jesus received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and the church was born. Our God hears and answers our prayers.
Our God is also eternal. He answers prayer in His time, not ours. Waiting for God to give His answer to our prayers is a kind of faith “workout.” Peter tells us that strong and pure faith is more precious than gold that is refined in a fire (1 Peter 1:7), and waiting through trials and difficulties is God’s purposeful, faith-building process. But God’s purpose gives us hope and helps us make sense of our experience.
Here are some reasons why God waits to give an answer to our prayers:
• To include us in His larger plan: When Elijah felt alone when Jezebel refused to give up after his stupendous victory over the prophets of Baal, God told him that 7,000 people remained faithful to Him, and He had Elijah anoint Elisha to continue his work.
• To teach us determined, trusting obedience: God has built His church on people willing to trust Him and follow His ways. The Mayflower Pilgrims, for example, put everything—including their lives—on the line to follow God’s Word, and they lost nearly all they had. But Thanksgiving Day was born out of gratitude for His miraculous provision.
• To show us His faithfulness in everything: There’s nothing our God cannot do, and nothing this evil world does can frustrate His plans or harm His people. Even death holds no fear for us.
• To teach us how to surrender to Him and know that He alone is God: All the evil in this world comes from Adam’s refusal to trust and obey God’s clear command. Christ’s submission to His Father’s will makes hope and redemption available to all who believe in Him.
• To cause us to cling closely to Him: The nearness of God is our good, yet we still tend to stray from Him. Waiting on God draws us back to His side.
• To prepare us to receive His call: It is when we are most convinced that we’re ready for God’s blessing that we are least prepared for His call. Moses tried to deliver God’s people 40 years before he was the kind of man God could use.
• So He can save more people: God’s timeframe is longer than ours, and His horizons are far broader. When we’re ready for Christ to return, He’s still seeking other souls to save. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
While You Wait …
• Remember to rely on the truth of God’s Word.
• Read, reflect on, and trust all it says.
• Connect what God says to what you experience.
• Watch what God does and notice His faithfulness along the way.
• Receive whatever happens as His will.
• Expect God to do good for His own.
Essentially, there are four ways that God answers our prayers. Sometimes, He simply says, “Yes,” right away, like Elijah. He also makes us wait to receive what we ask. Or, He may tell us, “Not this, … but this,” and God gives the best gifts when we leave the choice to Him. But there are times when God’s faithful people receive a clear, “No,” when we pray. But He always answers for the good of His children and for the praise of His Glory.
Northpoint Prayer Ministry
– Each week, Dave updates a monthly Bible reading plan and writes a Bible and prayer focus, Prayer Life. The preceding is a recent installment. You can pick up both offerings at the Information Center in the Foyer on Sundays, or sign up there to receive them via email. You can also click here to find the archive.
The rest of NP News for 8.23.2018 can be found on the “This Week” page at https://www.northpointcorona.org/this-week/