While we know God is in control and we know that He has reasons for His delays, it can be challenging to face those delays. It’s not a denial of your request. It’s just a delay. Still, we wait for an answer to prayer. We wait for a spiritual breakthrough in our lives. We wait for a solution to our dilemma. We wait for relief from our pain. It can become discouraging and even overwhelming to our faith. So, why would God allow such delays in our lives? Let me suggest five reasons God might delay.
1. God might be delaying His answer because you are not ready to receive it.
Philippians 1:6 – “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
While the delay may be frustrating or even confusing, we do know that God is at work behind the scenes to accomplish His will. You may not see His hand at work but you can trust that His promises are true. You may not be ready for the answer just yet but God is working to make sure you are ready when it comes.
2. God might be protecting you from something harmful.
Psalm 3:3 – “But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”
The delay may be God’s way of protecting you from something harmful. He knows everything about everything. He knows the people, places, things, and happenings in all places at all times. He knows the outcome before it occurs. Because He loves you deeply, He only wants those things in your life that will further His work and accomplish His will. Remember that all His plans are GOOD. (Romans 8:28)
3. God might be delaying His answer because of His timing.
Isaiah 55:8 – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
God’s timing is always perfect. He is fully in control of all things at all times in all places. His delays might simply be because the answer you seek is not in His timing YET. Remember that a delay is not a denial. It is just a delay.
4. God might be delaying His answer to grow your faith.
James 1:2 – “Count is all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
This delay may just be God’s way of growing your faith. I can almost hear Him saying, “Just trust Me.” Our faith, our character, and our understanding of God can grow dramatically when we learn to trust HIM in the delays.
5. God might be delaying His answer in order to give you a new direction.
Colossians 1:9 – “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
Perhaps God’s delay is His way of redirecting you. His delay may be His way of telling you that you need to seek His will in this matter. You may be praying in one direction but He wants you to pray in a different direction. This may be a gentle way of saying “No” to your request. “No” this is not my will, or “No” this is not my timing, or “No” this is not my direction, or “No” I have something better for you. Whatever you are facing today, be assured that God has reasons for His delays. You can trust Him, no matter what. Why? Because He loves you and only wants the best for you. Pastors, you are not alone. Pastor’s wives, you are not alone. Pastor’s kids, you are not alone. Reach out to us at careforpastors.org Let us help you navigate through the unique challenges of pastoral ministry.