Understanding God’s Delays
Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV: For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.
Here, we are told that though the visions, revelations or promises of God sometimes seem to tarry, they will surely come and so we should wait for them.
Why do the answers or manifestations of God’s promises or revelations seem to tarry for so long sometimes?
They seem to tarry because God fulfills His Word only when all the conditions for the fulfillment of that Word have been met.
Hebrews 10:36 NKJV: For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
Many times it takes time for those conditions to be fulfilled.
In fact, many times the conditions for the fulfillment of God’s promises have to do with the development of our character: and until our character is developed in the love, righteousness and justice of God to a particular degree God cannot trust us with answers to prayers or revelations of a corresponding magnitude of power, influence and prosperity.
This was the case with Joseph:
Genesis 40:11-23 NKJV: And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. 13 Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. 14 But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. 15 For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.” 16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. 17 In the uppermost basket there were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.” 18 So Joseph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.” 20 Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21 Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
Joseph expected God to use his interpretation of the butlers dream to free him from prison; but God had a better plan: to use Pharaoh’s dream. The butlers dream would only have freed Joseph from prison whereas Pharaoh’s dream was to promote Joseph to become prime minister, preserve the nation of Israel and the world.
So God waited another 2 years.
Genesis 41:1 NIV: When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream:
Psalms 105:16-22 NKJV: Moreover He called for a famine in the land; He destroyed all the provision of bread. 17 He sent a man before them– Joseph–who was sold as a slave. 18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. 19 Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him. 20 The king sent and released him, the ruler of the people let him go free. 21 He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions, 22 to bind his princes at his pleasure, And teach his elders wisdom.
In these 2 years, God was working on Joseph to further develop his patience and character.
Furthermore, He was working on Pharaoh and on the circumstances of the coming harvests and famines that were going to follow each other for the next 14 years.
So when God seems to delay, He is actually working out a better plan for you and those around you He wants to bless through you.
When the answer finally comes, you will find that, in actual fact, God was not delaying, that the answer came just at the right time when all the conditions were fulfilled both in you and the people and circumstances that God would use to answer the promise or revelation.
So let patience have its perfect work in you that you may be perfect, entire, wanting nothing:
James 1:4 NKJV: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
However, it is instructive to know the more diligently you develop your character: love, patience, righteousness and justice through the Word and prayer,the faster the answer will come.
2 Peter 3:11-12, 14 NIV: You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. 14 So then, dear friends,since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.