When the Answer Is Delayed
When we would say God answered prayer in the "nick of time," He would declare it to be "in the fullness of time" (Galatians 4:4). The secret to not losing heart when we are waiting for God to answer our prayer is in our learning to wait because we have faith that His timing is perfect.
The cupbearer who had promised to tell the Pharaoh about Joseph "did not remember Joseph; he forgot him" (Genesis 40:23). Two full years passed before he remembered. Getting our hopes up and then having them dashed can work havoc on our faith. But Joseph was faithful despite God's delay.
"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?" (Luke 18:7). It appears that God sometimes delays His answer, but His delay is not denial, so His delay should not discourage us.
Notes in the Wesley Bible comment on this verse, "God always does the right thing. It may seem to us that He delays. But from His point of view He acts speedily....The truth of the parable also applies to any discouraging delays in God's answers: we ought always to pray; we ought never to lose heart."
To"pray without ceasing" doesn't mean to pray without intermission but simply to not give up on our prayers. When the answer is delayed, God has not forgotten nor failed to hear. At just the right time, we will discover His delay was indeed good.
Thank You, Jesus, that someday I will be able to look back and see that You answered my prayer in Your perfect time.
If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed" (Habakkuk 2:3 NLT).
"...those who hope in me will not be disappointed" (Isaiah 49:23).