Don’t Quit, Keep Trusting, Keep Persevering, Blessing Will Come
We American Christians are an impatient people. When we pray, we want everything right now. Waiting is not in our cultural DNA. One of the great prayer jokes is to say “God I want patience and I want it right now!”
So then what good is praying for something needed now and then waiting forever, as it seems, for the answer? Getting the answer for a prayer is something God wants to do for his children, but the wild card here is God wants to do it on His timetable.
We still pray, believe, and trust, that is our part. But guess what; waiting is also part of the equation. But if we continue to persevere in prayer, belief, and trust, eventually the answer does come, AS LONG AS WE DON’T GIVE UP.
How do I know? Galatians 6:9 is the answer. “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. So there you have it. Answers will come but as I have highlighted, the key unknown is “at the appropriate time.”
Numerous stories from the Bible affirm this teaching. For openers you have God telling Abraham that he and Sarah will have a child. The answer doesn’t happen for another 25 years, and it happens when Sarah is beyond the age of child bearing. Why does God wait so long? Don’t know, but if we believe as Abraham did, then eventually it will happen.
The funny addition to the story is that Abraham initially believed the Lord, but another ten years passes and Sarah gets impatient. She convinces Abe to marry her servant Hagar and have a son by her. In essence this was a kind of surrogate pregnancy. So even though Abraham persevered, his faith and trust wavered. It obviously was not the appropriate time.
But the next two stories really stretch trust and perseverance to the limit. The first is the story of Joseph. You know the guy, the one with the dreams at age 17 that he would rule over his family. What he gets for sharing those “God dreams” are jealous brothers who sell him into slavery in Egypt and a false accusation of rape from the wife of the man who buys him that result in imprisonment for about 12 years.
Where are those dreams now? Fast forward to when Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt, has two dreams no one can interpret. Pharaoh is told by a servant who was in prison with Joseph that this kid knows what dreams mean. Pharaoh sends for him, tells him the dreams, Joseph interprets them, and guess what, Pharaoh makes him second in charge of all of Egypt. Joseph is now 30.
Then after seven good economic years, a famine strikes, but Joseph created a savings plan, where only Egypt has enough grain to prevent starvation. Then two years into the famine, the brothers come from Canaan looking for grain to buy and lo and behold they have come before Joseph and bow down before requesting a purchase.
Joseph is now 39 years old, 22 years after his God dreams finally come true. But who knew it would take this long and for Joseph to go through unimaginable trials.
The second story is about David, appointed by the prophet Samuel to become the next king of Israel, since God rejected Saul the current king. This special anointing gets a jealous Saul to try and kill David, who becomes a hunted outcast for years. At one point even the band of men who joined David want to stone him, because they feel he let them down when raiders take their wives and children. If ever someone needed trust, belief and perseverance, it was David.
Does this perseverance pay off? You guessed right if you said yes. Saul is eventually killed in a battle and David becomes king.
But why all the pain and heartache along the way for Abraham, Joseph, and David? I wish I knew exactly, but clues are provided. In Psalm 105:19, we read this regarding Joseph. “Until the time came to fulfill his word, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” So yes God wants to fulfill dreams and answer our prayers, but maybe he is teaching us to really trust him no matter what and in addition, he develops some godly character in us.
So my American, Christian friends, pray and ask God for needs. Listen closely when God tells you that he will answer those prayers. But then sit back, trust, persevere, and above all DON’T QUIT. The harvest of blessing is coming. But remember it is coming at the appropriate time. This is God’s time, which means it is the absolute best time.
How do I know it is the best time? When the time was right, God sent Jesus. Now that is timing!