Why God Sometimes Says "Not Yet"
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, ‘In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.’” (Hebrews 10:36-37, NIV)
If you’re discouraged because of God’s delay in answering your prayers, understand the delay is not a denial. Just because the answer or the miracle hasn’t come yet doesn’t mean God isn’t going to answer -- or that he’s forgotten you or doesn’t care about you. It simply means “not yet”!
Part of becoming spiritually mature is learning the difference between “no” and “not yet,” between a denial and a delay. The Bible tells us, “He who is coming will come and will not delay” (Hebrews 10:37 NIV).
God’s delay may be a test of your patience. Anybody can be patient once. And most people can be patient twice -- or even three times. God tests your patience over and over.
Does he do this to see how patient you are? No, he does it so you can see how patient you are. His testing helps you to see God’s power at work in you and to determine your level of commitment to him.
God tests you also so that you can know he is faithful, even if the answers you seek are delayed.
You may be going through difficult times right now. You may be discouraged because the situation you face seems unmanageable, unreasonable, or unfair.
It may seem unbearable, and inside you’re basically saying, “God, I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t take it anymore!”
But you can.
You can stay with it longer because God is with you. He’ll equip you to press on.
Remember, you are never a failure until you quit. Resist discouragement, and finish the race God has set before you.
Talk It Over
Is there a request that you’ve assumed God has answered with a “no”? Is it possible that his answer really is “not yet”? How does that change your view of the situation?
What do you think God wants you to do in the delay when he answers “not yet”?
What “delay” in your life is discouraging you today? Turn it around by remembering that God teaches patience during delays. Spend time in prayer, asking God to transform your discouragement into patience.
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This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.