Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His strength
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
Jesus loved Mary and Martha dearly – so why would He delay their cry for help? Daniel was beloved of the Lord – so why did he have to wait for an answer? God was the friend of Abraham – so why the unendurable delayed promise? Four days or twenty-one days is difficult enough, when an answer is desperately sought, but Abraham had a 400 year delay for his descendant’s pledge to be redeemed! Each request was simple enough for God to carry out, so why the delay?
Why delay when there is serious, ongoing and heartbreaking situations to resolve? Why delay when we in like manner cry, day and night to God for deliverance? Why does He seemingly turn His back and apparently walk away from our despair? Why does He delay when His word overflows with contrary pledges of deliverance? Why tax His dear one’s trust and exhaust His precious child’s hope of deliverance? Why does He allow faith to be torn to shreds due to His apparent, uncaring delay?
But lips that have pleaded in agony of heart for years do not go unnoticed. Eyes that wept tears of pleading, until numbness replaces hope do not go unheeded.. but still the questioning, why? pierces every doubting, hurting, waiting soul.. as hearts grow faint and weary and faith flickers dimly as God still delays. But God does not leave His children in bitterness of soul for lack of care or love. God has a deeper, wider, greater purpose than His hurting child can understand. Waiting may frustrate us and His silences may thunder in our pounding soul, but He desires to bestow over and above all that we can ask or think or imagine. If we could only comprehend His love, His mind and His reason for His delay!!
Never forget that there are always reasons for His apparent delay, if you can bear it. He is determined that all He does on behalf of His children, is done to His glory. The longer Lazarus was grave-bound, the greater the display of God’s glory. His further purpose is a glorious, heavenly one, directly related to the seeking soul. His deep and lasting resolve is the eternal benefit, God purposed especially for you. His delay, however devastating it may appear, is because of His deep love for you.
Isaiah tells us that: He waits on high to show compassion on you…” Isaiah 30:18 Can you imagine that? He delays … in order to bless and have compassion on you! What a joke it seems, in the midst of your aching hurt and your painful experiences. Instead, we cry, ”If He truly loved me He would hear my cry and act – Now!” If He cared, He’d break my enemy teeth overturning my problems – Now! I have been going through this distress for days, months, years.. so WHY!
Many bewail their own perceptions of His return and cry “The Lord delays….” causing the Lord to ponder the question of the faith of His servants: when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8 Not realising that God has His own appointed times and He will come and not be late: Behold I come quickly - and my reward is with Me. Rev.22:12
Many similarly bemoan their own personal circumstances and complain: He delays, How can He care. How can He be a loving God if He hears not my anguished cry? Not so, beloved of God. His love for you is as boundless as the universe. But He has a further work to achieve in your life, not for the moment but for eternity, and delay is one of the many ways the Lord uses to correct and train and perfect us.
I know not what He seeks to correct and train and perfect in your life, but I must ask Him to search my heart to discover what needs to be changed in me. I must kneel before Him and ask Him to search the deepest recesses of my being. I must ask:- Do You see pride in my heart, Lord – as I step outside of Your will? – Do You see any rebellion in me – as in my independence as I seek to go it alone? Do You see any areas in my life that you choose to sever with Your holy scalpel? Do You have areas in my life that You desire to perfect? Do You see an area in me that needs to be conformed into the image of Jesus?”
His delays are not only for His glory and my eternal benefit, but His delays are ALSO designed to entrap the enemy in his own snare: For the LORD will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance: but during their days of His children’s adversity a pit is dug for the wicked. Psalm 94:14 – and who is it that digs this pit for the wicked? THEY DO. The wicked dig their own pit. The wicked think they’re oppressing us and taking advantage of us – yet, God is going to cause them to fall into the pit they are digging for you and me.
Remember the threefold cord that the Lord has attached to His dear one's delays. FIRST) He uses delay to glorify His name for He is great and highly to be praised, SECOND) He uses delay to confound and punish the enemy. THIRD) He even uses delay to test and strengthen our faith in Him, and He will use delay in our lives to the point of exhaustion. Yes, He uses His delays to correct us, train us, to perfect us, and hone us. He uses His delays in our lives until we are conformed into His image and He uses delay for our eternal advantage and our own glorious benefit!
But He does it in His own way and He does it in His own time. We are simply required to trust His decision and to have faith in His delays. This is not a call to give up the fight; to give up in submission but to advance in the army of the King, this is the time to trust Him, to be brave and to be strong: knowing that our enemy as a roaring lion.. walks about, seeking who he may devour. 1Peter 5:8 We are called trust in Him knowing: that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
“Watch, stand fast in the faith. Act like men. Be brave. Be bold. Be strong in the LORD”
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