Why Are There Delays?

Why are our prayers not all answered instantly? Why don't things happen more quickly? Why don't we always experience the blessings promised in the Word of God immediately?

God knew there would be delays. Otherwise, some scriptures would be unnecessary, such as:

38 Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.

No one would draw back from living by faith if answers always came instantly.

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

There would be no need to hold fast to a confession of faith unless there was a time period involved.

11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Faith must be coupled with patience to see the promises fulfilled in your life.

9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

HEBREWS 10:35-36 NKJ
35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

Why would anyone give up if there was never a time period, or delay, involved?


1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Faith involves things not seen with normal human eyesight. If they were seen, no faith would be necessary.

ROMANS 4:16-21 NKJ
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all
17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be."
19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.
20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

If the results of faith were always manifest quickly, no one would ever waver at the promise of God (verse 20).

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

If all results were instant, we could never walk in faith. Without faith, we could never please God.


If God always rewarded obedience or punished rebellion right away, it would in effect take away our opportunity to exercise free will in following God.

No faith, or love for God, is required if rewards for doing right are always instantaneous. If it is obvious to everyone that it always pays to serve God, faith and trust in God is not necessary.

If you always reaped the harvest of your deeds immediately, the incentive to do right and refrain from wrongdoing would only be selfish.

11 Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

If every sinner went to Hell immediately when they sinned, there would be no real opportunity for freedom of moral choice. We would be responding only to fear of punishment.


Would you desire to spend your life with someone who did not care for you or desire to please you, but was interested only in what they could get from you?

God's desire is not for those who are loyal only as long as things are going their way. He desires fellowship with people who love Him and are committed. God desires a family who loves and obeys Him voluntarily, not because they are forced.

Outward "love for God" would be forced, if there was an immediate penalty for every transgression, and an immediate reward for every right action.

Fellowship is sweetest with others who have had similar backgrounds and experiences. Ones who know what you know. Only they can really understand you and what you have been through. They can appreciate what you have done, because they understand.

God desires fellowship with mankind on this same level. He does not desire to spend eternity with a group of spoiled, selfish babies, who do not have the least idea what is going on. Or, the least bit of appreciation for what God has gone through, because they never went through anything themselves.


Character cannot be tested without delays. During the delay we have time to determine whether we will continue to trust God and obey Him, or not. This allows us, God, and all creation to see our motives and true character. We are, in effect, judging ourselves. Thus, when God passes judgement on us for eternity, it will be clear to all -- by the actions we have taken -- that His judgement is just.

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

1 PETER 1:6-7 NKJ
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

Faith would never be tested if there were no delays.


If there were no delays, there would be no opportunity for testing. Without testing, there could be no reward.

God does not test us so that we can fail. He believes in us. He believes we will make it with His help. So, He sends us out against the enemy, confident of victory we can rejoice in together.

Without delays, we would have less opportunity for overcoming. Only by overcoming are the promises to the overcomer available to us.

To overcome there must be opposition and struggle. God cannot always shield us from problems without taking away from us the privilege of overcoming.

Victory is sweet. What makes it sweet is that it is not easy.


Once when things did not seem to be working according to the Bible promises, I foolishly said to God, "What's the matter, aren't you bigger than the devil?" Immediately the reply came, "Yes, I am bigger than the devil, but I want you to know that you are bigger than the devil, too."

Certainly, in myself, I nor any other human, is bigger than the devil. Yet, in Christ, the least of us has greater rank and authority than the devil. In Christ, we have been given authority and victory. But just like the children of Israel, we must possess the "land" we were given by God.

What I desired was instant manifestation of victory. What God desired was for me to press into Him and His Word and walk in faith until I saw victory in my life.


If we really trust God, then time is not a problem. What difference does it make if it takes one second or one century? We can leave that with God. His timing is perfect and He is dependable! We know He promised, and can never fail -- and that is enough.

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