"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 very 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 hasn't come yet doesn't mean God isn't going to answer or that he's forgotten you or that he 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. A lot of us can even be patient three times. So God tests our patience over and over and over.
Why? So he can see how patient you are? No!
He does it so you can see how patient you are — so you know what's inside you and your level of commitment. God tests you so that you know he is faithful, even if the answers you seek are delayed.
If you're discouraged, turn it around by remembering God teaches you patience during delay. Ask him to transform your discouragement into patience.
Talk About It
In what areas of your life do you believe God is trying to teach you patience?
Spend some time in prayer about a specific situation where you feel God is delaying his response to your request. Ask him for patience, and trust in his sovereignty.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.