“Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me’” (Genesis 32:26 NLT).
Obviously, God could have overpowered Jacob and ended the wrestling match instantly. Why did God let the struggle go on?
Here’s the lesson: When God allows a crisis into your life, He doesn’t solve it immediately. He lets it go on for a while because he wants to see if you’re really serious about seeking him. If God answered your prayers immediately, you’d begin to think God was a big vending machine: put in a prayer, pull out whatever you need.
I can’t tell you how many people say, “Rick, I am praying for a financial miracle in my life. I am so in debt and I'm praying for a financial miracle.” I want to say, “Did you get in debt supernaturally?” The truth is no. You worked hard at it. You made foolish decisions. You spent more money than you could make. You didn’t save for the lean times that inevitably come in life. You didn’t use your money wisely.
Why should God just bail you out? If God just instantly bailed you out of your financial crisis, then tomorrow you’d go out and overspend again. You wouldn’t learn discipline, or money management, or wisdom, or persistence. God is not just going to bail you out of the debt you got yourself into; he will help you get out of debt but he wants to build your character.
If you’re in a crisis right now, hang in there! Don’t give up. Don’t run from it. Don’t try to escape. The problems you have in your life didn’t get those overnight. You may have worked years getting yourself into this mess. You have a lot of ingrained patterns, bad responses, wrong habits, and wrong ways of responding that have built up over the years. So God isn’t going to remove those all at once. It’s kind of like peeling an onion; he takes it off one layer at a time.