During a point in my life, I was waiting on God for something to happen – a miracle, a manifestation, a revelation.. anything. To be honest, I didn’t know what I want. But I knew God would do something in me. Hours turn into days.. days turn into week, every day I prayed, “God, You do not want to see this happening to me. I’m suffering. But why are You still letting it continue in my life?”
I started to question God. I started to think that God was too slow, or that He wasn’t really interested in helping me at all. I was so lost. I didn’t know what else to do but pray every day, even though it seemed like God just left me behind in my sadness.
It was until a friend suggested to watch Ps Prince’s sermon on “Why does God allow delays?”. That was the biggest eye opener to me.
“When is my turn for a manifestation coming?”
John 11 – The Death and Resurrection of Lazarus
The Bible tells the story of Jesus, who was told that Lazarus was dying. From this story, we can tell why God allowed delay in the resurrection of Lazarus.
3 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, he [our brother and Your friend] whom You love is sick.”
The sisters mentioned here are Mary and Martha, who very much appealed to God by calling Lazarus “he whom You love is sick”. God loves it when you declare yourself as [your name] whom You love – that shows how much you acknowledge HIS love for you, not the other way round.
4 When Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death; but [on the contrary it is] for the glory and honor of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
5 Now Jesus loved and was concerned about Martha and her sister and Lazarus [and considered them dear friends].
6 So [even] when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed in the same place two more days.
If we study the sequence on verse 5 and 6, it states that Jesus loved and was concerned about Martha, Mary and Lazarus and so when He heard Lazarus was sick, He stayed (delayed) for two more days.
The reason why he delayed is because He loved them. But Lazarus was dying/had died – we cannot fully understand why Jesus delayed. What we know, is for THEIR sakes, Jesus delayed. Why? When God delays something in your life, He wants you to have a revelation in your life that no one can ever have. Only when Mary and Martha had gone through days of grief over the death of their brother, that when Lazarus was risen from the dead, they could have a greater revelation of Him.
They got the revelation “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me will live even if he dies.” (See John 11:25)
The Resurrection before the Life (see that sequence?) – usually, the common sequence is that you have life first, then resurrection, no? But the sequence here puts Resurrection before the Life, why?
That is because our lives (we who believe in the Word) begins with the Resurrection (the death and resurrection of Jesus on the Cross) and then leads us to live our Lives with what Jesus paid for at the Cross.
Therefore, we know that Jesus delayed because He has greater plans for us; to have revelations that no one else can ever have.
2 Samuel 12 – The Loss of a Child
In this story, it is about David who had found out that his son (through illegitimate relations with Beersheba) had died. We study how David responds to this loss.
19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering to one another, he realized that the child was dead. So David said to them, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.”
20 Then David got up from the ground, washed, anointed himself [with olive oil], changed his clothes, and went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he came [back] to his own house, and when he asked, they set food before him and he ate.
21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive you fasted and wept, but when the child died, you got up and ate food.” 22 David said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I thought, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me and the child may live.’ 23 But now he is dead; why should I [continue to] fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him [when I die], but he will not return to me.”
When David’s (illegitimate) baby with Bathsheba died, he went to worship the Lord.
24 David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. And the Lord loved the child;
Now, David went to comfort his (now legal) wife, and she became pregnant with Solomon. The Lord loved Solomon, because he was a child of restoration. He was a child born after a loss, but a good response. Instead of being bitter, David worshipped the Lord, and it got better!
Ps Prince says: Even at your loss, you haven’t lost.
During times of sorrow, do not fixate your eyes upon the problem. Instead, worship the Lord and thank Him for all that He has done for you. And He shall restore much more.
Numbers 14 – Caleb & Joshua’s journey to the Promised Land
12 spies went to the Promised Land (each a representative of each tribe) and spied the land for 40 days.
When they came back, 2 of the spies came back with a pole and a huge cluster of grapes hanging from the pole (representative of Jesus on the cross, crushed so that His blood delivers us to the Promised Land, in between two thieves). But they were fearful of the giants, mighty fortress, and large walls in the land. When the people heard that, they took their eyes off the huge grapes (“the Cross”).
6 Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes [as a sign of grief], 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land through which we passed as spies is an exceedingly good land.
8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey.
9 Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”
Only 2 spies, Joshua & Caleb, reminded everyone that God told them to take the land (that belongs to them)! If God had promised so, He will never disappoint. The giants were like bread to them. The 10 spies said the giants were gonna eat them, but Joshua & Caleb had the faith that they will eat them (any problems faced in seemingly difficult situations). Unfortunately, the majority listened to the 10 spies (the number of the law).
34 [The Lord said to Moses] According to the number of days in which you spied out the land [of Canaan], forty days, for each day, you shall bear and suffer a year for your sins and guilt, for forty years, and you shall know My displeasure [the revoking of My promise and My estrangement because of your sin].
For each day spied on the land, will become a year. 40 days = 40 years. Joshua and Caleb decided to stay with their people, and waited 40 years to enter the Promise Land. But 40 years is a long time.
The people wandered for 40 years. And Joshua & Caleb wandered with them. Technically, it is not their fault for that. They were exempted (the other 10 spies who brought the bad news died from a plague) as they put God in their consideration when spying on the land. But they wandered with the people for 40 years (what a delay!).
Joshua 14 – Caleb’s request to Joshua for Hebron, 40 years later
6 Then the [tribe of the] sons of Judah approached Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning me and you in Kadesh-barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land [of Canaan], and I brought a report back to him as it was in my heart.
8 My brothers (fellow spies) who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God completely.
9 So Moses swore [an oath to me] on that day, saying, ‘Be assured that the land on which your foot has walked will be an inheritance to you and to your children always, because you have followed the Lord my God completely.’ 10 And now, look, the Lord has let me live, just as He said, these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, look at me, I am eighty-five years old today.
11 I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in.
12 So now, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke that day, for you heard on that day that the [giant-like] Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.” 13 So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, completely. 15 The name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba [city of Arba]; for Arba was the greatest man among the [giant-like] Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.
In everything that we go through, put God in our consideration.
Joshua & Caleb never grew old. For all those years of delay, God acts as if from that day onwards, they stopped growing old.
There is no doubt a delay (40 years!), but God will restore you with a lot of blessings added.
When we put God into our consideration when faced with seemingly large problems, when God restores to you, it will be much more than you can ever imagine. God oversupplies in what you have lost.
Hebrew 6 – God’s Promise to Abraham for a baby
12 [The Lord says to Abraham] so that you will not be [spiritually] sluggish, but [will instead be] imitators of those who through faith [lean on God with absolute trust and confidence in Him and in His power] and by patient endurance [even when suffering] are [now] inheriting the promises.
13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, He swore [an oath] by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.”
15 And so, having patiently waited, he realized the promise [in the miraculous birth of Isaac, as a pledge of what was to come from God].
Even though God swore to bless him, Abraham patiently endured. Only after he had patiently endured, his obtained the promise.
Sometimes the delay is for us to feel more for people. It’s not that we’re been forgotten or rejected; it will come. Although it tarries, wait for it. Be imitators of those who through faith and patience, and inherit the promise. And once you have your manifestation, you wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
As you wait for your manifestation, be patient in Him. The manifestation will be so great that you will say, “I will NOT have wanted it any other way.” To be able to say that, shows amazing revelations that you will receive through your situations.
Restoration works – when something God is restoring something in you, He did not steal it from you. But God will restore it for you. When God restores, it’s always greater in quality or quantity.
Let’s make Jesus feel welcomed in our hearts – how to? Talk to Him, depend on Him. When we are about to undertake a task, acknowledge that you cannot, but He can! He wants us to lean on His breast, and leave it all to Him.