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God's Purposes in the Trials of Delays
Dr. Timothy Hoflund
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Have you ever experienced a delayed flight?
You are at the airport on time - an hour or so ahead of your flight's departure time, you have all your details in order and you are ready to go ... but just when it seems like it should be time to start boarding nothing happens!
No boarding announcement, no line forming at the door ... nothing! You begin to look around and then you see it, that scheduling monitor that says your flight number has been delayed! You ask the attendant why and no one seems to have any answers. You look at your watch and do some quick math in your mind and figure that if your flight leaves at the new departure time you can still make your connecting flight, and so you calm your apprehensions.
Then, finally! The new departure time comes ... and goes! You look at the schedule monitor and realize that they have delayed your flight again! Again you make inquiries and again, no satisfactory answers! Eventually it becomes evident that you will not make quite likely miss your next connection - the flight that will take you home - and if you miss that flight it spells out a major difficulty!
You finally get on your flight, watching the time and praying that you will still make the connection against all the odds, only to land 5 minutes after your connecting flight has departed and there are no more flights that day!
Now you are in an entirely different situation than you had expected earlier that day and probably much different than you ever imagined, much less planned, on experiencing! Now you must find a hotel room and arrange some kind of a meal ... at 11:30 PM! Not to mention that you didn't have this in the budget so you are in a cash crunch now also!
Nope! This part of your life is not at all what you had envisioned and frustrations are at all time high levels ... your body is tense, your blood pressure is on the rise, your feel vulnerable, out of place and worst of all, you are defenseless against the situation! So now, anger starts to surface, in you and in others because the situation is out of control and there is nothing you can do about it!
Really? If you are not a child of the most High God, that may indeed be the case. But wait! YOU ARE a child of the most High God!
At some point you realize that you have a choice to make! You can either be at peace with the situation, trust God with thanksgiving that He is in control and simply go along with these new developments ... OR ... you can stay flustered and impatient, upset and miss some different blessings that God has in store for you in these different circumstances!
Sometimes we find that some major part of our life or ministry is undergoing a major delay! We have made all the preparations that we know to make and we have made ourselves ready to make a move into a new situation ... only to experience delay!
Then the delay becomes a setback, a major development and nothing is happening the way you expected anything to happen! Worse yet, nothing is happening at all! Yet, just like having that airplane ticket, you know that you are supposed to be on your way! You know that you heard God and you know that you have a destination to arrive at for some purpose ... but it has all been suspended! Some times that delay turns into months or years, and your frustrations begin to fly high!
You begin to question God ... but usually the wrong questions! Our impatience surfaces and we are impatient with God, asking Him something like, "what's the deal?"
Well perhaps, just perhaps, God had planned a "flight delay" to accomplish some things we were not aware of! Perhaps, just perhaps, God knows of some matters within us that must be worked out before our "flight finally departs".
Perhaps, just perhaps, God wants to give us some different blessings that can only be fully appreciated during a delay experience! Perhaps, just perhaps, God wants us to learn to always be at peace with Him no matter the circumstances!
Remember, God does not play head games with His children! God always has a purpose for delays ... even delays that are brought about by the enemy and the enemy can and will cause delays!
"Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.
"But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia." Daniel 10:12-13
Remember our Lord's admonition through His servant James...
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4
Let’s look closely at the key to success in James 1:2-4, God tells us to LET, meaning ALLOW, (don’t interfere with, don’t interrupt) patience have it’s perfect work …! When we are in the midst of a delay, especially one that we do not understand or one that seems be the opposite of what you understood of God’s plans for you we are inclined to take matters into our own hands, or do something to “get the ball rolling”! Is this LETTING PATIENCE HAVE HER PERFECT WORK?
When delays happen, and especially when they seem to continue unresolved for protracted periods of time, remember that God has a higher purpose than we often realize or even like to consider!
• Remember that when God has told us that He has a new destination in our journey, God wants us to enter in to this "new destination" being more perfect, being more entire (complete) and lacking nothing for what lies ahead, so ...
• Sometimes, it takes delays to prevent us from rushing headlong into a new aspect of ministry or new opportunity in life before we are totally prepared, so …
• During the delay things occur that effect in us that greater perfection and greater completion and a greater degree of lacking nothing … after we finally land at our destination!
Now I have known many saints who, being dismayed or even discouraged due to delays in God’s plans coming to pass begin to complain to God by referring to parts of God’s Word that seem to justify complaining, such as: “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
This really does not accomplish anything positive at all, and in fact, reacting in this way tends to only fix our focus on the negatives which causes us to miss the positives!
So how do we correctly respond to delays in life – or any other negative situation? To remember to stand on the sure foundation of faith and choose to genuinely trust God according to His purposeful promise!
ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose! Romans 8:28
Remember, delays and postponements are included in the category of “all things”! So we can quite legitimately apply Rom. 8:28 in this way …
“Delays and postponements work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose!
Be Blessed in out Father's Love!
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Reader Count & Comments
28 May 2010
Thank you, I am exactly in this delay period in my life. It has been a difficult test, but I believe in my heart that God has a purpose for it and that I must rest and wait quietly in His hand
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