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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 12:20:04 +1200
Frowarded by:  David Smith.


How often have we been tempted to give up on God, on prayer, on
waiting, on patience and endurance, because God delayed in
answering prayer immediately? How many parents, after praying
for decades, have still not seen the salvation of a child? How many
believers have prayed night and day for healing, but still suffer or
have to behold the suffering of a loved-one? Not a few have prayed
and fasted for their financial needs to be met, and have agonized
because of mounting debt? BUT GOD…was in full control and had
a reason for the delay, for delays are not denials. We must keep
the bow string taut and continue to pray, for only God knows how
close to the crest of the hill we are. We must not give up despite
disappointments, for God will justify Himself and bring glory to
Himself. That great man of faith, Elijah, not only prayed to God for
rain. He also kept gazing toward the horizon for the tell-tale signs
of a cloud, until eventually a cloud the size of a man’s fist
appeared. He persevered until the heavens unleashed its glory,
and God’s word was fulfilled.

George H. Morrison in “Devotional Sermons” has given hope to the
weary. Read on, dear saint, and be reassured that “as soon as
you began to make your request, a reply was sent. I have come to
give you the reply…” (“You had no sooner started your prayer
when the answer was given” – Msg) – Daniel 9:23.

{Please don’t give up on the quality of speech in this devotional.
You might learn from it the treasures of the English language.}

The Doctrine of Delays

....There are myriads of creatures who are born and dance and die
in the short span of a bright July day. No one in watching them
would ever dream of charging the Creator with delay. But a nation
of men which is to serve the high ends of heaven is never fashioned
hastily like that. Through pilgrimage and war and struggle and
blood and tears, by heroism that oft seems unavailing and sacrifice
that is like water spilt, it becomes the polished instrument of God.
Delay, then, tends to become more marked, the higher you rise in
the Creator's purposes. Great delays in the mystery of providence
are the highway for the chariot of great blessing. The joy that
cometh in the morning might be far less thrilling, had not the
weeping from which it springs endured all night.

Had Jesus forgotten Mary and Martha? We see this very clearly in
the raising of Lazarus—that tenderest and most touching of all
miracles. When Lazarus was ill - when his state had become critical -
Martha and Mary, you remember, sent word to Jesus. Now Jesus
loved Lazarus and his sisters, and the happiest memories
encircled that village home; yet the Gospel tells us that when
Jesus heard the news, He abode two days still in the place where
He was. There are seasons when two days seems like a moment;
there are seasons when two days seems an eternity. When a life
is in the balance half-an-hour is endless; twice four-and-twenty
hours is unbearable. What did it mean? Had Jesus quite forgotten
them? Was He deaf and dead to the prayers of the sisters' love? I
think that Martha and Mary, with their eyes on dying Lazarus,
knew the burden of divine delay. They knew its burden then; they
know its meaning now. They see it irradiated with purpose and
with wisdom. A little boon might have been granted instantly, but
the great actions of God have tardy wheels. The greater and richer
the blessing that we pray for, the more must we reckon on the
delays of God. Nor should we forget—for this is very important—
what I might call the moral training of delay. Did we get everything
we craved for in the very hour of asking it, I think it would be a long
farewell to manhood. The one sure way to ruin a young child is to
give it immediately all for which it asks; and to the Ancient of days,
whose hairs are white as wool (see Dan_7:9), I fancy the oldest
readers are but as little children.

Think of Christ's treatment of the Syro-phoenician woman when
she came to Him praying for her daughter. All her motherhood was
on her lips and in her eyes as she pled and interceded for her child.
Do you think it was cruel of Christ to answer her never a word?
Do you think it was harsh to speak about the dogs? How much
we should have missed, and how much Christ Himself would have
missed, had it not been for that practice of delay! It was that which
called out in her fine persistence, her faith, her wit, all that was
brightest in her. She might have been anybody when she began,
but she was a woman among women when she ended. And many
a person has begun by being anybody, and ended by being a
woman among women, because they were kept praying and
pleading long for something that was to be granted by and by.

Work reveals character, but so does waiting. Waiting shows the
baby or the man. We need to be tested to prove if we be worthy
just to receive and use the thing we crave. So it often is that God
delays, and will not answer us, and keeps us waiting. It is not in
scorn, but in the wisest love, that He will not for a while.

There Is Silent Preparation behind God's Delay

Then it is very helpful to remember that divine delay does not mean
inactivity. God is not idle when He does not answer us; He is
busier preparing the answer than we think. There have been men
of genius who could only work irregularly; for long periods they
seemed to do nothing at all. Then suddenly, and as if by inspiration,
their powers took fire and they wrought at a white heat. You may
be sure of it that the periods in between were not so idle as the
world considered them. By thought, by reading, by communion
with glad nature, half unconsciously they were preparing for their
work. And when the kindling came, and the fire burned within them,
when they were divinely swept into utterance or action, they owed
far more than we should ever guess to the silent preparation of
delay. As it is with men of genius, so with God, only in loftier and
nobler ways. His delays are not the delays of inactivity. They are
the delays of preparation. In an instant the tropical storm may
burst and break, yet for weeks—unseen—the storm has been
preparing. The sunshine of May comes, and all the world is green,
yet on God's loom of January that robe was being spun. And the
morning breaks when at last some prayer is answered, and the
desert rejoices and blossoms as the rose, yet the answer was
being fashioned in these very years when we said there was no
eye to pity and no arm to save.

It takes a million years to harden the ruby, says the poet, yet
through all the years the hardening goes on. It takes a century
for the sea to wear away one cliff, yet every night when we sleep
the breakers dash on it. So when we pray and strive and nothing
happens, till we are tempted to say "God does not know, God
does not care," who can tell but that, behind the veil, infinite love
may be toiling like the sea, to give us in the full time our heart's

"My Father worketh hitherto and I work." It is a mysterious word
of the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps God, like some of the busiest
men I know, is doing most when He seems to be doing nothing.
There Is Love in Delay And so in closing I would say to you: do
not lose heart at the delays of God. Speed, after all, is but a
relative term, and there is more love in God's slow method than
you think. I was staying the other week with some friends in
Ireland, when word came that our friend's place of business had
been broken into. It was a holiday and he was away in Galway,
and was not to be home again until that evening. Well, he came
home, very tired and famished, and a foolish wife would have
rushed out to meet him with the news; but his wife was not foolish,
she was Scotch and sensible, and she let him wash and eat and
rest himself a little; and then when he was ready to see things
rightly she broke the news, and I saw there was wisdom and love
in that delay.

You who are mothers here, and who look back on those sweet
years when your innocent children played about your feet, had you
never some great news to tell your children, yet you deliberately
withheld it for a time? "If we tell them tonight there will not be one
wink of sleep; if we tell them when they waken, there will not be
one bite of breakfast"; and so deliberately you held back the
blessing, and you did it just because you loved them so. If ye
then being evil, act like that, is it incredible that God should do
the same? Is it fair to distrust our Father, to say He has no pity,
to charge the heavens with being brass above us? I think it is
wiser to pray on, strive on, casting all doubts to the devil who
inspired them; believing in a love that never mocks us, and that
will give us our heart's desire in His own time.