Updated on June 2, 2017
Devotional : Delays Are Not Denials
I once heard a Pastor mention that he waited 6 long years to win the affection of his future wife. The Founding Pastor of our church, Pastor Colton Wickramaratne received a vision from God in 1957 about his future ministry. He had to persevere through many delays and challenges before the large vision became a reality. When I began my career in Radio Broadcasting, I waited 3 years to get a proper break on the Radio Station. I almost quit, but thankfully God came through. A number of couples I know prayed earnestly for a child for many years before the prayer was answered.
All these stories have one common thread; delay.
Are you troubled about an answer to a prayer being delayed in your life? Have you almost given up? Do you feel like God is denying you His blessing?
No one likes delays. We live in an instant world, filled with instant food, instant noodles, online banking, quick promotions, quick turnovers and rapid solutions. Any delay therefore, is uncomfortable. God however, has his own timing in our lives and he can turn the delays into ‘Divine Appointments’. His delays are not denials. Through the delay, He is building our faith and our character.
In the book of Esther, we read in chapter 2 verse 21-23, about how Mordecai uncovered an assassination plot on Xerxes, the King of a mighty Empire. As he revealed the details of the plot to the King through Esther, the conspirators were apprehended and the King’s life was saved. But, what was Mordecai’s reward? NOTHING! He was forgotten. The only reward he got was that with this incident, his name was recorded in the chronicles of the King (verse 23), an action that would have great significance later. What about you? Do you feel forgotten today?
Mordecai, like any other man I’m sure, would have been rather disappointed. Wouldn’t we, if we had helped save the life of our Nation’s Leader? But, in spite of what seemed like a denial, Mordecai kept serving faithfully.
At a later date, Mordecai found himself in a precarious situation. He was to be hanged on a large gallows the following day, due to a conspiracy by a wicked official named Haman (5:14), God however decided that the time for delay was over. It so happened that according to chapter 6:1, the King couldn’t sleep that night. (Some believe that he couldn’t sleep because the construction of the gallows was creating a loud din!) Since there was no TV for the King to watch a reality show, no radio to listen to his favorite talk show or no other entertainment available at that time of night, the best thing he could do was to read the chronicles about his exploits (6:1). The record of his rule was therefore read to him, and as the officials started reading, it was no coincidence that they turned to the story of how Mordecai had saved the King’s life (verse 2). To his horror, the King then found out from his officials that no reward had been given to Mordecai (verse 3).
Man may forget, but God never forgets! His delays don’t mean denial!
Immediately, the King planned a rewards scheme for Mordecai (verses 4-11), and of all people, Haman was chosen to do the honors! As a result, not only Mordecai’s life, but the entire Jewish race was eventually saved from possible destruction! The delay had been turned into a ‘Divine Appointment’ and Mordecai ended up being appointed to the second highest position in the empire (10:3).
Trust God therefore through the delays of your life. God’s delays are not denials.
Prayer – Lord, help me to trust you through the delays in my life. May I have the faith to believe that a delay does not mean that you have not heard my cry. I ask this In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Closing Thought – God is never too early; He’s never too late; He’s always on time! His delays are not denials.
(For further reading, refer to the sermon ‘The God of Unexpected Divine Appointments’ on page 15 of this site, The Preaching Platform’).