Friday, April 12, 2013

When God's Timing Is Taking Too Long - Joyce Meyer

We all want good things to happen in our lives, but too often we want it now...not later. When it doesn't happen that way, we are tempted to ask, "When, God, when?" Most of us need to grow in the area of trusting God instead of focusing on the "when" question. If you're missing joy and peace, you're not trusting God. If your mind feels worn out all the time, you're not trusting God.

The tendency to want to know about everything that's going on can be detrimental to your Christian walk. Sometimes knowing everything can be uncomfortable and can even hurt you. I spent a large part of my life being impatient, frustrated and disappointed because there were things I didn't know. God had to teach me to leave things alone and quit feeling that I needed to know everything. I finally learned to trust the One who knows all things and accept that some questions may never be answered. We prove that we trust God when we refuse to worry.



God wants us to live by discernment—revelation knowledge, not head knowledge. It's difficult to exercise discernment if you're always trying to figure out everything. But when you're willing to say, "God, I can't figure this out, so I'm going to trust You to give me revelation that will set me free," then you can be comfortable in spite of not knowing. Trusting God often requires not knowing how God is going to accomplish what needs to be done and not knowing when He will do it. We often say God is never late, but generally He isn't early either. Why? Because He uses times of waiting to stretch our faith in Him and to bring about change and growth in our lives.
Wait With Patience

We spend a lot of time in our lives waiting because change is a process. Many people want change, but they don't want to go through the waiting process. But the truth is, waiting is a given—we are going to wait. The question is, are we going to wait the wrong or right way? If we wait the wrong way, we'll be miserable; but if we decide to wait God's way, we can become patient and enjoy the wait. It takes practice, but as we let God help us in each situation, we develop patience, which is one of the most important Christian virtues. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). It's developed only under trial, so we must not run from difficult situations. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing (James 1:4).

As we develop patience, the Bible says we finally feel completely satisfied—lacking nothing. Even our relationship with God involves progressive changes. My relationship with God is so much different now than it was in the early days of my Christian experience. It is not nearly as emotionally exciting...and yet it is better. Every change I've gone through has made me more mature, solid and well-grounded. We learn to trust God by going through many experiences that require trust. By seeing God's faithfulness over and over, we let go of trusting ourselves, and gradually we place our trust in Him. Looking at it like this, it is easy to see how timing plays an important part in learning to trust God. If He did everything we asked for immediately, we would never grow and develop. Timing and trust work side by side.

Accept God's Timing

God gives us hopes and dreams for certain things to happen in our lives, but He doesn't always allow us to see the exact timing of His plan. Although frustrating, not knowing the exact timing is often what keeps us in the program. There are times when we might give up if we knew how long it was going to take, but when we accept God's timing, we can learn to live in hope and enjoy our lives while God is working on our problems. We know that God's plan for our lives is good, and when we entrust ourselves to Him, we can experience total peace and happiness.

The book of Genesis tells the story of Joseph, who waited many years for the fulfillment of the dream God had given him. He was falsely accused and imprisoned before the time came for him to do what God had shown him he was to do. Exodus 13:17-18 tells us that God led the Israelites the longer, harder way on their journey to the Promised Land because He knew they were not yet ready to go in. There had to be time for their training, and they had to go through some very trying situations. They wasted a lot of time wondering about God's timing, but God never failed to take care of them and show them what He wanted them to do. The same is true in our lives. It was many years after I received my call from God in February of 1976 before I finally began to see major fulfillment of what God had called me to do. God's training period simply requires us to do what He tells us to do when He tells us to do it...without questioning or trying to figure everything out.

Learn to Rely on God

Proverbs 16:9 says, A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. Proverbs 20:24 says,Man's steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way? When God directs our paths, He sometimes leads us in ways that don't make sense to us so we're not always going to understand everything. If we try to reason out everything, we will experience struggle, confusion and misery—but there is a better way. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. This sounds so simple, yet too many people make the mistake of trying to figure everything out themselves. Most of us have spent our lives trying to take care of ourselves, but when we accept Christ as our Savior, we must learn to trust our lives to His care. When we do, we can say with the psalmist, ...I trusted in, relied on, and was confident in You, O Lord; I said, You are my God. My times are in Your hands...(Psalm 31:14-15).

First Peter 5:5 tells us that ...God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble. Anyone who thinks they're a self-made man or woman has a rude awakening coming because Jesus said, ...apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing (John 15:5). Humility is a covering that draws the help of God into our lives to protect us. When we humble ourselves by saying, "God, I don't know what to do, but I'm trusting You," God gets in gear to help us. God won't allow us to succeed at anything unless we're leaning and relying on Him. But when we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, in due time, He will exalt us (see 1 Peter 5:6). "Due time" is God's time, when God knows we're ready, not when we think we're ready. The sooner we understand and accept that, the sooner God can work His plan in our lives

By Joyce Meyer

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