Thursday, April 8, 2010

Delay Doesn't Mean Denial

Resurrection and Life - Part 2

Followers of Christ can often experience difficult situations and trials. We pray and our prayers seem to hit the ceiling and go no further. How are we to interpret a God who loves us, has power to help us, but the answer to our prayer doesn’t come? Why is there delay?

We see Jesus dealing with a family in crisis in John 11. He loved Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus. Yet when Jesus heard Lazarus was sick, “he stayed where he was two more days” (John. 11:5-6). Why did Jesus delay in responding?

Our culture values speed. We have microwaves, DSL, fast food, etc. and we demand instant gratification. We are disappointed when things are delayed, especially when God seems to delay! We get disappointed with God when he doesn’t do what we need when we feel we need it. Our desire fades, persistence vanishes and we want to quit.

Permit me a story about someone who handled "delay." Kurt Warner is a Super Bowl MVP and a champion. Kurt expressed how difficult it was when he was on a college football team and just warmed the bench. After college, he was bagging groceries and not playing football. He met his wife, Brenda, when she was a single mom on welfare, trying to raise children on food stamps. They didn’t quit. His answer wasn’t automatic, but he persevered. Today the Warners continue to have a deep faith in Christ, he is still a celebrated quarterback and they have a foundation for children. Delay doesn't mean denial.

Believers must learn to persevere amid delay. Perseverance is an action of faith. Perseverance is not dependent upon your circumstances or your frustrations, setbacks or disappointments. Perseverance is directly pinned to your faith (or lack of faith). Paul said “the love of Christ controls us” (2 Cor. 5:14).

Perseverance is action based on the promise of God. If God raised Jesus from the dead, there is no circumstance in your life God can’t turn around. Jesus delayed his coming to two sisters, but he did show up. He will show up in a new way and he will demonstrate his intention regarding the future. He will destroy our enemy, death. He will remove the pain that seems to permanently destroy relationships and bring decay.

All the circumstances of Mary and Martha would say there’s no hope. But Jesus came. Delay is not denial.


  1. Thanks for this post John. It is very timely. I'm looking forward to praying with you on Thursday.

  2. Amen, great post very encouraging (=