“Your prayer [Zack] has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” Luke 1:13-15
Yes indeed, as we wait on the Lord’s provision, old prayers gain new meaning. What was once lost is found, what was once hurt is healed and what was once hopeless brings joy. We remain faithful in our prayers and worship, especially when our feelings scream that all spiritual efforts are in vain. God’s blessings follow a sequence that only later make sense. So, we can see our answered prayer as an introduction to God’s greater purpose.
“When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.” Luke 1:57-58
Do you feel barren in your soul, spirit or body? Has spiritual sterility snatched your joy? If so, take hope that your barrenness is an incubator of intimacy with your heavenly Father. It is at this precise point of inexpressible fear that He expresses His peace. Christ can birth out of barren finances, provision; from a barren womb, a baby; from a barren heart, joy. Or, God may say no, so your empty condition can only be filled by the Spirit’s fullness.
Moreover, if you are enjoying joy, then be a joy giver to those needy souls around you. In prayerful sensitivity remind others of their spiritual resources. Your smile speaks acceptance, your servant leadership models humility, your encouragement gives hope and your generosity brings joy. Delayed joy is an opportunity to look to Jesus the joy giver. Delayed joy does not mean God has forgotten—no, past prayers prepare us for future joy.
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that delayed joy is worth the wait.
Related Readings: Job 38:7; Psalm 65:8; Isaiah 26:19; Hebrews 10:34 Post/Tweet today: God may delay His response to prayer but He does not forget. #prayer
© 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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