Morning, December 9, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.” — Isaiah 30:18

God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day–he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophoenicia was not answered a word for a long while. Paul implored the Lord three times that “the thorn in the flesh” might be taken from him, but he received no assurance that it should be taken away, but instead received a promise that God’s grace should be sufficient for him. If you have been knocking at the gate of mercy, and have received no answer, could I tell you why the mighty Maker has not opened the door and let you in? Our Father has reasons particular to himself for consequently keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show his power and his sovereignty, that men may know that Jehovah has a right to give or to withhold. More frequently the delay is for our profit. You are perhaps kept waiting in order that your desires may be more passionate. God knows that delay will give life to and increase desire, and that if he keeps you waiting you will see your necessity more clearly, and will seek more earnestly; and that you will prize the mercy all the more for its long delay. There may also be something wrong in you which needs to be removed, before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps your views of the Gospel are confused, or you may be placing some bit of reliance on yourself, instead of trusting simply and entirely in the Lord Jesus. Or, God makes you wait awhile that he may more fully display the riches of his grace to you at last. Your prayers are all recorded in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while shall be fulfilled to your delight and satisfaction. Do not let despair make you silent, but continue constantly in earnest appeal.