Do you feel deliverance from a suffering or an issue has been halted in your case? That no matter how you feel or think you are not moving forward or just can’t beat it? You are obedient, faithful and righteous, but your progress in a matter is still. You made God your guide and refuge, and the absence of deliverance is costing you time and joy. Do you feel this way? But, have you considered that perhaps God is involved in all this? There are times wherein we hope in God and yet, conclusions to matters are delayed; we see God on our side, but we are where we were. Jesus told Paul that he should testify for Him in Rome just as he did in Jerusalem. Still, it took Paul a few years and sufferings before he could do it. God has a hand in all matters concerning us. And hence the reason we sometimes feel the way we feel regarding our deliverances and moving forward in life. The understanding of it lies in this passage – “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt” (Exod. 7:3).
Remember, we are not just called, but also chosen. We are not only chosen, but chosen for a purpose. All this was true in the case of Israel. God had a purpose for them in that it is being realized through all who accept Jesus as their personal Savior from the day He began His ministry on earth. God had a hand in the sufferings of Israel. He had a hand in hardening Pharaoh’s heart and it is for no small outcome. He showed Himself both to the Egyptians and the Israelites. He delivered great judgments through His works so that the world knows there is no God besides Him. And in all this, deliverance, progress and joy were halted for Israel. Sometimes God makes or allows circumstances or people to stand against us for longer periods than we desire. He does it with a vision for us. It is certainly for a result He has chosen for and through us; a result which by no means is of lesser value. In fact, when we begin realizing it we would see with our eyes much more than that we have thought or anticipated.
While we are the chosen of God, He intends to make use of us. It is a reason that sometimes we find deliverance, progress and joy as being halted. At these times we are not to think He forgot us, although it is not uncommon to feel that way. Such feeling is by the anxiety and sorrow that builds up in us. As we wait upon Him, He does signs and wonders so that we know Him better and deeper than we have already known. For see the intent He has toward His chosen ones. “He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you” (Deut. 7:13). It was for this that He first hardened Pharaoh’s heart. He planned it that Israel would always be His children. Israel knew their God and the passion, love and goodness He had for them.
Often people crumble when they see their life not progressing. When deliverance is delayed, they enter a shell thinking that all is lost. But, he who trusts God and hopes in His promise will wait for the greater outcome of the delays. What appears as time wasted is in reality time invested due to the hand of God. At a certain time He will make all things fall into place. While knowing this gives us confidence and joy, at the same time we must consider the things He does not expect from us. “They have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the sons of Ammon; and they have not walked in My ways, doing what is right in My sight and observing My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did” (1 Kings 11:33). Never leave the thought of being joyful through the hand of God. Then, we do not repeat that which Israel did to irk God. If our righteousness, obedience and faithfulness is being testified by Him, we do not have to worry when deliverance is delayed or when we are not moving forward; for it is not by our disobedience, but by the intent God has for and through us.
As a testament to God’s choice of us, let us look at few things when deliverance, moving forward and relief are not options, but necessities.
1. God will act. “‘Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, ‘Now I will arise,’ says the LORD; ‘I will set him in the safety for which he longs’” (Ps. 12:5). We are not what we can be in times of need. God understands it. He sees the suffering we face by delays. It is not like He is not hearing our cry. He has set a time for Himself and for our sake. He will do His works as many as are necessary to bring us to a point we desire to be. As one with a view, I say do not stop groaning before Him. It is what makes Him rise up to aid us. The one who weeps before Him has assimilated the pain of delays. God will work unbelievably in his or her life. He said “…for there is no savior besides Me” (Hos. 13:4).
2. We must keep faith. “And He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?’” (Luke 8:25). The God who worked signs and wonders for Israel is the same One that worked them for His disciples. You and I are His disciples chosen by the Word spoken to us. Though we do not know how He works out our circumstances or people that stand against us, we must not lose faith that He can work them out. He is a God who commands even the forces of nature. The disciples did not know what to do when the winds and the sea were raging against them. They did not know what Jesus could do. But they called on Him, and they knew. And because of them, we have come to know beforehand that which He can do. So, keep faith. He will deliver. We shall move forward.
3. God favors us. In times when no one stands for us He shows favor upon us. Paul found it to be true besides the wonders and signs he observed Him do for him. Luke said, “And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, ‘We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?’” (Acts 23:9). When a fight broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees due to Paul’s dialogue concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead, the commander was afraid for Paul and led him away to safety. Paul spoke the truth, God did the saving act. The wisdom of God in Paul proved greater than the cleverness of men. They who came as one group to put Paul to death went away as two separate groups. Eventually Paul passed them all and reached Rome.