Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: Habakkuk Tells Us, “Don’t Get Impatient; Hang On”

Dear Friends of “Dial Daily Bread,”

I am sure that everybody who believes in the Lord shares a common problem: we seldom get answers to prayer as fast as we want them. Some get tired waiting and give up their faith. Habakkuk, in chapter 2, verse 3, encourages us not to give up: "The vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

That word "tarry" in the Hebrew is two words. The Good News Bible has the idea: "The time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true. It may seem slow in coming, but wait for it; it will certainly take place, and it will not be delayed." The idea is not that God is slow, or that He has to be waked up.

He's very quick--so much so that Isaiah says He answers our prayers before we pray them ("before they call, I will answer," 65:24), but the answer seems slow to us. One reason is that there are hindrances to His answer getting through to us, as Daniel describes in 10:12, 13 when the angel tells him, "From the first day that you set your heart to understand, ... your words were heard, ... But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days."

It could well be that the Lord has already sent the answer to your prayer, but some similar hindrance has occurred. In the meantime, it's your job to believe in the Lord, to appreciate His character, to know that He is your Friend, not your Enemy. So David says over and over, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7). Wouldn't you be embarrassed if you became impatient like King Saul when he was waiting for the prophet Samuel to come and he went ahead in his impatience and did what he should not have done? (1 Sam. 13).

Habakkuk is telling us, "Don't get impatient; hang on. The Lord will not truly delay. It would be a pity if when His answer does come, you in the meantime have given up so you can't receive the blessing, and then like King Saul you lose everything!"

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 10, 1998.
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