September 5, 2021

God Will Help Speedily

Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for there is a reward for your work, says the Lord.
Jeremiah 31:16
We've all had times when our faith has faltered, when there seems to be no answer to our heart’s question: ‘What's delaying the wheels of God's chariot?’ We can imagine what Mary and Martha must've felt when Jesus ‘stayed two days longer in the place where he was’ after he had received their message. They were so sure that he would drop everything when he heard that the one whom he loved was ill that they didn't even explicitly ask him to come.

Delays of God's help seem to be such a constant feature of his providence that they seem to take the life out of faith. But we have to compare these to Jesus' wonderful assurance that God's help will come quickly [Luke 18:7]. Yes, even the longest delays may qualify as speedy, because heaven's clock doesn't tick at the same rate as our earthly wristwatches. Our God is the God of patience, and he has waited thousands of years for the establishment of his kingdom on earth. His chosen can learn long-suffering from God, and should take the old saying 'if the vision tarry, wait for it' to heart.

So God's delays are not delays, but are for our benefit that we may keep praying without being discouraged. In this way, we can keep alight the flame of hope not only that Christ is coming, but that he will be victorious over all those who oppose him. Thus the widow will no longer be the widow but the bride. She can go to the feast, and the days of her mourning will be ended.
 Paraphrased from Alexander Maclaren

Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night?
 Luke 18:7
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Come, Holy Spirit, with the new fire; when our prayer seems to fail, when we hear no voice nor any answer, rouse us and light our way.
 A New Zealand Prayer Book
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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