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361 – The Timeliness of God’s Blessings

Comments Off on 361 – The Timeliness of God’s Blessings 01 August 2014

Do you ever feel that God’s blessings are being delayed? Sometimes we think that we have prayed a long time for something, and it begins to look to the faithless and faltering as if the blessing is never coming. We think we know God’s will about something, and we wait impatiently until the seeming delay causes us to stop asking and then all of a sudden the answer comes – the blessing is received. Let’s talk about the timeliness of God’s blessings because He is never a minute early or a moment late with them. We will look at the story of Jacob and Rachel in the Old Testament for some help understanding this.

In Genesis 30, there is the story of a woman’s inability to bear children. It was a shame and a calamity in her culture. There were no programs and prospects for helping with the challenge like we have today. Rachel was jealous of her sister Leah who was also married to Jacob and who had borne him children. You will remember that he worked for their father Laban who tricked him into working for Rachel and giving Leah to him instead, and then he worked an additional seven years for Rachel. She tried to give him a child through a handmaiden, but that did not comfort her. After trying to find an answer apart from God’s intervention God answered, and she did give birth to a son. She found that God’s blessings are timely. She learned some other things that will help us to be a little more patient as we wait for God’s timely blessings.

We need to learn of God’s blessings that:

1. they come on God’s schedule – Rachel’s timetable had run out. She was trying on her own to make it work because she had not seen any response from God in reference to her prayer for a child of her own. Though she finally ran ahead of God on this, she learned that it came right on time on God’s calendar. Like Sarah before her did with her husband Abraham, Rachel sent Jacob in to her handmaid Bilhah. She wanted a son so badly that she tried to work around the delay. She was working her way through doubt to trust in God when she found that God never forgot her prayer. “And then God remembered Rachel. God listened to her and opened her womb. She became pregnant and had a son. She said, ‘God has taken away my humiliation’ She named him Joseph, praying, ‘May God add yet another son to me'” (Gen. 30:22–24 The Message). All of her attempts to fix the problem failed to produce the answer. She had several children born to her husband of the other women around him, but none of her own. But, God was not without a plan. He acted right on time and opened her womb and paved the way for her to give birth. God will not be rushed. He knows best, and He sends His blessings in the time that He knows will bring the greatest benefit to us. When you are in a period of delay, stay quiet before God and keep on looking and listening to receive His confirmation of His blessing and the completion of His blessing in His time. You will find plenty of people who will try to advise you and press you to rush to another alternative. Alternatives are by their very name inferior to the original that is being altered. As I look back on my life I am glad that God did not answer everything exactly as I asked it. If He had, I would have missed out on some of His very best blessings to me. A delayed answer does not mean a thing is not in God’s plan for you. It may just mean that the timing is off. God’s plan and His timing are always best!

2. they come after God’s schooling the recipient – “When Rachel realized that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She told Jacob, ‘Give me sons or I’ll die!’ Jacob got angry with Rachel and said, ‘Am I God? Am I the one who refused you babies?’ Rachel said, ‘Here’s my maid Bilhah. Sleep with her. Let her substitute for me so I can have a child through her and build a family'” (Gen. 30:1-3 The Message). When you are working on your own answer to your prayers why should God get involved to provide His answer? Surely God must stand back and say, “If you have this all worked out, go ahead and work your plan. You’re on your own.” God will work in the lives of people who are depending on Him alone. We get lazy when we pray and God does not answer, so we either give up or try to get the answer another way. Rachel never stopped praying, even though she was trying her on method of accomplishment. Jesus said that if we know something is God’s will, we are to keep on asking and asking. Rachel did that. She believed it was God’s will for her to be given a child through birth. When God’s Spirit leads us to pray for something we should never stop. After Joseph was born to her, she realized that she had been in God’s school. He was teaching her some important disciplines for following in His will: patience, trust, timing, persistence. God does not give us all that we want, but He gives us all that we need, based on His prior knowledge of it. Persistent praying allows God to mold and make us so that we are worthy recipients when His time to answer arrives. So, don’t drop out of God’s school of prayer! You never know what blessing, maybe one you have forgotten you prayed for, God may answer and give to you.

3. they come after we gratefully give God the praise for them –The more experienced we become in praying, the more our gratitude to God should come before the receipt of the blessing. Rachel expressed gratitude for the birth of Joseph and showed she had learned a lesson about praise both after and in advance of blessing when she reacted like this: “She became pregnant and had a son. She said, ‘God has taken away my humiliation’ She named him Joseph, praying, ‘May God add yet another son to me'” (Gen. 30:23-24 The Message).  Rachel thanked God for His blessing of the first son, Joseph, and also expressed faith and gratitude for another son, Benjamin, who she believed she would have born to her. She wanted everyone present to know that it was God who blessed her with the son and the prospect of another. When God is getting the glory He always blesses us beyond measure. The more we thank God for past blessings the more we will trust Him for future blessings. The danger of the thankless heart is that it does not trust to receive future blessings. Remembering past blessings encourages us to pray for future blessings as well!

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“Redeemed”

The painting in my logo is by an artist named Kelly O'Neill.



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