Morning & Evening Daily Devotional Reading– December 9
by Charles H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by William C. Neff
“Therefore, the Lord will wait, so that He may be gracious to you.”
God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture. Jacob didn’t get the blessing from the angel until the dawn of day; he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophenecia heard no answer for a long time. The Apostle Paul begged the Lord three times that his so-called “thorn in the flesh” might be taken from him, and in the end he received no assurance that it would be taken away at all; instead, he was told that God’s grace would be sufficient for him.
If you’ve been knocking at the gate of mercy and have received no answer, should I be the one to tell you why the mighty Maker hasn’t opened the door and let you in? Our wise Father has His own good reasons for keeping us waiting like this. Sometimes it’s simply for the purpose of showing His sovereignty so that you might know and accept that He has the right to give or to withhold as He wishes. At the same time, however, there is usually a direct benefit that He wants to give you. Perhaps He wants to increase your desires so that you’ll see your need more clearly and will seek (Him) more earnestly; then, when mercy comes, you will prize it all the more because you waited for it.
Then again, there may be something wrong in you that needs to be removed before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps your understanding of the Gospel is confused, or maybe you’re still relying in some way upon yourself, instead of trusting simply and entirely upon the Lord Jesus. Or, perhaps God makes you wait so that He can more fully display the riches of His grace in you. Don’t forget—your prayers are all filed in heaven, and if they’re not immediately answered, they are certainly not forgotten; but, in a little while, they’ll be fulfilled to your delight and satisfaction. Don’t let despair make you silent, but let it provoke you to continue in earnest prayer all the more. [M&E]