Sermons

Summary: When we pray there are three possible answers from the Lord, yes, no and wait. We all hate to wait but we need to trust in God's perfect timing.

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Let’s begin with this question:

What is the major enemy of hope in your life?

What is the one thing that, more than any other, threatens to weaken your hope?

Could it be:

discouragement, suffering; weariness, exhaustion.

Perhaps the main enemy of hope in your life is simply the passage of time.

The waiting that constantly chips away at your hope, day by day, month by month, year by year.

As Proverbs 13:12 so eloquently puts it, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”

And that’s true, isn’t it?

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What is it that you hope for the most?

What is it that you pray about the most?

Are you hoping and praying for someone in your family to discover faith in Jesus for themselves?

Do you put up with their comments about how foolish your faith is?

Are you enduring tirades about the “hypocrites” and “holier than thou” church people you associate with?

Even though you may fall short, do you hope to do your best at being a good example of what a real is?

Are you wondering if God is ever going to answer your prayers for their salvation?

Day after day, month after month, year after year, with little sign of change, is hope slowly vanishing?

What is it that you hope for the most?

What is it that you pray about the most?

Are you waiting for a promotion at work?

Are you waiting for an illness to clear up?

Are you waiting for the rain and storms to stop?

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

As time goes on, and nothing seems to be happening is your hope fading away?

How can we keep our hopes from eroding over time, under the constant drip, drip, drip of doubts and disappointments?

First of all, we have to understand that with God,

a delay in response is not an indication that He won’t answer.

What we consider a delay is actually God’s perfectly timed response to our prayer.

The passage of time, in and of itself, tells us nothing about how God is going to respond to our prayers.

Maybe that is a difficult concept for us to grasp, because it’s not the way other people operate.

If you ask someone to do something, and nothing happens, and nothing happens, and nothing happens, then after a while it probably means nothing is going to happen.

They’re not going to do it.

The more time that passes, the more unlikely it is that they are going to do what you asked.

People forget.

We can get distracted.

People can change their minds and not bother to tell you.

People put things off and hope you’ll forget about it.

People break promises.

But God is not like that.

God doesn’t experience time the way we do.

He doesn’t forget,

He does not get too busy, or lose track of what He is planning to do.

God does not break His promises.

In Psalm 90:4 it says of God for Him

“a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.” -- Psalm 90:4

For God, that prayer you prayed so long ago,

that thing you are hoping for, is still fresh and current in His mind right now.

The passage of months and years may seem agonizingly slow to us.

Every hour that goes by chips away at our hope.

We think, “Is God ever going to act?

Why hasn’t he answered my prayers?

Did He even hear our prayers?”

But for God, minutes, months, weeks and years -- even centuries -- they’re all the same.

There is no “fast” or “slow” with God.

There is only the right time, and the wrong time.

When the time is right, He will act, whether that’s today, tomorrow or ten days or ten years from now.

He’s not being slow. He’s not dawdling.

He’s not delaying. He’s not dragging his feet.

He’s simply waiting for the right time, the perfect time.

God has a perfect plan for you and you can place your hope in Him.

You can bring all of your requests, your dreams and your wishes to God in prayer.

You can bring all of your fears, your anxieties, your difficulties, your pain, your cares to God in prayer.

Bring your requests to God with open hands and acknowledge the limitations of your understanding, your knowledge or your wisdom.

Commit yourself and your circumstance to Him, trusting that when He answers your prayer,

He will do what is good, He will do what is right,

in His great love for you He will do what is best.

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Listen to the prayer of the Psalmist in Psalm 25:4-5

Show me the right path, O Lord;

point out the road for me to follow.

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