Jan 12, 2018 by Abigail Sanchez

Why Does God Take So Long To Answer?

Matthew Westerholm, a worship pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and professors of worship and music at Bethlehem College & Seminary, wrote an article on DesiringGod about how to deal with God taking a long time to answer prayers.

"Impatience," Westerholm begins. "It is easy to feel, especially on the Internet. Click a link, skim an article, and get to the point. Crawling Internet speeds, lagging download times, and long-form writing frustrate our efforts to speed-read and move on."

"Our cravings for fast easily creep into our faith and into our churches. We pray and wait, pray and wait, wondering why God hasn’t texted back yet," this pastor notes. "We celebrate quick victories, immediate healings, and fast-answered prayers. True enough, the Spirit can move quickly. In a single, dramatic moment, the Spirit can intervene in an obvious conversion. In an instant, he can free someone from a besetting sin. In the book of Acts, the Spirit inspired the spontaneous sermons of Stephen and Peter."

We've all felt this. But Westerholm points out, "Because the Holy Spirit is sovereign and free, his activity cannot be reduced to a single description. Though our fast-paced hearts celebrate God’s fast-moving deliverances, God does not value the things our world values. In fact, sometimes he displays his glory by moving slowly."

"We need to recognize," he incites us, "that God has often used unpredictable ways to bring about his purposes in the world. He takes hundreds (and thousands!) of years to accomplish things. Why would he do anything different in our generation?"

The simple reminder that the author leaves with us is this: "Instead of chasing immediate, fast-moving, emotionally powerful experiences, consider the God who gloriously moves slowly."

"We are more likely to underestimate what God can do in a lifetime if we overestimate what he will do today."

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