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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Don’t Fear in God’s Delays BY RICK WARREN — SEPTEMBER 16 Sunday

“Do you remember how the Lord led you through the wilderness for all those forty years, humbling you and testing you to find out how you would respond, and whether or not you would really obey him?” (Deuteronomy 8:2 TLB).
Dreams are never fulfilled immediately. There’s always a waiting period. The Israelites were brought out of Egypt and then wandered around for 40 years before they went into the Promised Land, even though the trip shouldn’t have taken more than a few weeks.
Just like the Israelites, sometimes we are delayed by design. Every dream has difficulties. God uses delays to get us ready for those difficulties.
God also uses delays to test us. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 8:2, “Do you remember how the Lord led you through the wilderness for all those forty years, humbling you and testing you to find out how you would respond, and whether or not you would really obey him?” (TLB).
So when your dream is delayed, how should you respond?
Don’t fear!
Embracing fear is the first mistake the Israelites made. Deuteronomy 1:28a says, “Why should we go there? We are afraid. The men we sent tell us that the people there are stronger and taller than we are” (GNT). The Israelites had enough faith to move out of Egypt, but they didn’t have enough faith to move into the Promised Land. They were afraid.
The problem with fear is that it keeps you in the wilderness. It prolongs the delay. Many of your dreams have never been fulfilled, not because of God but because of you, because you wouldn’t step out in faith.
The antidote to fear is faith, focusing on God’s presence. Realize that God is with you. He says, “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10a TLB). He’s with you now, he always has been, and he always will be.
Maybe you’re in the delay phase right now. You’ve been praying about something, and it hasn’t happened yet. You may start to think that God has forgotten you.
God has not forgotten you! It is a delay by design. God knows what you’re going through. He wants to build your character, and he wants you to learn to trust in him. You can count on him for his help. Don’t fear.
Talk It Over
  • How has God’s testing of your faith produced spiritual growth in your life?
  • What are your fears about where God may be leading you or what he may be asking you to do?
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