December 10, 2012

Delayed Joy

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- December 10, 2012

“Your prayer [Zack] has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” Luke 1:13-15

God may delay His response to prayer, but He never forgets. A barren womb, a lost job, a prodigal child, or a spouse who has passed away are all needs He has not forgotten. Zachariah remained faithful in his prayers and worship, though his heart ached for God to provide the gift of a little life for he and his wife Elizabeth. However, the Lord’s timing is not without purpose. John’s birth—like his life, preceded Jesus’ birth as a joyous prelude.

Yes indeed, as we wait on the Lord’s provision, old prayers gain new meaning. What was once lost is found, what was once hurt is healed and what was once hopeless brings joy. We remain faithful in our prayers and worship, especially when our feelings scream that all spiritual efforts are in vain. God’s blessings follow a sequence that only later make sense. So, we can see our answered prayer as an introduction to God’s greater purpose.

“When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.” Luke 1:57-58

Do you feel barren in your soul, spirit or body? Has spiritual sterility snatched your joy? If so, take hope that your barrenness is an incubator of intimacy with your heavenly Father. It is at this precise point of inexpressible fear that He expresses His peace. Christ can birth out of barren finances, provision; from a barren womb, a baby; from a barren heart, joy. Or, God may say no, so your empty condition can only be filled by the Spirit’s fullness.

Moreover, if you are enjoying joy, then be a joy giver to those needy souls around you. In prayerful sensitivity remind others of their spiritual resources. Your smile speaks acceptance, your servant leadership models humility, your encouragement gives hope and your generosity brings joy. Delayed joy is an opportunity to look to Jesus the joy giver. Delayed joy does not mean God has forgotten—no, past prayers prepare us for future joy.

“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that delayed joy is worth the wait.

Related Readings: Job 38:7; Psalm 65:8; Isaiah 26:19; Hebrews 10:34

Post/Tweet today: God may delay His response to prayer but He does not forget. #prayer

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© 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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  1. Ruth Calvin says:

    “God’s timing is not without purpose”…

    I truly enjoy your messages and have been having a time with my weak faith. Your timing is helpful. Seems that some of your lessons come when I need them the most. And I am not a babe in Christ either.

    “God’s timing is not without purpose”…not just for me but
    when I remember the barren women in the old testament I know it had to be in God’d time or Christ would have been born at the wrong time.

    Is is wonderful how God works.

    Thank you.


    1. BOYD BAILEY says:

      Ruth you are welcome, yes the Lord’s timing is never late, but seldom early. Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing your heart.

      A fellow servant of Jesus,


  2. Anita says:

    Thanks Boyd. Putting the word “delayed” in front of Joy, makes “delayed” positive:-) It made me smile!

  3. Michelle says:

    Boyd, thank you for your wise words helping me to see God breathed scripture in a new light! Many thanks for helping me through the most difficult journey in my life (so far !) as a single woman (37) with Lyme disease, home confined for the last ten years (exactly 10 years today’s in fact) – I will no longer will hang on to being “realistic” as my dr.s put it. I will try not to put limits on what God can still do in my life. I will pray and ask for the faith to believe that God can restore my health, that He can provide me with the love of a God fearing husband, and maybe even a child someday! His power and love have no boundaries! Praise be to God for his love and desire to commune with our souls!! Boyd your words have renewed my hope! I’ve read these scriptures dozens of times over the years- we all need our faith renewed from time to time, so thank you for being the Lords messenger today and every day! Merry Christmas to you all!

    1. Boyd says:

      Michelle you are welcome. Your faith and hope are an inspiration to me and many others. Keep you eyes on Jesus He will never let you down. Merry Christmas!

      A fellow servant of Jesus,


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