God’s Answers to Prayer Come in God’s Own Perfect Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1; Habakkuk 2:3

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): God is in no hurry, and it is required of us that “he that believeth shall not make haste,” Isaiah 28:16. But we find it much harder to wait than we do to believe: that is, probably, the weakest spot in our armour, and the point at which we fail most frequently.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714):  To all God’s purposes there is a time, a proper time.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): His time is like the time of the tide; all the art and power of man can neither hasten nor retard it a moment: it must be waited for; nothing can be done without it, and, when it comes, nothing can resist it. It is unbelief that talks of delays: faith knows that, properly, there can be no such thing. The only reason why the Lord seems to delay what He afterwards grants is that the best hour is not yet come.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): God’s calendar is not ours.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): That is to say, God will hear prayer, but He may not answer it at the time which we in our minds have appointed…Our time is always come, for we are in selfish haste; but our Lord, when on earth, had His set times and knew how to wait for them. The great God is never before His time, and never too late.

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): But we are naturally full of impatience, and therefore we should be in danger of giving up the case as lost, and saying with the unbelieving nobleman, “What should I wait for the Lord any longer?” did not this hope whisper, “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thy heart? Wait, I say, on the Lord,” Psalm 27:14. Though He delays, He cannot refuse. The delay also is founded in kindness and in wisdom.  The Lord is a God of judgment; and blessed are all they that wait on Him.

A. W. PINK: Waiting for the Lord is one of the most difficult things, I would concur; but Psalm 27:14 speaks about waiting on the Lord, which is a totally different thing! Waiting on―upon―the Lord describes an attitude of soul when we are engaged in true prayer, see Isaiah 40:31; but waiting for the Lord is the exercise of patience while His answer tarries. There are certain lessons which we have to learn experimentally, under the Spirit, before we learn to “wait patiently for him,” Psalm 37:7. What those lessons are is intimated in Psalm 37:1-7 which I earnestly commend to your careful and prayerful attention. They are summed up in the words “Fret not,” “trust,” “delight,” “commit,” and “rest.” The order of those five things is divine and unalterable; we cannot obey verse seven till we have thoroughly heeded verses one to six!

R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Many of God’s people pray without waiting for God to work in His own time and manner…Faith waits upon God; but she waits also for God. Jacob waited upon God regarding Esau his brother (Genesis 32:9-12); but he did not wait for God. Had he done so, he would not have bowed down seven times to his brother (Genesis 33:3); Esau must have bowed down to him (Genesis 27:29).

A. W. PINK: Alas, how sadly do we fail at this point! How easily we become discouraged if our Jericho does not fall the first or second time we encompass it. “The vision is yet for an appointed time—though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come.” But O how impatient is the flesh. It was at this point that Abraham failed: when Sarah bare not the promised son, he determined to have one by Hagar. It was at this point Moses first failed—taking things into his own hands (Exodus 2:11,12), instead of waiting God’s time.

F. W. KRUMMACHER (1796-1868): Discontented and presumptuous, we are a people whom God can rarely please. We find nothing more difficult than to suspend our judgment till His purposes are ripened; for, if our desires are not instantly gratified to their full extent, we become distrustful of His power, goodness, and faithfulness. Were He to remove the veil from our eyes, and show us the gifts designed for us, how should we be abashed and ashamed of our want of faith, and of our low-thoughted cares and presumptions.

C. H. SPURGEON: We are in hot haste to set the world right, and to order all affairs: the Lord hath the leisure of conscious power and unerring wisdom, and it will be well for us to learn to wait.

A. W. PINK: Learn from this, dear reader, that though God’s delays are trying to flesh and blood, nevertheless they are ordered by perfect wisdom and infinite love…Though we are impulsive and impetuous, God is never in a hurry; the sooner we learn this lesson, the better for our own peace of mind, and the sooner shall we “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him,” Psalm 37:7.

HUGH MARTIN (1822-1885): Wait patiently and do not fret.  If the vision tarry wait for it: it will come and will not tarry; and in the meantime the just shall live by faith.

C. H. SPURGEON: Faith cures fretting…The clock will not strike till the hour; but when the instant cometh we shall hear the bell. My soul, trust thou in God, and wait patiently when He says, “My time is not yet come.”

BROWNLOW NORTH (1810-1875): Trust in Him,” says the Psalmist, “at all times,” Psalm 62:8—at all times.  And when is the time, that is not a time?

JOHN NEWTON: He knows your state, your wants, what you are at present, and what use He designs to make of you.  Trust in Him, and wait for Him; prayer, and faith, and patience, are never disappointed.


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