May 24, 2022

Having Faith, Even When God’s Answers are Delayed (Day 2)

Read Key Verse: Acts 24:27

When two years had lapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. (v24. ESV)     

Studying Acts 24:22-27

This week we are looking at how we can remain faith-filled and encouraged even when God’s answers, solutions, or deliverance are delayed. We might remember how Jesus did not rush to the side of his dear friend Lazarus when he learned of his sickness (John 11) but purposely stayed where he was another two days and then went to Bethany. Later Jesus shared with Martha and Mary he delayed purposely because he planned to bring glory to God by what he would do in raising Lazarus from the dead. And now we can see the Lord using the suffering and imprisonment of the apostle Paul as a teachable moment for Paul.

If you read Acts 24:22-27, even though the section is brief it represents two full years of the apostle’s life: more than 700 days and nights! Which is a long time in anyone’s life-book. During those two years Paul must have been praying hard, waiting for people in high places to decide his fate, waiting on God to deliver him from prison so he could be about his life and ministry. After all, outside of writing letters of encouragement to believers, what could he accomplish behind bars or under house arrest? He could not be on a missionary journey spreading the Good News of Jesus’ life and resurrection from the dead, he could not be visiting with believers in person, making new disciples or starting new congregations. Waiting must have been hard for Paul. He was an awesome follower, a powerful preacher, a gifted apostle, but he was still human and though he was full of faith he was not perfected yet, so waiting must have still been challenging and he must have been cultivating an attitude of gracious waiting and trust in God during those two years.

Meditating on Acts 24:22-27

What are you thinking as you meditate on Paul’s situation in Acts? As a person of God how do you handle God’s delays in your life? As you think about Paul’s imprisonment and God allowing him to remain in prison for two years what personal experience comes to mind for you? Have God’s purposed delays in your own life worked out for good or helped you to grow in your trust and faith?

Praying Acts 24:22-27

Lord, sometimes you purposely delay in our life too. We know exactly what it feels like to not get delivered, healed, or answered right away. When delays come help us to be patient in you and to trust that you know what you are doing in our life and circumstances. When our life is in a holding pattern keep us faith-filled, prayerful, and trusting you. Amen    

Going Deeper: Read Acts 24:1-27

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