Our delayed blessings aren’t always due to our so-called wrongdoings, strongholds or generational curses.  Sometimes, we could be in the right with God and still face calamity.

 

“Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’  ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied.  ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’  The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’  Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord,” (NIV).

 

God knew that Job was a righteous man.  Satan’s tests were not a testament of Job’s unfaithfulness, but, instead, of his righteousness.

 

Lesson 1:  Testing builds our endurance and increases our faith.

James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything,” (NIV).

 

Lesson 2:  Those who believe in God are not immune to trials and testing.

“…do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed,” (1 Peter 4:12-13).

 

Lesson 3:  God will not allow us to be tested beyond our limits.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure,” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT).

 

One of the many problems that we often face when we are going through our fiery trials is that there are observers who will accuse us of living faulty lives.  Job’s wife and friends were no different.  They accused Job of secretly sinning against God.

 

“His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die,’” (Job 2:9)!

 

“Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished?  Where were the upright ever destroyed?  As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it,” (Job 4:7-8, NIV).

 

“Surely God does not reject one who is blameless or strengthen the hands of evildoers,” (Job 8:20, NIV).

 

Lesson 4:

When we are going through fiery trials, we have to be steadfast in our beliefs about who we are and who God has called us to be.

 

“Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence.  Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him.  He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made God appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments,” (Job 33:1-3, NLT).

 

The details of Job’s trials might not be mirror images of our adversities, but the skeletal outline is the same.  Many of Job’s friends and family were against him.  Over and over, they falsely accused Job of sinning against God.  Job must have felt as if his back was against the wall.  Additionally, there were times where it seemed as though even his cries to God had gone unanswered.  Isn’t that the case for many of us.  During our moments of fiery trials, there is often radio silence.  During times of difficulties, some of our closest allies become some of our biggest critics.  They blame our actions, or lack thereof, for our woes.  However, we should take a cue from Job and remain steadfast.

 

Lesson 5:  The moment we pray; a command is given.

 

In the Old Testament, the prophet Daniel was disheartened by the world around him.  He often prayed for favor, guidance and deliverance.  On one of the occasions when Daniel prayed, the angel, Gabriel, appeared to him and said, “‘Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given,’” Daniel 9:22-23, NLT).

 

The moment we begin to pray, God hears us and a command is given.  Our prayers are what connect us to God.

 

Lesson 6:  Sometimes, the immediate receipt of our blessings/breakthrough could be due to a temporary blockage caused by spiritual warfare.

 

In the Book of Daniel, Daniel had been praying to God for a specific answer.  In the natural, it seemed as if his answer was tarrying.  After a period of praying and fasting, an angel presented before Daniel and he said the following to Daniel: “‘Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia,’” (Daniel 10:12-13, NLT).

 

Maybe the answer to our prayers is being upheld by a spiritual battle.  During times when it seems as though our answers might be loitering, maybe we should pray that our answers be released.

 

Lesson 7:  Prayer and faith are the spiritual armors needed to fight against spiritual warfare.

 

Ephesians 6:12 says:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places,” (KJV).

 

Scripture tells us that there is a spiritual resistance surrounding us.  The enemy’s mission is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10).  Fortunately, God have given us His Word as a defense against the wiles of the enemy.  He has also encamped his angels around us to protect us from harm.

 

Psalms 91:11-12 says,

“For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.  They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” (NLT).

 

Hebrews 4:12 reads:

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires,” (NLT).

 

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds,” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

 

Lesson 8:  Keeping a written account of our visions/prayers helps us to remember them, recognize them, understand them, clarify them and thank God for them.

 

Sometimes our visions are blurry and even truncated.  Writing them down could allow us to thrash out the hazy details.  Additionally, reviewing past visions reminds us of God’s faithfulness.

 

Habakkuk 2:2-3 says:

“Then the Lord replied: ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.  For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay,’” (NIV).

 

As we check in with God, we may need to revise our written prayers/requests.  We need to make sure that the herald is carrying the right message.  If we don’t know what to pray, the Spirt will guide us.

 

Roman 8:26 says:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans,” (NIV).

 

Final Lesson:

 

Sometimes, we are exactly where God wants us.  What we might consider as an imposition could oftentimes be divine positioning.  Our trials aren’t always caused because of something we’ve done wrong. According to Habakkuk 2:3, the vision may linger, but it will not be delayed.  Though the answer may be blocked in transition, it’s delivery will not be prevented.  Like Daniel, we might have to fast and pray for the receipt of our answers, but we should know that once we have prayed, a command has been given.

 

 

Take home message:

 

  1. Nothing happens without God’s knowledge or consent.
  2. We will never be tested beyond our limits.
  3. Once we pray, a command is given.
  4. Write down the vision.
  5. God’s promises/answers might linger, but they will not delay.
  6. If the answer tarries, go to God in prayer using the weapons of God, which is the Word of God.
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