A friend loaned me this EXCELLENT book - I highly recommend it! Here are a few of the thoughts I gleaned from it......
On holding our peace while God makes us wait......
1. The Lord does not always time His answers to the swiftness of his people's expectations. He that is the God of our mercies is also the Lord of our times. God has delayed long His dearest saints times belonging to Him, as well as issue. See Hab. 1:2, Job 19:7, Psalm 69:3, Psalm 49:17, 2 Cor 1:8-9, etc.....God doth not always make haste to hear and save His dear children. And therefore hold thy peace. He deals no worse with thee than He does with His dearest jewels.
2. Though the Lord doth defer and delay you for a time, yet He will come, and mercy and deliverance shall certainly come. He will not always forget the cry of the poor. Heb 10:37, Hab 2:3 . God will come, and mercy will come; though for the present thy sun seem set, and thy God seems to neglect thee, yet thy sun will rise again, and thy God will answer all thy prayers, and supply all they necessities; Psalm 71:20-21
3. Though God do delay thee, yet He doth not forget thee. He remembers thee still, thou are still in His eye, and always on His heart. Is 49:14-16, Jer 31:20, Psalm 77:9-10. Therefore be silent, hold thy peace; thy God hath not forgotten thee, thou for the present He hath delayed thee.
4. God's time is always the best time: God always takes the best and fittest seasons to do us good. Is 49:8 To set God His time is to limit Him, Psalm 78:41, it is to exalt ourselves above Him, as if we were wiser than God. Though we are not wise enough to improve the times and seasons which God has set us, to serve and honor Him in, yet we are apt to think we are wise enough to set God His time, when to hear, and when to save, and when to deliver.......The best God will always take the best time to hand out mercies to His people. There is no mercy so fair, so ripe, so lovely, so beautiful, as that which God gives out in His own time. Therefore hold thy peace; though God delays thee, yet be silent, for there is no possibility of wringing a mercy out of God's hand till the mercy be ripe for us, and we ripe for the mercy. Ecc 3:11.
5. The Lord in this life will certainly recompense, and make His children amends for all the delays and put offs that He exercises them with in this world, as He did with Abraham in giving him such a son as Isaac, and Hannah in giving her a Samuel. He delayed Joseph long, but at length changes his iron fetters into chains of gold......his 30 years of suffering into 80 years of reigning in much grandeur and glory. So God delayed David long, but when his suffering hours were out, he is anointed and the crown of Israel is set upon his head.......Well! Christians, God will certainly pay you interest upon interest for all the delays you meet with; and therefore hold your peace.
6. Lastly,The Lord never delays the giving of this mercy, or that deliverance, or the other favor, but upon great and weighty reason; and therefore hold thy peace.
On why God makes us wait......
1. For the trial of His people, and for the differencing and distinguishing of them from others. As the furnace tries gold, so delays will try what metal a Christian is made of. Delays will try both the truth and strength of a Christian's graces.
2. That they may have the greater experience of His power, grace, love, and mercy in the close. Christ loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus, yet He defers His coming several days, and Lazarus must die, and be put in the grave......And why so, but that they might have the greater experience of His power, grace,and love towards them?
3. To sharpen His children's appetite, and to put a greater edge upon their desires; God delays that His people may set upon Him with greater strength and importunity..........This is what God aims with His put offs, to make His children more earnest, to whet up their spirits, and that they may send up more and yet more honorable prayers after Him, that they may cry more earnestly, strive more mightily, and wrestle more importunately with God.......God sometimes seems to draw back, but it is only that we may press the more on. God seems to be silent, and Heaven seems to be shut against us, yet let us not cast off prayer; but mend prayer, pray more affectionately, more fervently... then mercy will come, an comfort will come, and deliverance will come.
4. God delays, and puts off, His people many times, that He may make a fuller discovery of themselves to themselves. Few Christians see themselves, and understand themselves.......when the fire is put under a pot, the scum appears: so when God delays a poor soul, oh how does the scum of pride, murmuring, quarrelling, distrust, impatience, despair, discover itself in the soul of a poor creature? God's delays are as a looking glass in which God gives His people to see their own faults.Psalm 78:11-12
5. God delays and puts off his people to enhance, to raise the price of mercy, the price of deliverance. We usually set the highest price, the greatest value on something we obtain with great difficulty. What we dearly buy, we highly prize. When a delayed mercy comes......it endears the heart to God more than any other mercy a man enjoys.
6.God delays His people that he may pay them home His own coin. Thou has put off God from day to day, month to month, yea,from year to year; and therefore if God put thee off from day to day, or from year to year, has thou any cause to complain? Surely no. Thou has often put off the motions of His Spirit, the directions of His word, the offers of His grace, the entreaties of His Son; and therefore what can be more just than God should delay thee for a time, and put thee off for a season who has delayed Him, and put Him off days without number? If God serve thee as thou has served Him, then thou has no cause to complain.
7. The Lord delays His people that Heaven may be the more sweet to them at last. Here they meet with many put offs and delays, but in heaven they shall never meet with one delay, here many times they call and cry, and can get no answer, here they knock, and yet the door of grace and mercy opens not to them, but in heaven they shall have mercy at the first word, at the first knock.
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
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