30 Days to Coping with Delay

This article is designed to create a better understanding of how to cope with delay. For the next 30 days read the questions and allow them to spark deeper personal reflection and life change.

Everyone is waiting for something. An answer to prayer, a change of situation, or the removal of difficulties all create stress the longer you wait. When the clock is ticking and frustration abounds, how do you cope with delay and find peace instead of panic, contentment instead of confusion?

  1. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick….” What words describe how you feel when your hopes are deferred and delayed?
  2. Read Genesis 12:2–4 and 17:15–17. How soon would you expect God’s promise to Abraham of a son to be fulfilled? How does this challenge your expectation of God fulfilling promises in your life?
  3. Read Genesis 16. Abraham and Sarah had trouble waiting and took matters into their own hands. The result was Ishmael. What unexpected consequences have you experienced by not being willing to wait?
  4. Read Hebrews 11:12. Why does God wait until Abraham and Sarah were “as good as dead” to fulfil His promise? What does this teach you about God’s ways?
  5. Read Hebrews 6:16. What response to delay is Abraham commended for? How do you usually respond to delays in your life?
  6. Read Genesis 29:20. Jacob waited seven years to marry Rachel. How does Jacob’s love for Rachel make the delay inconsequential? How do you relate to Jacob’s experience?
  7. Read Genesis 37:2 and 41:46. How long was it from the time Joseph was sold into slavery until he entered the king’s service? What delays in achieving positions have you experienced?
  8. Read Exodus 7:7. Moses was 40 when he fled into the desert. How old was Moses before God spoke to him? What are some times you’ve experienced God’s silence?
  9. In Exodus 32:1 Moses delayed in returning to the people. What does the impatience of the people lead them into? How can you avoid a similar response to delays in your life?
  10. Read 1 Samuel 1:7–15. What was Hannah’s response to the anguish of barrenness? Why should you pray when experiencing delay?
  11. Read 1 Samuel 16. As a child, David was anointed as king and then experienced years of delay and hardship as a fugitive. How did this experience shaped him as a king?
  12. Read 1 Samuel 13:9–14. Saul impatiently took matters into his own hands when the priest was delayed, with dire consequences. What are ways you can apply this to your life today?
  13. Read 1 Kings 17–18. Elijah was called to be a prophet in a needy time and God sent him away for more than two years. How did this delay fortify Elijah for the showdown on Mount Carmel?
  14. Read Job 19. Job went through severe testing, trial, and false accusation. In verse 2 he asked, “How long?” How should you respond to a delay in being vindicated when falsely accused?
  15. Read Luke 2–3. Although Jesus had great wisdom as a child, how much time passed before He began His ministry? Why do you suppose there was this delay?
  16. Read John 11:1–6. Mary and Martha faced a heart-wrenching delay when Jesus didn’t arrive in time to save Lazarus. What was achieved by Jesus’ delay?
  17. Read Luke 15:20. The prodigal son’s father waited for him to come home. What does this teach about how God waits for His stray children?
  18. Read Galatians 1:16–19. After Paul met God on the Damascus road, how much time passed before he began preaching? Why was it important for Paul to experience this delay before beginning his ministry?
  19. Read Hebrews 11:7 and 2 Peter 2:5. Between when God told Noah to build the ark until it was ready what else did Noah do? What does this suggest about delay?
  20. Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son….” What does this teach about God’s control of time and the timing of events in your life?
  21. Read 1 Timothy 2:5–6. Paul wrote, “This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.” Why did God delay giving the Gospel to humanity?
  22. Lamentations 3:25–26 says, “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (NIV). How are you to respond to the Lord’s delays to save?
  23. Read Isaiah 49. Throughout this chapter God says variations of, “At just the right time, I will respond to you” What are other reasons God delays?
  24. Read Psalm 75. Sometimes God delays because His plans for you involve processes in other’s lives as well. What is your response to this idea?
  25. Acts 1:7 says, “He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.’” What attitude does this require from you?
  26. Read Romans 8:28. How does this verse assure you that even times of delay are for your good?
  27. Read Romans 11:36. What is one ultimate purpose God has when He schedules delays for you?
  28. Read Hebrews 13:5. What comfort does this verse give you to help cope with delay?
  29. Read James 5:7–8. What do these verses suggest as to God’s purposes for delaying Christ’s return?
  30. Read 2 Peter 3. There is a delay in the return of Christ. What reasons are given in verse 9? According to verse 14 what should you focus on while you wait?