“Abraham was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.” Genesis 12:4b
“Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old?’” Genesis 17:17a
Twenty-five years. From the time God promised to make Abram a nation until the day Isaac was born was twenty-five years. Joseph received a dream from God that his father, mother, and brothers would bow down to him. At least twenty years later—after being sold into slavery, serving Potiphar’s house, spending fourteen years in prison, being elevated to Pharoah’s court—did Joseph finally see with his physical eyes what his spiritual eyes had seen. David, after being anointed king by Samuel, spent years, many running for his life from Saul, before he wore the crown.
Usually there is a gap between the asking and the receiving, between the promise and the gift. In this gap we find faith. But it may not be an active faith. It’s a hopeful faith, an expecting faith, a waiting faith. Here, trusting God for the answer is not the issue, it’s trusting God for the timing.
Our flesh can lose heart. Can God answer? Will God answer? Why ask again? It just must be God’s will not to answer, we think. But waiting faith asks again. Waiting faith believes again. Waiting faith confesses again. God is able. He has done it before, he will do it again.
This is exactly what we see in Psalm 103. When David said “O my soul” his voice is speaking to his soul. His soul is likely discouraged. He doesn’t feel like praising. But he knows he should. He knows he must.
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Oftentimes forced praise is not a lack of spiritual maturity. It’s evidence of it. Our praise is not dictated by our circumstances or emotions. It comes from a deep place of resolve. David calls to mind the LORD’s benefits—his forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, mercy, and provision.
So in the gap between asking and receiving, remember and praise. Remember his faithfulness, praise him for his past works, and practice a waiting faith.