6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Wow imagine being there for that event. I am not surprised the disciples worked tirelessly to fulfil Jesus’ final face to face instructions. However, I doubt anybody could have predicted a 2000 year plus delay in Jesus’s return. Even the disciples thought at least one of them would still be alive to see His return.
This has led me to think about the role delayed or failed expectations play in our Christian life and how this affects our faith. These are the delays in answered prayers or the trials of life that we expect to be protected from but have had to endure instead. We have all experienced this but for some these are seemingly soul-destroying lifechanging situations that challenge the notion of a loving God. Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 as being ‘perplexed but not to despair’ and credits the ‘power of God’ as stopping him from being crushed.
This is my challenge to you for today, without minimising your own personal difficulties spend some time praying about how you might support another person through their painfully delayed or unanswered prayers. It can be as simple as texting somebody and saying, ‘I am praying for you’.
Lord, sustain us through difficult times of unanswered prayers and show us how to support others in their time of need.
Written by David Newton