Adapted from a sermon by Pastor Dele Oyeleru of TCBC, Ejigbo
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives…….That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jer 29:4, 10-11).
The Israelites were asking God for liberation from captivity in Babylon yet God’s response was that He would deliver them from captivity after seventy years.
God asks us to believe that He cares for us even when His response to our requests is not the exact thing we asked for.
God’s answers to our requests aren’t always the exact thing we asked for, but we can trust Him and believe Him when He says that His plans for us are for peace and not our destruction. Paul asked God to remove the thorn in his flesh, God responded, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 12:9).
The saints in Revelation chapter 6 asked for God to avenge their blood, God’s response was to give them white robes and ask them to wait till the rest of their brethren were killed.
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled (Rev 6:9-11).
When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for the next two days. He wasn’t uncaring, He already knew what He was going to do (John 11:11).
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha……Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick…..When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again………and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep……..Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already……. Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go (John 11:1,3,6,7,11, 17, 38-44)
God knows what He is going to do in your situation and He says His plans are good and of peace. Let God’s will be done regarding your petitions.