Imagine that this year, you start a building a new house or ministry centre. You have a word from God. You have miraculous financial provision.
The Holy Spirit is moving and you have favour with local government for permits. People gather to the project and help enthusiastically.
You complete the foundations and have a party.
But then, problems arise:
- Your neighbours file complaints to the government, and go to the media
- Your building permits are revoked
- Your bank withdraws the finance
- Everybody involved in the project loses heart and becomes busy with their personal lives
17 years later…. It’s now 2031 and the foundations are covered in dirt and moss. What would you feel like after this length of time?
A Delay in the Fulfilment of God’s Promise
At the close of Ezra’s 4th chapter, 17 years have passed by since Judah began rebuilding the temple and had the foundations party. (Ezra 3:10-13)
The project’s start was glorious. But now, their enemies have wreaked havoc and construction is at a permanent standstill. The Government of Persia has withdrawn its approval and financial support. And the people of Judah have given up on the temple and are busy with their own home improvements. 
Perhaps right now, you can think of some area of God’s promise for your life and ministry, in which there has been a delay.
It may be a month, a year, or many years.
You heard God clearly, you had prophecies, you had confirmation, and you had the support and witness of leaders. There was a move of God and miraculous things happened.
But now, there is a hold up and you are not sure what is going on. You wonder what God is doing, or even if you heard clearly in the first place.
Why Does God Allow a “Frustration Stage”?
One of the great themes of the Bible is that God-given vision goes through a time of being tried and tested. There is the word of the Lord and the birth of the vision, and then comes a season of hardship when fulfilment of the vision seems impossible.
Take Abraham, for example. God spoke to him and said, your descendants will be as the stars of the sky. Then, He waited until Abraham and Sarah were past the age of child-bearing before giving them Isaac.
During the time lapse between the birth of God’s prophetic promise and the fulfilment of His word, there is often a frustration stage. It has also been called a ‘wilderness season.’ You may know it as ‘the dark night of the soul.’
A mountain of opposition and impossibility stands in the way.
The Purpose of the Frustration Stage
With God, a delay is not permanent; it is a step along the way to the fulfillment of His prophetic promise.
Some of God’s purposes being outworked during a frustration stage are:
- We (and others) realise that we are not going to fulfil the vision in our own ability
- God gets the glory when the promise comes to pass
- We learn about the faithfulness of God during the long haul and the trial
- Our character is purified and matured
- God is working in the background to line up people and circumstances for His timing to be fulfilled
It is vital that we do not give up during this phase.
The enemy’s plan in that we get stuck – that we start to perceive ourselves as victims and allow bitterness or resentment to poison our minds. God’s plan is to lead us through to the fulfilment of His prophetic promise in victory.
God has not Forgotten
Into Judah’s place of waiting and frustration, God raises up two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, to declare to the leaders and people that ‘God has not forgotten you.’
The name Zechariah means, ‘Jehovah remembers.’
What about you, today? Do you have a dream, a prophecy, a commission from God? Is there something you are waiting on? Whatever this means to you today, your Father remembers.
And God’s word through Zechariah is:
‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” Then the word of the LORD came to me: ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it.’’ (Zechariah 4:6-10)
God is saying, ‘this work started by my Spirit, and it’s going to continue and be completed by my Spirit.’
And so, encouraged by the Word of the Lord, with no clear way politically in sight, by faith, Zerabbabel and the people of Judah recommence building the temple once again.
History is against them, their enemies are against them, but the Word of the Lord is for them.
And God’s Word will prevail.
What prophetic promise is God reminding you of today, that He wants to breathe life into once more?
 Search ‘define frustration’, Google.  See Ezra 4, Haggai chapter 1
© 2014 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family