Why Does God Allow Frustration And Delays?

Why the Delay, LordFrustration: ‘the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfillment of something.’ [1]

Imagine that this year, you start building a new house or ministry center. You have a word from God. You have miraculous financial provision.

The Holy Spirit is moving and you have favor 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 neighbors 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 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 The Government of Persia has withdrawn its approval and financial support.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. [2]

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 fulfillment 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) realize that we are not going to fulfill 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 is 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 fulfillment 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, Zerubbabel 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?


[1] Search ‘define frustration’, Google. [2] See Ezra 4, Haggai chapter 1

Related Posts:

Why Your Anticipation is Powerful

How the Oil of the Holy Spirit is Flowing (Zech 4:6 – Your Work is not Wasted, it is Being Rewarded)

God is Using Delays for His Glory (Prophetic Word)

© 2014  Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family

20 thoughts on “Why Does God Allow Frustration And Delays?”

  1. Thank you Helen for this post. Struggling with delays for 3 years now but still hanging in there although I do tell God every now and then I am “not playing anymore”. Financially long term I can see light at end of tunnel although short term I am about to lose some forms of stable employment for about the 3rd time in 1 and a half years. I am asking God lately am I operating out of some curse or are you moving me on?

    Other areas wise it is going to have to be God cause how I thought how it was going to happen has not worked 🙂

    Thanks for your post . …. Although I try to hear from God for myself a lot of these type of prophetic posts keep the faith levels up.

    P’s when it all comes to fruition you will be one of the first to know!

  2. Hi Arie, sorry to hear of your ongoing struggles. May your faith continue to stay buoyant, and I look forward to hearing of the manifestation of God’s promises for your life!
    Re a ‘curse’ my experience is that there are times Holy Spirit leads us to identify something (e.g. generational) that needs breaking, in which case prayer ministry can be helpful. https://www.enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2012/09/11/prayer-ministry-ideas-and-guidelines/
    Having covered that, it is a case of moving on in the sure knowledge that every curse is taken care of at the cross and His blessing is yours. (Gal 3:13) In abundance!
    May fresh employment open up for you that is better than you could have imagined. 🙂

  3. Thank you for this encouragement. I’m in the midst of a “Only God can do it” situation right now. As eager as I am, I often overwhelmed by the odds that are stacked against me. But, I do have a question: How do you admonish and encourage someone who (although they have tried to come against and overcome it) continually fights the need to act upon a “private” urge? Their public life is to be admired but, they worry that what they’re fighting against secretly, will upend their purpose in God. It appears to me to be a “thorn in the side” situation.

    1. Hi Kimberly, I’m glad that you are encouraged by the blog, and pray for breakthrough, wisdom and faith for you right now, in the situations you are facing.
      Re your question, I believe an important part of the journey is to find safe accountability (e.g. leader, counselor) where the person can be honest and transparent and accountable to someone.
      Eph 5 has some important words of wisdom, ‘Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.’… so bringing the struggle into the light (transparency) and into a place where there is also faith for overcoming is very important. Yes re the ‘thorn in the side’, the enemy knows our weaknesses and will seek to exploit them, but we always have the means to overcome… choosing those means is up to us. 🙂

  4. Thank you for your encouraging teaching on why God allows delays, its confirmed what God has been speaking to me.. I’m currently in a place which I have never been in before: I have no work and have little desire for any that are currently available. I used to have a very busy, stressful and satisfying job for nearly twenty years, then moved on and completed my Master of Counselling. I get the sense that there is something else for me and my husband coming, however, I don’t know what. He preaches regularly but has no desire to be a ‘pastor’, and has also left his stressful job to retrain. God seems to be developing the ‘seer’ in me, and I’m praying He will give me more prophetic words for others. Thank you for your teaching and I encourage you to keep being faithful to Him. ‘

    1. Hi Michele, thanks for your note and encouragement. 🙂 It sounds as though you are in a space of transition. God will make the way clear as you navigate through this process with wisdom, faith and godly leadership.
      Have you come across these articles?
      Praying you are richly blessed in revelation, wisdom and grace.

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