7 Ways to Cope with Delay in Your Faith Journey

Emmanuel Abimbola

Emmanuel Abimbola

Contributing Writer
Updated Feb 14, 2024
7 Ways to Cope with Delay in Your Faith Journey

Have you ever found yourself standing at the crossroads of your faith journey, staring at the signposts of delays? Well, fear not, fellow travelers, for in these detours lie the hidden gems of growth and resilience.

Navigating delays in our faith journey can be akin to waiting for a train that's running a tad late. It's not always the most comfortable experience, and impatience can start knocking on the door of our hearts. However, just like a delayed train brings with it unexpected moments and encounters, so does our spiritual journey during delays.

Delays are necessary for building resilience into the fabric of our faith. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." This wisdom serves as a comforting companion when delays threaten to derail our plans.

We must understand that as we traverse the landscape of our faith journey, encountering delays is an opportunity for self-reflection and introspection. It's a chance to align our desires with God's timing, acknowledging that His plans may not always align with our hurried expectations.

However, Romans 8:28 offers solace in this, assuring us that "all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."

Understand that delays are not roadblocks; they are stepping stones. They provide us with the gift of time, a precious commodity often overlooked in our fast-paced lives. Psalm 27:14 encourages us to "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" During delays, we learn the art of waiting with purpose, trusting that God's timing is impeccable.

So, the next time delays greet you on your faith journey, remember that it's an invitation to embrace the scenic detours, savor the unexpected moments, and grow in the quiet spaces between "now" and "next." Our faith journey isn't a race against time; it's a walk hand-in-hand with the Creator of time.

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Woman waiting patiently, leaning on her arms and looking out a window.

Understanding Delays in Our Faith Journey

Delays in our faith journey within a Christian context can be likened to the unexpected pauses, detours, and seemingly prolonged waiting periods that punctuate the pilgrimage of believers.

These delays, often contrary to our timelines and expectations, serve as pivotal moments of testing, refinement, and spiritual growth. In essence, they are the hallowed spaces where our faith is intricately woven with threads of endurance, patience, and trust in the divine plan.

Take Abraham, for instance, who received the promise of a son but had to endure years of waiting before Isaac was born. Joseph, in his colorful coat, faced the delay of betrayal and imprisonment before ascending to a position of influence in Egypt. Moses was called to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land but experienced the delay of wandering in the wilderness for forty years.

These biblical examples resonate with the essence of delays in our faith journey. They teach us that delays are not synonymous with denials but rather represent divine pauses that shape our character and refine our faith.

Abraham's trust in God's promise, Joseph's resilience in the face of adversity, and Moses' steadfast leadership during the wilderness years highlight that delays, when viewed through the lens of faith, are the transformative chapters in our spiritual narrative.

Perspective matters also; it transforms delays from frustrating intermissions into sacred interludes. It prompts us to adopt the words of Isaiah 40:31, "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." So, instead of resenting delays, we are called to embrace them as divine appointments, recognizing that the wait is not in vain but a preparation for what lies ahead.

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Man at work looking at his watch

Why Do We Experience Delays in Our Faith Journey?

Imagine you're playing this super cool video game called "Life," and God's the game designer. He's got this epic plan for each of us, like a wild adventure map. But here's the kicker: His timing is like no other. Sometimes, he hits the pause button, and we're like, "Wait, what's going on?"

Why does God press pause? It's like He's tuning our hearts and shaping our character. Imagine you're baking cookies. The waiting part is tough, right? But that time in the oven makes them perfect. God's delays are like that oven time for us—making us stronger (and sweeter) in His plan.

God sees the big picture while we're stuck in a snapshot. We might want things ASAP, but God's timing is top-notch. He's got this master plan, and every delay is like a plot twist that makes the story even cooler.

So, when life hits the brakes, don't stress! It's God's way of working some behind-the-scenes magic. He's got your back, and in the end, you'll look back and see how those delays were plot twists in your adventure with God. Trust Him, stay hopeful, and remember: delays might be frustrating, but they're just part of the epic journey God's got planned for you!

Alright, let's talk about how to handle those unexpected timeouts in our Christian journey. When life decides to throw delays our way, we've got some rad tools in our kit to cope and even thrive in the waiting game. 

Let's check them out:

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praying hands in a pile of unity, prayers for justice

1. Prayer Power-Up

Do you know the hotline to God? Yeah, prayer! When delays hit, it's like a direct call to the Almighty. Pour out your heart, share your worries, and let God know what's up. Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Don't hold back on that prayer party!

2. Flip the Perspective Switch

It's all about seeing delays as opportunities. Instead of feeling stuck, look at it like a chance to learn, grow, and become an even more awesome version of yourself. So, turn that delay into a cool plot twist in your faith adventure!

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bible reading plan

3. Surround Yourself with Squad Support

When delays hit, don't go solo. Call in your faith family! Share your struggles, chat with your Christian friends, and let the squad lift you up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 puts it this way: "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed." Your crew's got your back, and together, you can face any delay.

4. Dive into the Word of God

The Bible is like our superhero guidebook. When delays mess with your plans, flip open the pages and soak in the wisdom. Psalms, Proverbs, and stories of heroes like David and Esther are packed with encouragement. It's like getting a boost of spiritual energy—try it, and you'll feel the difference!

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Empty goals' list

5. Stay Positive, Stay Patient

Patience might feel like the slowest superpower ever, but it's a game-changer. James 5:7 says, "Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it until it receives the early and the late rains." Like a farmer waiting for crops, let patience work its magic in your life.

6. Set Mini-Goals for Growth

Use delay time to crush personal goals. Whether it's learning a new skill, diving into a cool book, or volunteering, set mini-goals that align with your bigger purpose. Turn the waiting room into a training ground for the epic adventures God's got planned for you.

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hand of God touching planet earth

7. Trust the Grand Designer

Last but not least, trust God's design. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God has "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Even if delays feel like detours, remember, God's got the ultimate map. Trust that His plan is way better than anything we could come up with.

So there you have it—The Christian Delay Survival Guide! Keep praying, flipping perspectives, leaning on your squad, diving into the Bible, staying patient, setting growth goals, and trusting the Grand Designer. You'll not only cope but conquer those delays like a faith-filled superhero!


Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Oleksandr Bushko

Emmanuel Abimbola headshotEmmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.

Originally published Monday, 12 February 2024.