Patient in affliction

Some people get away with a lot for a long time. And year after year, as prayers regarding the situation go unanswered, it’s easy to wonder why.

If you are in this situation, you are in good company. Noah built an ark while the partying went on around him. Mordecai loyally supported King Xerxes, even saved him from an assassination, and Haman, not Mordecai, received the king’s council and attention. Remember David, Israel’s hero who defeated her enemies only to spend years running from cave to cave with King Saul in pursuit? And let’s not forget Joseph, who spent three years in jail while Potiphar’s wife went about her life.   

Why does God allow some people to get away with so much for so long?

It isn’t that God doesn’t see. Jesus said, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17). 

God knows. 

He sees the sins. He sees those sorrowing over the sin they see too. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6).    

In 2 Peter 3:9 Peter explains that God is not slow to bring about justice. He’s patient, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 

The loving, omniscient God sees a glimmer and waits. He sends warnings and messages and testifiers of truth, because he’s after repentance. 

God’s goal should be our prayer. We pray for transformation in the form of changed hearts, hearts inclined to do God’s will. And then we wait. God will have his way. Look how it ended for Noah and Mordecai and David and Joseph. God provided and protected them while those who opposed God’s ways came to nothing. 

Stay the course. Walk with God. Pray for change and persevere. And don’t miss the ways God is supporting and strengthening you even as you wait.   

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land” (Psalm 37:7-9).

Amber Albee Swenson has authored four books, writes an occasional devotional blog, and is a regular contributor to several Christian organizations. In 2011 she started speaking to women with the intent of bringing the Bible to life in tangible, applicable ways.

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