We all like to have things our way. It’s a natural and normal thing that comes with being human. It’s not necessarily the best, safest, or healthiest thing for us. God has a better way. His way. But sometimes people just can’t tell us differently or convince us otherwise: our way is the best way! It’s this stubborn, inextinguishable belief that’s a huge part of the reason why we like having our way.

As you know full well by now,  things don’t always go the way we planned. It’s a real downer and a source of frustration, disappointment, anger, and tears. But that’s life. And we find a way to go on.

But when things don’t pan out the way God said they would, then that becomes a really really difficult thing for me. I’m a believer. I take God at His Word. When He makes me a promise and I take Him up on that promise, I fully expect Him to do what He said He would do. And when He doesn’t, I go through a serious time of reflection and questioning. Is God’s Word true or not? Of course it is, silly! Then why didn’t it work?

I like to have answers. Sometimes, the answers are easy. Sometimes hard to fathom or digest. Sometimes there aren’t any answers. At least, not right now. Maybe down the road. Maybe never. But whether I understand the reasons or not, I’m still a believer. God expects me to continue believing Him. Continue serving Him. Continue praising Him. And since I’m a preacher, God expects me to continue preaching the Word of truth and life.

The Biblical characters were very much like you and me. They were, in fact, totally human. Just like you and me. Life didn’t always pan out for them too. How they responded and dealt with the mess they were faced with  can be a compass or a lighthouse to get us back on track with the Lord. So, from beyond the grave, as it were, the dead speak and show us how to continue being faithful when it looks as if God isn’t.


Acts 3 tells the story of a beggar who was healed at the Temple. Instead of telling you the story myself, I’m gonna let the Bible do it this time. Take a trip back in time and see yourself as this beggar. You really can’t appreciate the full range of his emotions—his despair, hope, and finally uncontained joy—unless you put yourself in his sandals.

Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service.  (2)  As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple.  (3)  When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.  (4)  Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” (5)  The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money.  (6)  But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”  (7)  Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened.  (8)  He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them (Acts 3:1-8).

I worked for a time with handicapped people in a group home. It was there that I gained a new-found, and now life-long, appreciation for everything handicapped people go through. There would be an occasional complaint, but for the most part, they just concentrated on doing the things that we able-bodied people take for granted and do so easily and thoughtlessly. Everything they did, like getting dressed, took a lot of time and effort. But they just kept on plugging away until they did what needed to be done.

Life never really panned out for this lame beggar in our Scripture text. He was born with a deformity in his feet and ankles that kept him from walking. He lived without the hope of healing, at least the medical kind. For the rest of his life, from birth, he was stuck with having to be carried about everywhere he wanted to go. (Why did it take sooo long to invent the wheelchair?) He lived with the stigma of being a beggar. Do you realize how incredibly humbling and humiliating it is to beg? Yet, this fellow did it everyday except the Sabbath, at one of the Temple gates.

Luke tells us that he begged at the Beautiful Gate. Now the Temple had nine gates, eight of which were plated or overlaid with silver and gold. They were all gorgeous and grandiose. But the Beautiful Gate excelled the others in sheer beauty and magnificence. The doors of the gate were overlaid with Corinthian brass of the most expensive and exquisite kind that even gold and silver paled by comparison. It was the main and the largest of the Temple gates. Most of the people who went into the Temple went through this gate. So it was a busy place, and a good place, for a beggar to beg.

What amazes me about this beggar, like the handicapped people of our day, is the guy’s daily routine. His determination. His perseverance. He forced himself to get to the Temple every day, except Sabbath, to beg. He could’ve felt sorry for himself, stayed home, and pine away. Give up on life. Hate God. Turn away from Him. Just wither away and die. It’s tough, really really tough, living everyday when you haven’t got a hope for a better life. But the guy just kept on going, living life the best he could.

But, far and away, what’s even more amazing to me about this guy is what isn’t explicitly said in Scripture. How many times did Jesus pass by this beggar and didn’t heal him? How many times did the apostles do likewise? Jesus was the great Miracle Worker. The renowned Healer. Everybody in Jerusalem knew Him. Everybody recognized Him. Jesus healed gobs and gobs of people throughout Palestine. Even in Jerusalem. He went to the Temple gobs of time. He even healed some folks in the Temple! And some of these folks were lame (Matthew 21:14, John 5:1-9, 9:1-7)! Do you seriously think this beggar was ignorant of Jesus? Not on your life! THIS GUY HAD ONE HOPE OF HEALING AND THAT WAS JESUS. YET, FOR ALL THE TIMES THAT JESUS PASSED HIM JESUS NEVER HEALED HIM!

How disheartening is that? This just isn’t fair! Jesus healed lots of folks, but not me! Why not me? How do you answer these questions? How do you explain the fact that Jesus never healed him when He had the chance to do it?

Like I said at the start, you really can’t feel this guy’s pain unless you put yourself in his sandals. Maybe some of you already have his sandals on. You’ve lived with the pain and the disease for years. You’ve said your prayers. You’ve cried your endless rivers of tears. You’ve held tightly to the hope of healing. Only to have them dashed, time after time, when Jesus passed you by and didn’t heal you like He healed so many others, even others in your very same condition. How do you go on with life without the bitterness?Disappointment. Resentment. Criticism. Complaint. Disillusionment. Hopelessness. Self-pity. Depression. And despair. It’s tough to go on!

But you’ve got to do it! You’ve got to find a way to get past the heartache of unanswered prayer, the pain of an unhealed disease. Somehow, this beggar found a way to do that. He cried himself to bed that night after Jesus passed him by. He got up the next morning. And by some miracle of persistence, he got his clothes on, ate, then went back to the Temple to beg. HE DIDN’T LET UNANSWERED PRAYER STOP HIM FROM LIVING. STOP HIM FROM GOING ON. STOP HIM FROM BELIEVING IN GOD! Look at verse 8 once again. What did the guy do after he was healed? He praised God, loudly I’m sure, with excitement and enthusiasm. People who’ve given up on God, who hate God, who are mad at God, don’t praise or acknowledge God. The fact that this beggar went into the Temple, praising God, tells me he was faithful and true to God even when God didn’t heal him.

Do you see what I’m trying to say? WHEN THINGS DON’T PAN OUT DON’T GIVE UP! PERSEVERE! KEEP ON GOING! You may not understand why God didn’t heal you. Why He hasn’t healed you. You’re tempted to think you’re an exception. He’s never gonna heal you. It’s not His will to heal you. A thousand questions, doubts, and thoughts race through you mind. The devil’s talking to you, trying to keep you stuck in bed and let the world, let life, pass you by. Friends, he’ll rob you of your faith, your hope, your joy, your strength, your life…if you let him. DON’T LET HIM! HOLD ON TO YOUR HOPE. AS LONG AS YOU’RE ALIVE, AS LONG AS JESUS IS ALIVE, YOU’VE GOT HOPE!  How do I know that? Because you’ve got His Word! Heaven and earth may pass away, but My Word will never pass away (Matthew 24:35).

Granted, we all have a time to die. When it’s time to die it’s time to die and no promise of healing , no amount of faith and praying, will keep you from dying. Death’s promised too and that’s one promise that God’s gotta keep too (Hebrews 9:27). But I’m not talking about the promise of dying. I’m talking about the promise of healing. God gave you His promise of healing (Exodus 15:26, Mark 16:18, James 5:14-15). If you don’t want it or don’t believe it, that’s between you and God. So, at this point, I’m not talking to you. But if you’re believing for healing, if you once believed for healing, if you want to believe for healing, then believe and don’t give up believing. GOD MADE YOU A PROMISE AND YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BELIEVE AND EXPECT HIM TO KEEP IT NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE YOUR SITUATION MAY BE! GOD IS NO LIAR! HE WILL KEEP HIS WORD IF YOU HOLD FAST TO THE END AND BELIEVE!

In hindsight, knowing everything we know, knowing how history later panned out and Peter eventually healed this beggar; we can say IT WAS A MATTER OF TIMING. GOD HAS A TIME FOR EVERYTHING TO HAPPEN. HE HAS AN EXACT TIME FOR HEALING. AND UNTIL THAT RIGHT AND PERFECT TIME COMES YOU’RE NOT GONNA GET HEALED. NOT YET. BUT DON’T WORRY! DON’T BE DISHEARTENED! DON’T GIVE UP HOPE! CHIN UP! CHEER UP! GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISE! May God bless you, dear saint of God, and fill you with all hope, grace, and peace in believing.


One of the hardest things to do in life is wait, especially when you want–no, strike that, when you need–something now. When the deadline’s come, when you’re hurting really bad, when you can’t possibly endure a moment longer, when the next step can only end in certain death; we all need answers now. We need miracles today.

I’d like to share with you a verse of Scripture that’s been of immense comfort and encouragement to me. It’s taken the grumbling and doubting out of all my waits. It’s given me the assurance that, come what may, no matter how long it takes, God will keep His Word. He will come through for me. Here’s the verse.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

1. In order to reap we must first sow.  Galatians 6:7 exhorts us, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

  • Planting comes before harvest.
  • You work before you get the paycheck.

In the spiritual realm,

  •  Praying comes before answered prayer. Matthew 7:7, Ask, and it shall be given you.
  • Praying in accordance with God’s will comes before answered prayer. 1 John 5:14-15,  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  (15)  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
  • Believing comes before answered prayer. Matthew 21:22, And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
  • Obedience comes before answered prayer. I John 3:22, And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Answered prayer requires praying in accordance with God’s will, believing, and obeying. You can’t expect an answer to prayer if you haven’t prayed, believed, or obeyed God.

So many want to reap without sowing. They want answers to prayer, healings, provisions, blessings, and a whole lot more; without having to believe or obey God. Brethren, it doesn’t work this way! If you want a healing or an answer to prayer, you’ve first got to believe and obey before you ask.

2. Because we have sown, we then have God’s promise and assurance that we shall reap.  In due season we shall reap.

There is an air of finality or certainty about this word shall. It leaves you with no room for doubt or question about what will happen after we’ve sown, prayed, believed, and obeyed: we shall reap! It’s not maybe, or perhaps, or might, or probably. God said, Shall reap.

Are you going to get your answer to prayer? Are you going to be healed? Is the money going to come? Is the loved one going to get saved? On the authority of God’s Word, the answer is Yes!

  • You shall receive. Matthew 21:22, And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
  • You shall be healed. The prayer of faith shall heal the sick and the Lord shall raise him up, James 5:15.
  • Shall be heard and shall be helped.  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him, (16) With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation, Psalm 91:15,16.

There are no doubts about it, no doubt about how it’s going to end, no doubt about what God’s going to do, no doubt about what’s going to happen to you.

How do you know you’re going to get it? How can you be confident you’re going to be manifestly healed when it isn’t manifested yet? How do you know something is going to happen when it hasn’t happened yet?

When you order something through the mail, on the internet, or on the phone, you believe you’re going to get what you ordered and paid for. You don’t even think about doubting! You know you’re going to get what you ordered. How can you be so sure you’re going to get it?

  • You’ve met the conditions: you’ve placed the order and paid for the merchandise. It works the same way in the spiritual realm with answered prayer. You’re confident about receiving the answer because you’ve met the conditions. Confidence of answered prayer, brethren, comes by meeting the conditions for answered prayer. Look at 1 John 5:14-15 again, And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  (15)  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
  • You trust the mail-order company to fill your order and send it to you; you trust the postal delivery system to deliver it to your door. You see, you’re confident in the ability and integrity of both the mail-order company and the postal delivery system to do their part and send you your order.

Now there are all kinds of questions you could raise: Is the company reliable? Are they going to gyp me? Did UPS deliver it to the wrong house? Yes, there are all kinds of questions you could ask, all kinds of doubts you could raise. But you don’t ask the questions and you don’t raise the doubts. Why? Because you believe the company’s honest and so is the post office: they’re going to get the product to you.

Can you believe God the same way? It would be mighty embarrassing for you to have faith and confidence in men that can lie and steal, but not have faith and confidence in a God who can’t lie and steal.

3. There is a time for answered prayer.  In due season we shall reap. What does due season mean? The word in the Greek means, the proper time, the right time, the appointed or ordained time. God, my friends, has an appointed time to answer prayer. When that appointed time comes, when it’s the right time, He gives you what you’ve asked of Him.

  • Sometimes you know the exact time something is going to happen. For example, you know that every Friday at noon you’ll get your paycheck. You know exactly when you’re going to get it.
  •  Sometimes you know the approximate time when something is going to happen, even though you don’t know exactly when. For example, a mother knows she’ll give birth to a baby nine months from now, but she doesn’t know exactly what day that will be.
  • Sometimes, however, you don’t know the exact or approximate time something is going to happen. In school it’s called a pop quiz. In industry it’s called a surprise inspection. In war, it’s called a surprise attack.

Look at Mark 11:24, Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Note that the Lord tells you you’ll get the answer to your prayer, but He doesn’t tell you when! Even though He doesn’t tell you when, He nevertheless guarantees you that the time will come when you will get it.

Brethren, you’ve got to leave the time in God’s hands. Don’t be disheartened or doubtful that you’ll never get what you asked God for. Be encouraged. We shall reap! That’s God’s promise to you and He won’t break it!

4. In order to reap there’s one final condition we must meet, one more thing we must do, and that is persevere or hold fast.  For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  Now the word faint simply means to get weary or tired; exhausted. It means giving up or quitting.

Quitting is easy, but you seldom, if ever, get anything good out of quitting.

  • You don’t win the race if you quit running.
  • You don’t enjoy the new house if you quit building.
  • You don’t get the veggies from the garden if you quit planting, tilling, and watering.

My friends, you don’t reap if you quit doing what’s good.

Receiving requires endurance.  Hebrews 6:11,12,15. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:  (12)  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Skip down to verse 15, And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

What does endurance mean? It means

  • to wait patiently on God.
  • to continue doing good.
  • to continue believing and confessing even when things don’t look good.
  • to not grow weary or doubtful.
  • to not give up when you’re tempted to give in and quit.
  • to continue serving God when you’re tempted to turn your back on Him.

Brethren, I know it’s hard to wait. I know the doubts and frustrations and fears that you battle. It seems so unfair, unreasonable, and hard. You don’t understand why God’s taking so long. I don’t understand either. But God is God and He can do no wrong.

We all want answers now. We want to be healed now. We want to feel good now. We want our needs met now.

But if it hasn’t happened yet, then now is not the right time for these things to happen; now is not God’s due season. God’s promise is, we shall reap in due season. If now was the right time, we would have the answer now. But we don’t have the answer now. Why?

  • It’s not because God has changed His mind.
  • It’s not because God can’t do what we’re asked Him to do.
  • It’s not because God doesn’t love us and He doesn’t want to answer our prayer.
  • It’s because now is not the due season or appointed time. Now is not the right time.

Rest assured, brethren, that there is a right time. And with each passing hour and day, that right time is coming. We’re getting closer and closer. And when that time finally comes, we shall have it. We shall receive. We shall reap.

So continue waiting, believing, and doing good. It’s just about harvest time!