Why does God wait to bless us?
“God, bless me!” is the common, sometimes subconscious prayer of nearly every heart. It can be prayed in pain, in hopes of relief from some storm in your life, or it can be prayed simply out of a deep, unfulfilled longing within you. It can be a frantic prayer, or one whispered in the night as you kneel quietly by your bedside. However it’s prayed, for whatever reason it’s prayed, every honest human heart can relate to this longing prayer.
So why does God wait to bless us sometimes? Why does he seem to holdout on us sometimes? I mean, if God is really the God he claims to be – he can do anything . . . right? He could grant the new car, heal every sickness, grant wealth, grant the perfect spouses so many keep praying for – all of the desires of our hearts could be fulfilled if God would just bless us . . . right?
As we are all aware through the process of trial and error, God does not always conform to our prayers. He doesn’t always say “Yes!” to our every request. In humility, we first need to admit that we won’t always know why God does or does not do what we want. Sometimes we just need to trust him in faith no matter what he allows or doesn’t allow.
But I think we can find some answers to “Why does God wait to bless us?” by studying Deuteronomy 7:9 (NLT) which says God “lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.”
From Deuteronomy 7:9 we can draw at least three conclusions.
God Withholds Blessings to Discourage Our Rebellion
The first conclusion we must take from Deuteronomy 7:9 is that if God is not lavishing his love on us, then we must not love him, which means obeying his commands (I John 5:3). God often waits to bless until we love him well and obey him because to do otherwise would be cruel.
If he lavished his love on a rebellious sinner, what good would that do his child, the object of his affections? He would spoil us right into an eternity in hell if he blessed us with everything we wanted and let us be content without him. He knows only he can save us from the consequences of our sins, which is death (Romans 6:23); therefore, if he let us be content without him and in disobedience to him, we would never turn to him and be saved.
In addition to this, God knows that if we do not have him as the Lord of our lives, we will simply turn every blessing he gives us into an idol. Only when we are rightly aligned with God will we be full enough to not turn good things into ultimate things. When we are without God, we are searching for a replacement god. Thus God often times withholds good blessings because he knows we will worship them rather than him. God loves us too much to bless us with idols, thus he waits to bless us until we love him.
Of course in many ways God does bless us even while we are living in active sin (Romans 5:8, Matthew 5:45). But if you are living a sinful lifestyle, you can be assured God is withholding many massive blessings he desires to give you.
God Waits to Bless Us Until We Love Him Because Loving Him Is the Blessing
Why does God wait to bless us? The second conclusion we can make from Deuteronomy 7:9 when answering this question is that to love and obey the Lord is the real blessing in itself. Perhaps he “lavishes his love on those who love him and obey his commands” because that’s the nature of loving and obeying God. Perhaps God has not commanded us to love him for his good, but for our good.
As it says in Jeremiah 32:39 (NLT), “And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.” The greatest gift God could ever give us was to create us to worship him. He knows he’s the best thing ever. He’s not being prideful, he’s just being honest. As C.S. Lewis said,
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
Therefore God waits to bless us until we love and obey him because loving and obeying him is the blessing he always desires to give.
No relationship, worldly position, or blessing of any sort can fill us like a love-relationship with God. He’s the greatest. Nothing else could be greater. Therefore, he knows he can fill us the most, he alone can fill us the best. He would never make us for a lesser god. He knows only he would do for his beloved.
It says in Psalms 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” He will give us our heart’s deepest desires when we delight in him because that is our heart’s deepest desire – to delight in the Lord.
When we turn completely to him, we will find that we have no unmet desire – “. . . for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. . . . For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength,” (Philippians 4: 11-13). Out of his love for us, God made us to need one thing above every other thing: himself.
God Waits to Bless Us Until His Blessings Will Truly Benefit Us
Although God himself is the greatest blessing God desires to give, this does not mean he is the only blessing he gives. God does bless his people with good things like spouses, money, food, houses, clothes, friendships, restful vacations, and the list could go on forever.
So why does God wait to bless us with these types of things? Deuteronomy 7:9 says God always lavishes his love on those who love him. Therefore if you really are loving and obeying God and yet you still do not have what you are specifically asking for, the only reason left is that to bless you with that specific request would be unloving.
God promises to bless his children with good gifts (Matthew 7:11), but only God truly knows what will be good for us. God promises to lavish his love on us, but only he knows what will be loving for each one of us in our specific context. Love is not doing what someone wants. Love is doing what is best for someone no matter the cost to yourself or the person you love.
Imagine how cruel it would be if God always answered our every prayer. What if God answered the prayer of every high school student who prayed that he or she will marry this specific person? What if God always gave you the job you thought you wanted? What if God always said “yes” even when doing so would cause you to endure so much pain that you never could have expected because you can’t see into the future like God?
God often times waits to bless us because what we think will be a blessing will actually end up being a curse to us. For example: You probably won’t know in high school what kind of spouse would be best for you, thus in love God kindly often times does not answer these high school prayers.
God only blesses us with things that will benefit us. Therefore if you are not living in sin and you really love God and yet you don’t have something you keep asking God for, the safest conclusions is that what you are asking for would not be good for you right now.
You can trust God. He always has your best interest in mind. Ask him what would need to change in you so that what you are seeking would be beneficial. For example, often times people pray for a spouse so hard and yet don’t get one because they are not ready to be married. Ask God why you’re not ready. What is it in you that would ruin your marriage if God gave it to you right now? Sometimes, when we repent of something in ourselves through his grace, it frees God to bless us with a gift he’s been wanting to give us all along.
Ultimately, God wants only the best for his children, and he knows he’s the best. God wants only what will never fail for his children, and he knows only he will never fail us. God wants only the greatest love for his children, and he knows only he is perfect and full of the greatest love.
Therefore God waits to bless until the blessing will draw us closer to him.