When God allows a crisis into your life, He doesn’t solve it immediately. He lets it go on for a while because he wants to see if you’re really serious about seeking him. If God answered your prayers immediately, you’d begin to think God was a big vending machine: put in a prayer, pull out whatever you need.
I can’t tell you how many people say, “Rick, I am praying for a financial miracle in my life. I am so in debt and I’m praying for a financial miracle.” I want to say, “Did you get in debt supernaturally?” The truth is no. You worked hard at it. You didn’t use your money wisely.
Why should God just bail you out? If God just instantly bailed you out of your financial crisis, then tomorrow you’d go out and overspend again. You wouldn’t learn discipline, or money management, or wisdom, or persistence. God is not just going to bail you out of the debt you got yourself into. He will help you get out of debt, but he also wants to build your character.
If you’re in a crisis right now, hang in there! Don’t give up. The problems you have in your life didn’t get those overnight. You may have worked years getting yourself into this mess. You have a lot of ingrained patterns, bad responses, wrong habits, and wrong ways of responding that have built up over the years. So God won’t remove those all at once. It’s like peeling an onion. He takes off one layer at a time.
—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional
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