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Daily Devotional | Justice Delayed Daily Devotional | Justice Delayed

Daily Devotional | Justice Delayed


Although Thanksgiving Day was first proclaimed as a national holiday in the United States by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, its roots go back to the first harvest celebration observed by the pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. They had begun in Nottinghamshire, England, and moved to the Netherlands. After twelve years, they relocated again to Plymouth. The reason for these moves was to worship without fear of persecution. Like Paul’s, their mission was affected by political forces beyond their control.

Although Paul initially waited only five days before his first audience with Felix, the governor adjourned the trial without making a decision. One reason for the delay was Paul’s use of the legal system to his advantage by arguing that key witnesses in his case were not present (v. 19). But Paul’s case was delayed even further after Felix invited him to speak about his faith in Christ (v. 24). The moral tone of Paul’s message, with its warning of coming judgment, so alarmed Felix that he abruptly ended the audience (v. 25). This delay was motivated by a combination of guilt and greed. No doubt, Felix’s history of marital infidelity made him uncomfortable. He also hoped that Paul would offer him a bribe (v. 26).

God used these unworthy motives to create an opportunity for Paul to share the gospel. During the two-year hiatus, Felix would often send for Paul and talk with him. Paul’s prospects did not improve when Porcius Festus, the new governor of Judea, replaced Felix. Instead of deciding Paul’s case or choosing to release him, Felix left Paul in prison.

>> What about you? Are you feeling stuck in God’s waiting room today? While it is no doubt frustrating, these times of delay are not necessarily a deviation from God’s plan. Trust God’s hand to set the next stage of your life. Let Him work in and through you, even during your waiting time.

Pray with Us

Following the prompt of today’s devotional, we commit this day to prayer, even when it seems like we are in God’s “waiting room.” Lord, use the time when nothing seems to happen for your purposes. All our days are yours!

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

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