Joseph was sold into slavery and thrown into prison after a remarkable dream about being honored by his brothers. That dream remained unanswered for years. It looked bad. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. (Ps 105:19) I think that means that God had a picture of what Joseph looked like in that dream. He looked down at Joseph in prison and said, “Nope, not yet.” He waited. When Joseph finally looked like the man in the dream, when he developed into who he should be, it was time to set him free.
I can see that happening in my own life. I understand why God didn’t answer prayers years ago. I wasn’t ready. So now I look at my promises and ask Him, what do You need to do in me to make me ready? What should I be doing now that I’m not? Some things God has to do. Some things He’s waiting on us to do. There’s no right or wrong length of time, there’s just obedience. It’s how we grow and mature. The word of the Lord testing us sounds scary, but it’s the best thing for us.