Promises, Promises January 30, 2011Posted by thesociallyawkwardchristian in Christianity.
The hardest part about waiting on God to fulfill His promises is not so much the waiting as it is the wondering if God ever made you any promises at all. It’s even worse when you think God is starting to fulfill them, and then BAM! Out of the blue, you’re back to square one and all God is saying is, “Wait. Wait. My timing is perfect. Another year or two.” This is the part where you (or if this has only happened to me before, I) start to wonder if God is just toying with you. You begin to wonder if God is really for you and will ever come through for you. Is God nothing more than a omnipotent tease? Of course, every Bible verse about God’s character starts popping into your head. Like Numbers 23:19 which says, “God is not a man that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.” But, it’s in this state where you’ve been so close to God’s promises that you could almost taste them only to have them taken away that you start to think, “If God were a liar, isn’t that exactly what He would say?!”
Despite our human tendency to doubt, if you’ve been raised in the Church like I have, usually those doubts morph into trying to win God’s promises as if he were Santa Claus and would give you what you want if you would just be good and not end up on the naughty list. You begin to think that if you just read your Bible more, or pray longer, or put more money in the offering plate, then God would give you what He has promised as soon as you get your act together. This mentality is a sad affront to grace and could possibly delay receiving what God has promised even longer. In Romans 4, Paul points to Abraham as a good example of how to receive God’s promises. In verses 13-14 he says, “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be heirs, faith is null and the promise is void” (emphasis mine). It’s clear from Scripture that if we try to convince God that we are ready for the promise, then what we are doing is based on the law and not on faith, and “law brings wrath…That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace” (verses 15a and 16a). I’d much rather the fulfillment of God’s promises to me depend on his character and grace than it depend on my performance. The amazing part is as long as we have trust in God’s character and grace, it will increase our own faith. As verse 20-21 says, “No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”
I firmly believe that if God got us this far, then He will keep His hand on us. He did not take us this far, just to leave us where we are. There is a reason why He has not fulfilled his promise to us yet. He still has to shape us so we will be ready to receive the promise, and He might even need to prepare the promise itself so it will be ready for us. So keep fighting. Don’t you dare give up. It’s gonna be so worth it.