Trusting God during life’s blossomless moments.
I love spring. I was so excited when our weather was in the 70s during the middle of March. I thought spring finally arrived but the weather dropped to the 50s in just a few days. I was so disappointed! I’ve been ready for winter to be over and I couldn’t believe it was fighting so hard to stay. As I took a walk in the cold weather one late afternoon, I couldn’t help but see such a clear reflection between the weather and my own life. I’ve waited countless times for God’s promises to come to pass in my life and just when I thought that at least one of them would be fulfilled- the clouds over my sky became heavy and the sunshine disappeared. My world felt cold and lonely again. I’m sure you know just the feeling. We find ourselves disillusioned so often. We had our hopes stacked so high that even the slightest wind was able to knock them to the ground. So, what do you do when you feel like God has forgotten about you? If you’re like me, you tend to embrace despair instead of faith. Lately, I’ve been thinking about God’s promises to me and I have to tell you- most of them are yet to be fulfilled. Now, I know you’re thinking I have all my life to see them fulfilled, but what about those promises that should’ve been fulfilled a long time ago? At least by my own watch. You see, the problem is that instead of grabbing a hold of God’s promises and trusting Him to bring them to pass in His own time and way, I’ve grabbed on to them but also built my own expectations about how exactly they were going to come to pass. On some occasions, I even tried manipulating certain circumstances so I could help God fulfill His promises for me. How foolish of me to act in such a way! Don’t be quick to judge me- you might’ve done it too without even noticing it. You know what that says about us? We simply just don’t trust God. I know, it’s hard not to waver in your faith during those moments when you feel like your faith is vanishing and you’re giving in to despair. Our tendency is to run somewhere in hopes of finding refuge. Where do you run to? Do you run to people? Or things? They will only offer a temporary distraction but you will sooner or later have to face your faithlessness. There are so many places where we can run to instead of facing our desperate situations and giving them over fully to God. The best way to cultivate our faith is by deepening ourselves in the Word of God. The Bible is full of God’s promises to us and it also gives us insight into what we need to do when we find ourselves running low on faith. Let’s take a look at a section from Hebrews that describes in such a plain yet powerful way the certainty of God’s promise: “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:13-20, ESV). When God makes a promise, His promise is more than just words- it contains the seal of His very essence, which is TRUTH. The enemy wants us to doubt God’s promises by perceiving them as mocking our circumstances. Think of Abraham. When God promised him that He will bless him and multiply his offspring “as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore” (see Genesis 22:17), He must’ve been baffled- he was just a sojourner, moving from place to place. Yet God changed his name from Abram to Abraham, which means “the father of a multitude of nations” (see Genesis 17:5). God’s promises are just that grand! Notice the Bible says that, “Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.” Okay, so we need to be patient when waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled in our lives. We know that, don’t we? But where does patience come from? Trials. So why get discouraged when the clouds of hardship cover up our sun? Their role is to give us the patience necessary to keep on waiting. Let’s not be like Sarah, who not just laughed at God’s promise but freely manipulated her circumstances by pushing Abraham into Hagar’s arms. She did that because she didn’t believe God could cause her to become pregnant in her old age. When we try to fulfill God’s promises our faith is also lacking, just like hers. God’s promise came to pass, Sarah ended up giving birth to Isaac, who was one of the three patriarchs of the Israelite nation. God’s promise of blessing and multiplying Abraham came to pass through the birth of Isaac. How unbelievable to think that Abraham was 100 years old when God gave him a son. Abraham received the promise from God when he was 99, so he ended up waiting only a year but I’m sure his wait was just as hard as if he would’ve waited 10 years due to his age. Sometimes God wants us to wait longer than we ever thought we would, but did you know that there is something absolutely beautiful about waiting? While many of us would rather have everything when we want it because waiting is so hard, we should take note of the fact that we are actually blessed by waiting if our faith is proven to be authentic in the process. James 1:2-4 says: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Waiting tries our faith and makes us steadfast. To be steadfast means to be “unwavering, persistent, committed, constant, immovable.” That sounds so much like God, doesn’t it? God doesn’t just like to make us wait, He does it for the purpose of making us more like Him. Our God is constant, He does not change even when our circumstances change, and He is committed to keeping His promises no matter how long He keeps us waiting. He is set on perfecting those same characteristics in us. As we allow Him to do His work freely, we become “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” We can miss out on so many of God’s purposes for our lives if we do things our own way! The Bible says that Abraham, not Sarah- waited patiently and then obtained God’s promise. What are you waiting on God to fulfill in your life? Is it the healing you desperately need? The job? The life partner? The deliverance? No matter what promises you’re waiting on Him to fulfill in your life, remember that He is not just able- He will also be faithful to do it in His flawless time and way. And that’s a promise you can count on.