Why Aren't My Promises Fulfilled Yet?
I'm a visual person, so when I hear the word promise I see two little kids pinky promising. But sadly our societies reality of a promise is one that is easily broken. Marriages can easily be broken with a divorce. A pinky promise with your childhood best friend can easily be broken when the next week you are no longer besties. A promise to yourself can easily be broken when life gets too hard to fulfill it. But guess what? When God promises something it looks much different than this. When God promises something it is "Yes, and Amen." A promise from God is a definite "Yes, it will happen. Nothing will come between what I've promised and the fulfillment of it."
Let's look at the Bible for a moment to see just a few people God has fulfilled promises to:
1) Noah. God promised a flood when the earth hadn't even seen a drop of rain since the day God spoke it into existence. I'm sure everyone thought Noah had lost his marbles, but Noah had walked with God and knew His character. He knew if God said it, that it would happen, so without delay Noah completed everything God required of him exactly as commanded, and because of this God chose him to be the sole bloodline of His Son, Jesus.
2) Abraham and Sarah. God promised Sarah a child even though she was barren and well above child baring age. I'm sure everyone in her city thought she was crazy when she would say that she knew that God was going to provide her with a baby. God also promised Abraham that he would be a father of many nations, even though his wife, Sarah, had been barren 60+ years. I can imagine the conversations among the towns people as Abraham and Sarah prepared a place for this miracle child that was conceived by a women who should have been done having childen 50 years earlier.
3) Hannah. God promised Hannah a child after years of barrenness. After many tears and much heartache Hannah didn't just receive any child, she received a son who would be the one to anoint David and be his voice of wisdom as he rose in power. Samuel, which literally means "God has heard" played one of the largest roles in the story of our Savior's bloodline.
4) David. God called Samuel to anoint him as king even though he was a teenage, shepherd boy. At the time God called him I'm sure his whole family was enraged. He was the youngest and the last one his dad offered to show the priest which means he was the least likely son to be chosen. He had no experience leading others, the only leading he ever did was lead sheep, but God chose for Him to be the bloodline that the Great Shepherd would come from.
5) Mary. God met teenage Mary and promised her that she would have a son and that He would be the Messiah. I can't imagine the looks she got as an unwedded pregnant teenager swearing she was carrying the Messiah. I'd be terrified of what others would think or do to me, but Mary confidently carried Jesus and trusted that what God had said was "Yes and Amen".
I read about these five people above and I think, "Wow God you are so good and so faithful." But what I often forget and what we don't really see in the bible is the waiting. Each and every one of these people listed about had to wait for their promise to be fulfill.
- Noah: Though the bible isn't specific most sources say around 80 years!
- Abraham and Sarah: 25 years
- Hannah: About year, but she has been barren for many
- David: 25 years from being anointed to actually becoming king
- Mary: She may have gotten pregnant quickly, but it was 30 years before Jesus began doing ministry and showing others that He was in fact the Messiah.
The Bible is a book of fulfilled promises and these are just a few of them. If He has promised it, it has happened. I read this and I think, "Then why is it so hard for us to trust that what God has said He is going to do will happen?". What's hard isn't believing God will do it; what's hard is the waiting. What's hard is the trusting that even when we don't see his promises fulfilled immediately that He will still do it. The challenge is not forcing the promise in your own strength or knowledge.
I read a few weeks ago in my bible study about Noah and how God sent the rainbow to promise Noah that He wouldn't ever bring such a great flood to the earth again. It said, "Thank you God, that Your light shining through the rain brings Your promises." Many times our waiting feels like a storm. That's when the enemies voice is the loudest and God's promise seems the craziest. In order to have a promise fulfilled we need to let God shine in our waiting. We need to mute the enemy with truths from God's Word. We need to press into the God who has always and will always fulfill those promises. We need to let go of our control and with palms stretched out heavenward we need to allow God to move when and where He needs.
Along with that we need to remember that God never, ever changes. If He fulfilled the promises for these people He will do the same for you because despite popular belief He loves you just as much as Noah or Abraham or Hannah or David or Mary. He longs to be a man of His word in your life and He longs to allow you a testimony of His goodness that moves mountains. All we have to do is trust Him when we don't see His promise immediately that He will do what He said because He's a promise keeper. Always has been and always will be.
You may be reading this and feel ready to give up on God's promise or you think you heard Him incorrectly, but I pray that as your reading this whatever promise God wants to fulfill in you that He will speak loud and clear to your heart right now.
A few months back I was praying with the ladies in my bible study and I prayed, "God I thank you that this is a season of fulfilled promises". I knew in my gut that this was a word for many, not just my bible study; that this new year will be a year that God breaks out in His church and fulfills promises long left dormant. So I want to encourage you...
You aren't crazy.
You didn't hear incorrectly.
You haven't done anything to make God change His mind.
His promise is ready to be fulfilled in your life.
Are you ready to let go of control and allow Him to shine through your storm??
"Father I thank you that You love to fulfill promises. Thank you Jesus for being our greatest fulfilled promise. I thank you Father that you sent Him just as you promised you would. Thank you Jesus that you chose to come. You chose to die for us so we could know the father. I pray that in this season that we are about to step into that we won't get discouraged when we don't see our promises fulfilled immediately. The bible is full of people who didn't see it immediately. Thank you Father for patience. Thank you that there is joy in the waiting. I thank you that when we wait, we get to grow in our trust in you and hope in you. We get to see who you truly are. I pray that in this season of refinement and waiting that we will be okay with waiting and that we won't rush into the next season, but we will instead just rest with you Jesus. Let us have ears to hear what you have to say. Father, we will rejoice before we see the promise fulfilled because we know that when you speak it, it has to happen because your words are Yes and Amen. Father, let us have childlike faith. Don't allow us to get discouraged by our circumstances. Instead, let us be faithful warriors. We choose to worship you in the hard times and in the good times. Let our worship come right now. Let us worship before we see the victory, the fulfilled promise because we know worship precedes the victory. Lord, let me ever be a worshipper of you because you are worthy! Jesus thank you for the testimony that our fulfilled promise will be to so many others. Lord, let our faith move mountains. We choose to trust you. Let wombs be open. Let healing flow. Let dreams be fulfilled. Let us not lose sight of your promises. We chose to trust your promises just like Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Hannah, David, and Mary did. Thank you for those you've sent before us to show us you are a God who always fulfills promises. We trust you."