Perspective, Trials, Trusting God

Promise: When God Delays

Clouds and silhouette

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

How many times has God spoken to us, given us a reassurance—even a promise—and then seemed to renege on it? We hear His words to us, get excited, and immediately envision what that promise fulfilled will look like.

Then, when that first trial comes along, we question God. “Why didn’t You________?” or “Why did You allow __________?” We lose heart because things aren’t going the way we expected them to.

Fog rolling in

God gives promises, and we know He keeps His word. The thing is, we are limited by our humanity. We can’t see beyond the current moment into the future.

We can’t see that the trials prepare us to thrive in the promise when it is fulfilled. When God gives us a promise, He never says, “It’ll be just like this, no problems, no obstacles. It will look exactly the way you think it will.”

Hailstorm

It’s easy to falter the first time we smack into opposition to what God says will happen. When we begin to doubt, our perspective becomes us-consumed, rather than God-consumed.

When God gives a promise, we should expect opposition. Whenever He has a good work to do, there is an enemy waiting for the opportunity to thwart His good plans. 

Stormy beauty

Satan will do his best to dishearten us, to persuade us to doubt God—His word, His goodness. We have a choice when we face the devil’s lying words. We can believe them, or we can reject them. 

If we believe them, we will falter in our belief in God. His plans will be hindered. And we may miss out on some amazing things God has planned.

2-3 Storm moving in

His ways are higher than our ways. When we trust God in the midst of opposition, we’re one step closer to being equipped to live in His promises for us.

When we believe God, when we cling to the truth of who He is—even when every circumstance seems to contradict this—that’s when we become the victors.

That’s when God works within us . . .

. . . drawing us closer to Him,

. . . conforming us to the image of Jesus,

. . . and preparing us for the fulfillment of His promise.

Opposition and promises copy

 

Like the Israelites leaving Egypt, we will rarely see God’s promises fulfilled immediately. When we release our vision of what it will look like and learn to embrace Him, we can walk through the opposition with confidence.

Cloud lit sky

It won’t be easy, we may not even have an overt sense of peace. But, when we know He whom we’ve believed . . .

. . . when we embrace the truth of who He is . . .

. . . there’s nothing the enemy can say that will cause us to stumble or falter.

What about you? What promise are you waiting to see fulfilled in your life? What verse is helping you keep your belief strong?

Today I’m linking up with Holly Barrett and #RaRaLinkup.

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18 thoughts on “Promise: When God Delays”

  1. I have had the same experience Jeanne! You feel called a certain direction by God and you set out on your way and immediately run into your first obstacle. The “why” questions come flying out as if we are now blaming God for what He had planned all along. God’s promises are good and always true but He never once said there wouldn’t be trials along the way. When the road gets tough, what do we do? Run the opposite direction or run into His arms? There are many verses that help me through difficult times but one part of Psalm 139 has been reoccurring over and over. It is verse 16- Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

    God is the author of our stories and He has written every chapter even before we were born. I am resting in knowing His plan is perfect. Great post today! I am blessed by your words.

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    1. Ahhh, Mary. Psalm 139 is my favorite psalm of all. And yes, it’s so amazing to know that God saw us before our parents even knew of our existence. And, He had a plan for us, even then. He IS the author of our stories, and He knows how to bring us through each chapter to His perfect ending.

      Thank you, as always, for all you add to the conversations here, Mary. I’m blessed by your friendship.

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  2. This really struck me: “We can’t see that the trials prepare us to thrive in the promise when it is fulfilled.” Love that thought. There is so much I can’t see on this side of things. Thanks for the great thoughts today!

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    1. I know exactly what you mean about what we can’t see on this side of things, Lindsay. The waiting for His promise can be so hard, disheartening. But, we can look to Him in the middle of the hard, and we can trust His plan, even when it’s unknown to us in the moment.

      I’m so blessed that you stopped by. Thank you, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Meg! And thank you for stopping by. I’m with you. I’m beyond grateful that God’s ways are higher than mine. I think I’d end up in a puddle in the mud if my ways were the higher way. 😉

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    1. Ahhh, Shelli. That’s one of my favorite verses. It’s amazing to be the child of a God who knows our needs and meets them according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus, isn’t it? I’m saying a prayer for you today, my friend!

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  3. You’ve written words that walk hand-in-hand with the path I’m currently on, Jeanne. Nodding my head on this one –> “When we begin to doubt, our perspective becomes us-consumed, rather than God-consumed.” We’re bettered (& He is glorified) when we encourage one another to be consumed by the only One worthy. Good words today.

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    1. Kristi, I’ve had much experience with having to re-adjust my perspective. You’re so right, we’re bettered and God is glorified when we encourage each other to be consumed by Jesus. May He give you His peace and perspective in your time of delayed promises. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. We did a “would you rather” game at work yesterday. One question asked if we’d rather see into the future. Tempting, especially when God seems silent. But ultimately, no. I choose to trust. Clumsily, but I still trust…

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  5. The bible doesn’t always provide reasons why God is silent, but it does provide resources to help us cope. In God’s word we find strength rather than despair.

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    1. Gene, sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I loved what you said about how the Bible gives us strength rather than despair when we don’t understand God’s delays. There is hope in His word!

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    1. Andrew, that makes a lot of sense. Sometimes seeing the stories and how God moves, how people respond, learn, change (or not) speaks volumes. As I’m reading through Exodus, I’m seeing things as I read the Israelites’ story that I’ve never picked up on before. And yes, God’s economy of time is the one that matters, and the one we should yield to.

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