It took 25 years for the promise of his son, Isaac to be fulfilled. It took 16 years for the promise of my daughter, Luthando (Lulu) to be fulfilled. There’s something about the story of Abraham that resonates with me.
So often God promises us something but the promise takes time to be answered. As painful as the waiting can be, God shapes and moulds our character during this period. He teaches us to trust Him. He also develops our patience in the process.
During those years of waiting for my daughter, God taught me to seek Him and spend time in His presence, especially in those moments of confusion and doubt. He also taught me to celebrate with family and friends as I saw so many of their promises come to pass. By nature, I am an impatient person but that was refined in the years of waiting. Patience and trust in God’s timing was one of the greatest lessons I learnt.
There were twenty years between Joseph's dreams and the time his brothers and father bowed before him in Egypt. There was a long delay after God's promise. In the process Joseph learnt to obey his parents, forgive his brothers and put his hope in God even when he was hated by his brothers and spent time in prison. Through this process, God refined his character, so later He was fit to be a king.
It’s a beautiful thing to hold onto promises and trust God for the fulfillment of the promises. But it also can be a dangerous path to go down if the promise becomes our focus. If the promise isn’t fulfilled in our timing or if it never happens, it can take us down a slippery slope of despair, unless we refocus on God. We need to process disappointment and express it to God and those close to us. That’s healthy and good. But we cannot allow an unfulfilled promise to break our trust and belief in the One True Promise, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is our hope and brings peace during troubled times. Our faith should be built on the rock of Jesus Christ which will never disappoint us.
‘Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has already ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession of faith in Him.’ Hebrews 4:14
‘And since we have a great and wonderful and noble Priest who rules over the house of God, let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water. So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable and faithful to His word. Hebrews 10:21-23
Jesus is our High Priest and we need to remain focused on Him when storms come and when we are waiting for prayers to be answered. He promises to be faithful and true to His word and promises never to leave us or forsake us. He remains the one constant strength in our life. If we fix our gaze on Him, we can overcome any challenge and posture ourselves in a place of victory.
‘The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.’ Psalm 18:2
Jesus promises to be our safe place where we can draw strength from. If we stay connected to Him through spending quality time in His presence, we won’t be shaken by unfilled promises or daily challenges. If we keep our gaze fixed on the One True Promise and do not allow unfulfilled promises to keep us in a place of hopelessness and despair, then we will renew our strength and power and run the race set before us.
Women of Reverence welcomes Sharon de Beer from Glenridge Church, Durban, as our guest blogger.
Sharon is a mother of a beautiful daughter called Lulu. As a single woman she embarked on the journey of adoption later in life. She decided to draw on the strength of her church community to help her raise her daughter. She is part of the leadership and prophetic team at Glenridge Church.
She worked for Unilever for over 12 years where she gained extensive business experience in marketing related positions. She established a marketing department and worked at Pakco for 2 years. She is an entrepreneur who has run a photography and marketing consultancy business called Alive Marketing. She has also worked for a dynamic NGO called Zoe-Life that is an innovative South African capacity building and development organization working in the field of public health and social transformation.
She has a passion for seeing people step into all that God has destined for their lives. She loves connecting with people and seeing how she can support them to succeed in life. She joined Red Light, an anti-human trafficking organization in 2012 and led a team on the streets to help vulnerable woman encounter the love of God.
She is an adventurous person who has travelled to many countries to experience different cultures and places. She appreciates being in nature and surrounded by trees and mountains. She enjoys going for walks on the beach and chilling out with a good cup of coffee with friends.