There is nothing like holding onto God’s promises when you are going through some tough or challenging times. It is not easy to remind yourself daily, or even hourly, that God will bring to fruition what He has promised and that He makes all things work together for your good BUT thank you, God, for the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:28 (NIV): 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. This scripture reminds us that God is in control; He equips us and gives us capacity for the season or rather, the challenges that we face.
His promises are true. When we read the Word, it reminds us that throughout scripture, God has been faithful and that what He promises, He fulfills. There are so many times we feel like we have missed the boat, or that our opportunity has passed either for the promises God gave to us when we were younger, or for a new season we have been waiting for, and nothing has happened.
I was reading the story of Sarah and Hagar and my heart broke for both women; I felt God lay on my heart that there is no expiry date to His promises. Sarah knew the promise that God had given to them; she knew that God said she would have a son. As the years passed, she grew weary of waiting and possibly felt that her season for childbearing was over, so the promise could not be fulfilled. She lost hope in what was promised and took matters into her own hands by giving her slave to her husband, to bear a child for her. Hagar bore a son, but the situation between her and Sarah was not great. She was later banished, with her son. We see that, despite human efforts, God will still do what He has promised; He redeems and restores.
Sarah later became a mother to Isaac, but not just any mother – God changed her name from “Sarai” to “Sarah” (“mother of the nations”) and affirmed that His covenant would be with Abraham and his descendants. Hagar was blessed, by God, with a son and in Genesis 21:17-18, many nations were born out of him. In this story, we see that we don’t have to manufacture things to convince or remind God of what He has promised. Our issue, or rather our biggest challenge, is not the promise given by God, it is the waiting and the timing. We are not very good at waiting for God’s perfect time. How did David do it? From being a shepherd boy anointed King of Israel to being appointed King, the wait was significant.
I was reading the story of Ruth and Naomi to my kids one night and God pointed out to me, in the story that I had read so many times, how Ruth and Naomi left Moab to go to Bethlehem. The questions was: Do you think Ruth knew what would become of her? They didn’t leave for leisure, as we know. However, through that relationship, we see the hand of God – from Ruth gleaning in the fields in a foreign country to her becoming a wife to Boaz. She goes from being a widow to a blessed woman who is part of the lineage of Jesus Christ. Their child, Obed, becomes a father to Jesse, who becomes the father of King David and then, later, we have Jesus come from that lineage as well. The promises of God remain from when He told Abram that he would build His covenant with him and that he would have as many children as the stars in the sky, all the way to the Messiah coming. Matthew 1:1-6 (NIV)
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
When we are going through challenging times, we start to become short-sighted. We forget that God works differently to us, and His ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV):
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We internalize the situation and expect God to move within that confinement. We reduce the King of Kings to our limited understanding. God will always fulfill what He has promised – He doesn’t need human reminders or convincing to act on what He has already promised. This is a hard reminder at times, but necessary. He will fulfill His promises to you!
Sarah’s story is a testimony that you are never too old to live out the promises of God. Hagar’s story tells us that no matter what our beginning was, God will meet us where we are, like He met with her in the desert more than once. The story of Ruth reminds us that God’s ways are not our ways when it comes to fulfilling the promises He makes. Your story will also be a testament of the God who fulfills His promises. There is no program to follow or trick to do; ONLY TRUST God. When God speaks, all we must do is respond with our faith and be obedient to what He says, and wait on Him.
Women of Reverence welcomes regular contributor Pinky Hlophe
A wife to Thulani Hlophe and a mother of two amazing children. I am on the eldership team of FrontLine People Church in Brakpan, Johannesburg.
I am currently in my final year, studying a Bcom Degree in Financial Management through UNISA.
I home-school both my children and just love seeing kids free, be themselves and grow to be who God intended them to be. I love serving in Administration of our local church and passionate about worship ministry.