Have you ever received a promise from God, and then wondered if it will ever come to pass? I have, and so did several people in the Bible.
It was twenty five years before Abraham held Isaac in his arms, over a decade before Joseph became a leader in Egypt and saw his eleven brothers bow before him. Moses lived as an exile in the desert for decades before his encounter with God at the burning bush. Then there was David, the man after God’s heart, who waited many years before he became king over the kingdom of Israel.
In those waiting years he was pursued mercilessly by jealous King Saul, who tried on several occasions to capture and kill him. No doubt David would have cried out to God many, many times and asked “When God, when will your promises for my life be fulfilled?”
Often what we view as wasted years are actually very fruitful years in God’s eyes. He is always at work, in the midst of our circumstances, and is often developing within us something very, very valuable – godly character! As I grow older, and hopefully wiser, I understand more and more that good character is not just an optional extra but a necessity. It’s not just important, it’s everything! The higher a building is, the deeper its foundations need to be.
People want to be trusted with big assignments in God, but don’t always have the godly character needed to carry these assignments out. When the going gets tough and the opposition begins, they’re in danger of buckling at the knees and abandoning the project. Godly character enables us to stand firm, despite the storms.
During the waiting years, God was busily developing His character in Abraham, in Joseph, in Moses and in David, and, likewise, He’s doing the same in each of us. When God delays, or seemingly delays, it’s always with a good purpose and always with our ultimate good in mind.
Delays are not denials, and part of our walk of faith entails embracing this truth. Next time you find yourself frustrated and asking, “When God, when”, take a moment to remind yourself that God knows what He’s doing. He’ll surely bring to pass His promises and plans for your life in His perfect timing, and when you’re ready to walk in them.
Prayer: God, please help me to see from your perspective and not depend on my own understanding. You’re the potter. I’m the clay. Help me to stay on the potter’s wheel until You’ve worked Your character into me, and shaped me into the vessel of Your choosing. Your timing is perfect. I trust You. Amen.
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