Tag Archives: bad things happen

Waiting For God’s Promise

Waiting on God to fulfill His promise can be like waiting to open a present at Christmas. We see it there with our name on it. It is ours, but we have to wait. Every day you see it there. You’re ready to open it and use it, but the time has not come. There is always a waiting period from the time you are promised something and the time that you get it. How you spend that time matters.

There are 3 lessons we can learn from Abraham and Joseph while waiting on God to fulfill His promise to you.

1. Don’t preempt God

When God spoke to Abraham and promised him a son, he was about 85 years old.He could not see how God would do what he said he would do. He decided to intervene on God’s behalf and make the promise come true. He ruined a relationship and started a feud that goes on to this day.

When God makes a promise, our desire is to see it come to pass immediately. Often we are the ones who are unprepared or ready at the time a promise is given. We think we are, so when it delays, we try to step in. God does not need your help to bring about what He has promised. He needs you to prepare to receive it.

2. Bad things may still happen to you

Joseph received a dream that everyone, including his brothers and parents, would bow down to him. Being young and foolish, he had no problem telling others what God had intended to be just for him at the time. While he waited on God’s promise, he was beaten by his brothers, sold as a slave, taken to a foreign land against his will, worked as a slave, was wrongly accused, thrown in jail and forgotten about.

I’m sure it was difficult to trust God to fulfill His promise in any of those situations. You never read of Joseph complaining or crying out “why me, God”. The bible simply says that in each instance, he worked. In working, he found favor with those around him. God used those situations to prepare him and to get him in place for the promise. You may not like or understand what is happening to you in the waiting, but if you trust God and work for Him, He will fulfill it in His time.

3. Have patience

This is easier said than done. Abraham waited 15 years before God fulfilled his promise of having a son. He just thought he was too old at 85! For Joseph, it was 13 years before he interpreted pharaoh’s dream. It was at least more than 7 years after that before his brothers came and bowed down before him. I’m not saying you will have to wait 15 or 20 years for God to fulfill his promise to you, but it could.

We want God to act in our time. We want Him to fulfill His promise when we think we are ready, not when He thinks we’re ready. Patience is tough. Waiting is hard. God may show you the end result now, but wants you to take one step at a time. He may not show you the step after that until you take this one.

What step has God called you to take right now to move towards the fulfillment of His promise? Are you willing to trust Him and His timing? Take each step one at a time. Don’t preempt God. Understand that things may happen between now and the time of fulfillment. They are there to prepare you and to place you. Above all, have patience as He works to bring it about. He keeps His promises.

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Angry At God?

I read an article on abcnews.com that asked, “Are you angry at God?” They cited a survey of Americans by Case Western Reserve University that showed between 1/3 and 2/3 of the people surveyed said they were angry with God in response to something they’re currently suffering with. It went on to say that anger at God can become a spiritual fork in the road where a person can choose to disengage from their relationship with God and stop believing in Him. I believe it’s something each of face and have to make a decision about ahead of time. Are we going to blame God when bad things happen and get mad at Him because things aren’t going our way?

The easiest solution on earth is to blame someone else. Adam and Eve both did it the moment they were caught sinning. When things don’t go right, we look for a scapegoat. Many times that is God. I’ve been mad at God a few times because of unanswered prayers and circumstances that have happened. Once I told Him, “I’ll never ask you for anything again!” It lasted for a while, but it turns out I can’t live this life without His help. God is big enough for me to be angry at, but as the Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry and sin not.”

Job was a person who had a right to be angry. In one day he lost everything he owned including his children. He could have blamed God for the sudden disasters that hit him, but Job 1:22 says, “Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God” (MSG). You and I can’t see into the spiritual realm. We don’t know everything that’s going on nor can we always see the effects of our decisions. Instead of being angry at God or blaming Him, try doing what Job did and worship a God instead recognizing that everything you have is His.

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

For the article I referenced, click here.

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Times Of Rain

Rain is something we need, but don’t really want. We associate it with bad. It started when we were children singing the song, “Rain, Rain, go away. Come again another day.” Rain disrupts the times of sunshine and happiness. When it’s rainy outside, we say it’s gloomy. We think of the gray clouds and we think of depression. It changes our path, our timing and our plans. It messes things up for us so we resist it. We forget that rain is a necessary part of life. We forget the good that it does.

I’ve got several friends right now who are experiencing rain in their lives. Several friends have had loved ones pass away unexpectedly. I’ve got a couple of friends who can’t seem to find a job. I’ve got a few friends whose lives have been turned upside down because of choices their spouse made. For them, it seems like the rain just keeps coming. It feels like their lives are being flooded with negative things. Matthew 5:45 came to mind. It says, “It rains on the just and the unjust.”

I’ve read or heard that scripture my whole life. I was always under the impression that it just meant that bad things happen to Christians and non Christians alike because I associated rain with bad times. When I read it in context and then in several versions and interpretations of the original Greek, the Message Bible stood out. It said, “This is what God does. He gives His best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone regardless.” The times of rain in our lives are meant to nourish us. Just like our yards, lakes and crops need rain for nourishment, so do our lives.

When bad things happen, it usually pushes us closer go God. We spend more time in prayer. We take the time to talk to God and to read His Word to try to find answers. Days of sunshine rarely push us to spend time with God. When we go so long without rain or without spending time with a God, we enter a desert. God knows that we need rain. Of course, with lots of rain, it starts to flood. Jesus told a parable about that. He said the wise man built his house upon the rock so that when the rains came down and the floods went up, his house would stand firm.

What’s your house built on? The one way to test it is with lots of rain. If your faith erodes when the floods come, you’ve built your house on sand. The good news is that of that’s the case, God is there to help you rebuild your life after laying a firm foundation. If the floods came and have damaged your house, but your foundation is firm, God will be there when the rain leaves to help you make repairs. Either way, the rain should drive you closer to God and nourish your spirit. Times of rain are painful, but needed. Don’t run from them.

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