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Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, Romans 4:20

It had been years since God promised Abraham and Sarah a son. Today that doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but in his society not having a son meant Abraham would have no one to pass on the family name and inheritance. For Sarah, a woman who couldn’t bear children was considered second-rate. In fact, among some circles, not being able to bear children was grounds for divorce and the woman was always to blame in those situations.

God always makes good on His promises, but He does it in His time, not ours. That makes life hard. When someone promises something to us we expect delivery in a reasonable amount of time and in a manner of our choosing. God doesn’t operate within our rules or our time frame.

When He is slow (by our standards) in fulfilling His promises we can respond in a variety of ways. We may get angry with God. We throw our temper tantrums, maybe even shake our fist at Him and demand answers. Usually our anger with God causes us to begin to doubt His promises and His ability to make good on them. “If He couldn’t do this, maybe the rest of the other things He promises are false too!”

When God doesn’t come through on promises for us we may also blame ourselves. We remind ourselves of past mistakes, poor choices or those rebellious times in our lives. We may conclude from this that ‘God must hate me. He’s just getting even with me for doubting Him and doing my own thing.’ We beat ourselves up emotionally for awhile and then, if we aren’t careful we give up on God altogether. “It’s no use. I can’t do this ‘God thing’. I give up. May as well have fun and do it on my own.” Taking matters into our own hands usually only makes matters worse.

A variation of the ‘self-blame game’ is the comparison game. We look at those around us who have the ‘God life’ all figured out. We see how spiritual they are and how they’ve been blessed. We hear them speak of God’s love and mercy and how He is doing such wonderful things in their lives. We naturally conclude that since we don’t have a squeaky-clean, spiritually blessed life like them we must have something wrong with us. The enemy may even chime in here and tell us ‘they are all a bunch of hypocrites’ and urge us to go life alone.

It’s a hard pill for us to swallow, but we need to realize that as followers of Jesus Christ we have many promises from God’s word. But those promises don’t necessarily include comfort, financial prosperity or good health. We weren’t put here on earth to live a country club lifestyle. We were put here to glorify God. During a time when life was at its worst for Abraham and Sarah, they did not waver in their faith in God. The Bible says that is was this unwavering faith that gave Abraham and Sarah the strength they needed to hold on until God’s promise came true.

We give glory to God by believing in Him when we can’t see his way in the darkness. We give glory to God by remaining faithful when life isn’t fair; when the doctor gives us a bad report; when a relationship goes south; when finances dwindle and our job ends; when the bank finally forecloses on our dream home.

Whatever you are going through at this time, remember that God can and will eventually come through on His promises. It may not be like you were hoping. There may be lots of pain and confusion along the way. There may be times you don’t think you can go on. These times are needed to strengthen you for the road ahead. God DOES love you. He WILL fulfill His promises. Hold fast to your faith. If you do this, with the help of the Holy Spirit, chances are, years from now, you will be stronger and look back to see how much better God’s ways were than your ways.

PRAYER: Holy God. You have given me many promises in your Word. Frankly, right now I don’t see them. I’m tired. I’m battling anger and doubt. I see other people who seem to have it together and wonder what’s wrong with me. Forgive me for my doubt. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to be able to believe like Abraham did. Let others see your glory in my strength as I battle what life has in store for me. May you be glorified in my trial. In Jesus name, Amen.

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