Long Awaited Promises | Northlands Church

Long Awaited Promises

by: Jack Harrington

Reviewing God's faithfulness is a key to enjoying the times of waiting!

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:22

Have you ever believed God for a promise – one you believe He made to you – but as time passed, you wondered if it would ever happen? Or perhaps you began to wonder if you really heard from God in the first place. There are promises I’ve been holding on to for a long time that I’ve yet to see come to fruition. But one thing that keeps me going is looking back and seeing how God has come through in the past.

Early in our marriage, my wife Susan and I went through many years of infertility. We had so many prophetic words and promises from God about children, yet we didn’t see the manifestation. We found ourselves asking, “Lord, where are you? Why haven’t we become parents? Did we hear you correctly?” After many years of invasive procedures, surgery, more doctor appointments than you can imagine, deep disappointment and frustration, God came through. Right after Susan turned 40, she conceived with no human intervention. (Our fertility specialist was shocked.) Many people knew our story and how long we had been on that journey, so when we began sharing the news, reactions ran the gamut from screams of excitement and celebration, to tears of joy (grown men too!), and sometimes simply stunned silence.

God had a plan. He knew what He was doing, and He got all the glory. There was simply no other explanation.

But there are other areas of our lives where we have yet to see the fulfillment of promises we believe we’ve received from God. These have gone on much longer than our wait for a child. When year after disappointing year comes and goes with a promise not yet fulfilled, doubts can start to creep in.

Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Bryan Duncan, a Christian singer and songwriter who was popular in the 1990’s, wrote a song called “I’ll Not Forget You.” The message here is so poignant for all who are waiting. Here’s one excerpt:

Abraham is marking time as years go by

Hiding his pain in laughter

And every night he’s counting stars that fill the sky

So sure his dream has passed him by

Doubting, his vision’s not so clear

What did God say, what did I hear?

Has heaven forgotten?

Is God still there?

He says, “Learn to trust me”

“I’ll not forget you,

I’ll not forget you.”

What are you believing God for that hasn’t come to fruition? God’s timing is perfect, and He has a plan. (I unpacked this in a blog I wrote several months ago called “If You Believe.” https://northlandschurch.com/read/theres-still-hope) So what are we to do while we wait? Remember what God has said. Write it down. Stand on it. Pray through it. War over it. Then having done all you know to do, give it over to God.

Although we may not be able to see how it will come to pass, we must stand firm on His promises and trust His character, for as it says in Psalm 100, “The Lord is always good. He is always loving and kind, and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation.” He is indeed faithful.

Prayer

Father, thank you for your faithfulness and lovingkindness. You are so patient with us; help us to be patient as we await promises as yet unfulfilled. Help us to remember all the myriad ways you’ve been faithful to us through the years. We love you with all of our hearts. Amen.