God Is Not Slow In Keeping His Promises
Cherie Hill, a modern author, wrote that we love God's grace, but we don't like his watch. Her statement convicts me as I know how I respond to what I consider is God's slowness. 2 Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slow
to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but that all should reach repentance.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” I tend to do well for a period responding in hope and in faith, but as time goes on doubt starts to creep in, and the all too familiar temptation to doubt God's goodness or sovereignty starts to stare me in the face.
I am tempted to doubt his word as my enemy pleads with my flesh to consider my circumstances. There are times that I respond with child like faith. Unfortunately, there are other times that I resemble one of his disciples after the crucifixion and before the resurrection – I run, I hide, I give in to fear, anger, or sadness and let my volatile heart lead me astray. I am grateful that repentance and conviction from the Holy Spirit come almost immediately after my lack of faith.
I remember how David was anointed king, but had to wait almost 20 years before he reigned over all of Israel. I remember how Sarah was in her nineties before she gave birth to Isaac. I remember how through all of Joseph's trials that the bible states that God was with Joseph, and that it only took a day and one conversation with Pharaoh for God to change his life and save nations because of Joseph's faithfulness. I also remember that it took the Israelites 40 years to come into the promised land when it should have only taken them 11 days. They were impatient and their hearts were wicked even though they had seen so many miracles that God had performed to deliver them.
Faith is believing Gods word even when God takes a long time to act. It is trusting that God will do what he says he will do, and it will be the right time when He does it. God is never slow or early, he is always right on time because his plans can never be thwarted. Jesus often talks about having a child like faith, and points to children as the example of belief. I can watch my nephews to know how they believe. One of them often quotes me back my words or a promise I made. He believes what I say, and I know that I have to fulfill what I say because if I do not then it is a poor reflection of my character and that would lead him to distrust me. So, my nephew's faith encourages me to pray and talk to God and remind him of his word. The problem occurs when I doubt Gods timing, even though he is doing a work in my heart and refining me, I am tempted to think maybe he doesn't care or has forgotten me. I have to constantly remind myself that a day is a thousand years to God and a thousand years are a day to Him.
I pray often He would increase my faith and belief as I wait. And that my trust in Him and His word would not fail. I am reminded of a story of a little boy that I know in Zambia. I met him when he was five, and have known him for almost six years. I was working in Lusaka for a summer, and I decided to go into the little boy's community one day to talk to my friend who is a pastor there. The little trip to Matero was unplanned, as I had just been in their township four days prior. I had worked with this little boy and his friends the summer before and currently worked with them teaching them God's truths and his promises. So, I was walking in the community with another friend on my way to see my pastor friend when I see this little boy running full sprint towards me. I recognized him instantly as he is my favorite child. He smiled as he flung himself on me and then started telling me how he was hungry and had not eaten in three days. His stomach growled as he was talking rapidly and laughing. The part of town he lives in is below the poverty line. His one caretaker often became sick due to HIV so, she could not consistently work. She had been out looking for work for the last three days. I quickly bought him some food from a small stand in Matero, and then went to the store with him to buy food for his home. He could not stop laughing and so I asked him what was causing his contagious happiness. He smiled as he told me how he had been praying for the last three days for God to provide. He said he remembered how I had been previously talking to him about God being a good daddy and how he takes care of his children. He said God says in his word that he will provide so, I don't have to steal food like my friends – I can believe him. The little boy told me how he got up that morning knowing that he would eat. He told me that God had used me to fulfill his promise, and that God can be trusted.
By the way, he was six years old at the time.
I pray that I along with countless others would remain faithful, and stand upon God's promises as I wait for Him. I pray that we would rejoice in God's goodness just like my favorite little boy in Zambia, and that we would trust in His word just like my nephew.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope. Psalm 130:5
Posted on September 18, 2012