All of us face troubles at some time that are out of our control. It’s what you do while you wait on God that shows where you stand in your faith. How many times do we present our requests to God only to take them back and try to work them out ourselves (when it seems like the answer is taking too long)? Is God doing nothing in our waiting? The truth is that the timing of God is always perfect even when it appears that it may be too late. Just because you can’t see what God is doing in your struggle does not mean he is doing nothing. It means his plan is higher than yours and it has a greater outcome.
The suffering in the life of a believer has a deliberate, divine purpose in bringing you to a greater knowledge of the God you serve. When you suffer through a painful trial, keep in mind that God knows it. He saw your situation long before you were born and He is with you to the end. Abraham’s troubled world presented stark similarities to ours today: death, doubt, and desire.
God granted Isaac as a miracle child to Abraham and Sarah, keeping His promise to them. Esau and Jacob were an answer to prayer. A miraculous birth, Samuel was given to Hannah. Samson was given and God used him to judge Israel. Then ultimately, the virgin Mary gave birth to our Savior of this world. The culmination of God’s promises were evidenced in birth.
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” – Genesis 28:15
God revealed and kept his promises to Abraham and yet, the behavior of his descendants are baffling. Although redeemed for the divine agenda of the world, Isaac mirrored his father’s wrongful actions by taking matters into his own hands. By God’s graciousness, in the end Isaac was transformed. Having become rich in a foreign land, he eventually made it back to the land of promise. In Jacob’s dream, God would confirm his identity as the God of Abraham and Isaac. Having sought betrayal, Jacob would receive the blessing. God’s mercy was revealed in the covenant that was restated again and again. Blessings became connected to God’s redemptive presence.
“Many reasons for God’s designs are beyond our understanding…Hence in every case we should marvel at his wisdom and praise his ineffable love.” – Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople
An omniscient God is never taken by surprise; God knows his people (both then and now) fail. Although we cannot fathom the depths of God’s love, we see in the generations of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob an unworthy people reaffirmed as Israel. God continues to rescue his people and ultimately, rescue is displayed in the cross of Jesus Christ. Yahweh is simultaneously the covenant maker and our covenant keeper, as he continues the rescue today.
As the God-man, Jesus shed his own blood for us and was raised from the dead to free us from the curse of sin. He will live with His people forever. The promise of God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the promise God has fulfilled for us in Jesus. Christ is our Emmanuel, God with us.
“…love which stoops and sacrifices and services, love which is kind to the unkind and generous to the ungrateful and undeserving.” – John Stott
God reminds us of his missional promises as He continues to rescue unlikely and unworthy people. He supremely displays grace, coming to meet us as we are, though God be complete and perfect within himself. It’s vital we remember what’s most important about the gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection: It’s not the benefits it gets us but rather the gospel giving us God himself. He will be our God and yes, we will be His people, and we will be together enjoying Him forever. You are never without hope if you believe. That is a promise Jesus Christ died to give you.