When The Promise Seems To Be Delayed

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your very great reward." But Abram said, "Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."
Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but 
a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir." He took him outside and said, "Look up at the sky and count the stars -- if indeed you can count them." Then He said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.  . . . On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land . . ." Genesis 15:1-19

How do you handle it when the fulfillment of God's promises seems to be delayed? God had promised to bless Abram but there seemed to be no sign of materialization on the horizon. There were no children yet and the years were ticking away. In Abram's mind, his servant was going to inherit all he had. He seemed resigned to that gloomy prospect until the word of the LORD came afresh to him.

Abram's handling of the "delayed" promise was typically human. He was very candid with God. He reminded God that He had given him no children to fulfill His promise. God felt Abram's frustration and spoke a fresh word of assurance to him: "a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir." God assured Abram that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and they would inherit the land. God sealed the promise with a covenant. That fresh word of assurance brought renewed hope to Abram. He believed the LORD and God credited that to him as righteousness.

In the weakness of our humanity, we get frustrated when God's promises seem "delayed" for years and years. So, how do we deal with that? Like Abram, it is okay to have a candid talk with God. It is okay to let Him see and feel your frustration. But our frustration should transition into faith and hope when we hear a fresh word from God. The Bible declares that hope deferred, makes the heart faint but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. God knows our individual levels of endurance. He knows when we need a fresh word to encourage and reassure us.

When the promise seems "delayed," have a candid talk with God and listen afresh to His word. The promise is not dead; it will be fulfilled!

Prayer: Father, there are times when the frustration of waiting seems almost insurmountable. But you are a Promise-Keeper and I will ever hope in you. Amen.