Has God given you a promised, but now, months, even years later, things only see worse?
I can sure relate. He gave us a promise two years ago. Since that time, things have only gotten worse…
This has often been a puzzle to me. After all, didn’t God say, “Keep in mind that the LORD your God is [the only] God. He is a faithful God, who keeps His promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love Him and obey His commands.” (Deut. 7:9 GWT) Why, then, would He give a promise and then not fulfill it?
I believe that David could relate to how we feel.
I love the story of David, actually. David is a real person with real feelings and real temptations. He makes grave mistakes, but he has a repentant heart., and He loves and trusts the Lord with all his heart, no matter what the circumstances. As a result, he is known as a man after God’s own heart (See 1 Sam. 13:14). More importantly for today’s subject, David knows what it is like to receive a promise … And then go years upon years without seeing its fulfillment…
David was the youngest of 8 sons, and he was likely just a teen when he received the promise: “So he sent and had [David] brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, ‘Rise and anoint him; he is the one.’ So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.” (1 Samuel 16:12-13 NIV). We know, however, that it would be years before that promise would actually be fulfilled! We don’t know how many years, exactly, but some would say that during this time, David may have actually been on the run from Saul for as much as 7 years. We do know for sure that David actually fled Israel to the enemy court for over a year (See 1 Samuel 27:7). Thus, after David was anointed king of Israel, he was forced to leave for years in hiding, in fear of his life. That doesn’t sound much like the fulfillment of a promise, does it?
Finally, the Bible records in 1 Samuel 31 that Saul dies. That should have been it for David, right? He would be the next one on the throne! Hadn’t God promised this years of strife earlier?
It was not to be. Upon Saul’s death, his s son, Ish-bosheth, was made king. (See 2 Samuel 2:8-10). The people of Judah made David their king, however. So David received a partial fulfillment of the promise. What followed then was months, even years, of fighting between Judah and Israel before David was finally crowned king of Israel. It cannot be said that the kingship was simply handed to David! David himself had to fight to receive what he had been promised!
As I read this story recently, it occurred to me that David must have had a lot of patience and a lot of faith. A lot more than I do! When we first received our promise, things initially got better; but this was soon followed by months of dramatic worsening of the problem. In fact, it sometimes seemed that just like David who had to go into hiding, all we could do was try to make things as good as we possibly could, within the problem!
And that is where the promises stands, as of today, at the moment this is written.
As I read David’s story recently, however, God spoke to me about His promise to us. He showed me that we had been in the “David hiding from Saul” stage of its fulfillment, and that we would soon go into the “David king of Judah” stage. The two big points He wanted to drive home to me, however, were this: 1) The promise would come in instalments; and 2) I had a roll to play in the fulfillment of the promise! Just like David had to spend years fighting, I also needed to join the battle, to put on my spiritual armour and go into spiritual warfare!
I don’t know when God’s promise to us will be fulfilled; but I take courage in David’s story. God keeps His promises! All of them! The fulfillment may not be instantaneous. In fact, it may not be for years to come, it may come in instalments, and I need to join in the battle! But God will fulfill the promise He made to us two years ago! He did so with David, He’ll do it again.
Whatever it is that you have been promised, do not get discouraged! God keeps His promises! Be prepared, however, that it might be a bit in the future before you see its fulfillment. Be prepared for things to get worse. Be prepared for the fulfillment to be in instalments. And finally, be prepared to dress yourself in the Armour of God (See Eph. 6:10-18) and join in the battle! Fight for that promise! It is, after all, yours to fight for, for God Himself gave it to you!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two adult boys, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, The Illustrator, a four-times-a-week internet newsletter, and the Sermon Illustrator website, all with Answers2Prayer Ministries.