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Pointers along the way #476

What if we haven't received the promise
- Jacob Ninan

There are many promises from God that are conditional--we need to do certain things in order to receive what is promised. Some others are dependent only on our believing God. But hasn't it happened to every one of us that we feel we have fulfilled the conditions but God hasn't fulfilled His promise? What has been our response then?

Say we have been struggling against a particular temptation, and even though there are many promises that guarantee victory we still haven't actually experienced it. When this happens many people seem to conclude that there isn't going to be any victory for them. Some of them even begin to think that because they haven't experienced victory the victory some others claim is not real.

How would it reflect on God if what He promises does not actually happen? When we look at this question we will immediately realise that God being who He is it cannot be that He is unable to keep His promises. Then it will occur to us that there must be some other reason why this is happening. Perhaps we haven't understood the promise in the way God meant, we haven't met the requirements, or perhaps the promise is still on its way and we need to wait in hope and patience. But it would be ridiculous to believe that God has promised us something and then conclude that it can't or won't happen. It would be truly tragic if on top of that we go around telling others it can't happen. God is true, He can't lie and He won't even bluff. What He says He will do, He will do, if we would only believe and hold on to the promise without wavering (He.10:36).

What we need to do when we haven't received some promise of God is a lot of introspection, sitting before the Lord and asking Him to teach us how to understand what is happening to us, why it is happening, what He has actually promised and what we need to do from our side to allow it to happen. This needs humility and honesty. We admit that we may have understood things wrongly or only partly, we recognise that He is able to do what He has promised and will do it, and we are willing to wait for Him to do things in His time and in His way.

Many times we don't realise that God has a big picture in mind, since we are only able to see a small part of it at a time. Perhaps He has many things to teach us before we are ready to receive the promise. The training of our mind when we go through perplexities and then seek God out to get His wisdom is something very precious (2Co.4:17)--which we can miss if God straightaway sent us the promises. How would we learn endurance if there is nothing to endure? Is it not to help us to value God's gifts that He wants us to ask and keep on asking (Mt.7:7))? If we haven't received the promise let's just say we haven't received it yet rather than imply that God's promises don't work.


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