There was a time when I believed God was going to give me something related to a specific ministry opportunity. My hope turned into expectation, and I anxiously awaited the day I’d receive the good news. Instead, just the opposite happened. What I believed was mine did not come to pass.
I cried out to the Lord, offended that God had not done as I expected. “Why, God? I believed You’d deliver. I spoke it forth in faith—declaring the matter done.”
Heaven remained silent.
A short time later I was at a major retailer when I heard a toddler and His mother in the toy department. The child was throwing a fit, yelling loud enough for me to hear several aisles away, “Mine, mine, mine!” The mother spoke with quiet but firm patience. She said something like, “No, that is not yours. I never said you could have that. Put it back.”
As I listened to their exchange, God touched my heart and let me know that I was behaving like that toddler. He’d never come into agreement with my plans, nor did He speak them over my life. Instead, I’d decided what I wanted, then tried to convince God to get with my program. I believed if I held a firm line with my faith, He’d deliver. I set Him up for failure—not His failure, but my own. I repented for my childish behavior, thankful for a God who disciplines with love, not with anger.
How many times have we birthed our desires like Ishmael, then expected God to honor them as if they were Isaac? We speak out His promises as if they’re a weapon to hold God hostage, then become disillusioned and disappointed when we don’t get what we want.
I’ve heard people quote Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart as if that’s proof God must give us what we want. He’s not going to fulfill the last part of the verse until we fulfill the first part and when we do, our desires change. As we delight in Him, we seek to hear His voice and obey His will–rather than expecting Him to hear our voice and obey our will.
In Romans 4:20-21, the Bible, speaking of Abraham, reads: He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Who spoke the promise? God spoke the promise. It was not a promise Abraham conceived then expected God to birth. Abraham trusted that what God had promised, He would perform.
While God is never bound by our playbook or our timetable, there are certain promises from His Word we can hold onto, including:
Not sure what to say or do in a certain situation? God promises wisdom.
- If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).
Confused by how circumstances appear in the natural? God promises supernatural guidance.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
Distraught and searching for peace? God promises comfort.
- You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).
As you go about your day, know that the God you believe in is the same God who loves you. Trust Him with every trial and tribulation. Trust Him with every hope and dream. And, trust that in His sovereign power and knowledge, He knows what is best for your life. Let the promises come from His heart, not your own. What He speaks, He will accomplish.
He never fails.
“The Lord is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails… (Zephaniah 3:5).”
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