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November 28, 2021 | Ed Stetzer
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“Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.”—Genesis 21:2–5 (NIV)
Yesterday, we established this fact: The Lord is faithful, and He always keeps His promises. God’s promises are secure and firm. Today, we see that God not only keeps His promises, but He always does so in the exact appointed time, His time . . . the perfect time.
I can tell you from experience that this part—the waiting on God’s timing to fulfill His promises part—is the hardest for all of us. This goes against everything that is within us. We don’t want to wait. We want what we want and we want it now.
Wouldn’t it just be better if He gave us everything He promised immediately? Well, let’s think about that. As parents, is it always a good idea to give our kids the things we’ve promised them right there on the spot? Or are there times when we know they may not be ready to receive what has been promised? There are times when it would be much more beneficial for them in the long run if we waited to fulfill our promise, but they just want it instantly. They try to negotiate an earlier date, they try to make it happen on their own, they try to get a clear answer as to when. And sometimes, that answer comes, but sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s okay. As parents and adults, we have a larger view and see things they don’t. The same is true of us and God!
Sometimes, God will reveal to us a time period, such as is the case with Abraham and Sarah as we see the Lord declare in Genesis 17:21 (NIV): “But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” But it won’t always be that clear for us, as was the case with Abraham and Sarah, where Sarah instructs Abraham to sleep with Hagar so she “can build a family through her” (Genesis 16:2 NIV). She tried to make it happen on her own instead of waiting on God’s timing and it came with consequences.
Friends, I know it’s hard, especially in this day and age of instant gratification and Amazon Prime shipping, but the discipline of waiting on the Lord must be something we embrace and practice. Sometimes His timing will be clear, other times it won’t and we’ll have to wait. But trust me, when we do it will be better than anything we could imagine or make happen for ourselves.
DIG: Why is it so hard for us to wait on the Lord’s timing?
DISCOVER: Think of a time you got impatient and didn’t wait for the right time or the appointed time (Example: You took the turkey out too early and it was still raw). Think about a time you got impatient with a promise of God and tried to make something happen on your time instead of His. How did that work out?
DO: Ask the Lord for patience, His strength, His rest, and His peace as you wait on Him.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.