Seasons of Waiting
If our faith is to remain steadfast in seasons of prolonged waiting, then we must be confident of these truths: first, that God has the power to do what He promised to do; and second, that God Himself is sufficient to meet all of our needs, in every season.
Abraham’s faith was tested in the waiting room of life. For years he lived in a foreign land, waiting for his “very own son” to come into the world as God had promised (Genesis 15:4). And it was his trust in God’s promises while he waited that God “counted … to him as righteousness.”
Paul, when he writes of Abraham’s faith during this time, says, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20-21). In other words, Abraham believed that nothing and no one could stand in the way of God fulfilling His spoken word—even when he could not begin to see how God would keep His promises. His faith wasn’t a blind leap in the dark. Rather, it was a belief based on God’s character.
Fast-forward to today, and one of the great promises to which we cling is that the Lord Jesus has promised to prepare a place for us and that He will come to take us to Himself (John 14:3). Therefore, when we take Him at His word, we are filled with the hope of heaven. We can be certain beyond any shadow of a doubt that Jesus is coming back personally, He is coming back visibly, and He is coming back for His own. These promises to us are as sure as the promise God made to Abraham, for which he waited 25 years before it was fulfilled.
Furthermore, through Abraham’s experience we see that it is God alone who is sufficient to bring us through seasons of waiting. In Genesis 17, God appears once more to Abraham in order to strengthen his faith. How? By revealing who He is: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty [El-Shaddai]; walk before me’” (17:1). This Hebrew term, El-Shaddai, can mean “God who is sufficient.” God, in other words, affirmed His promises to Abraham on the strength of His character.
The Christian life is a life of waiting. And all of God’s “hold ons” and “not yets” are part and parcel of His purpose. Every season of waiting is an opportunity for you to take God at His word. And while you wait, you can surely trust Him to meet your every need. Rest in this: the God in whom you believe is able to do all that He has promised.
Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision
1When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty;1 walk before me, and be blameless, 2that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4“Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5No longer shall your name be called Abram,2 but your name shall be Abraham,3 for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
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