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Friday, August 12, 2011

Holding on to the Promises

"Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each tot heir own town)" (Ezra 2:1).

It had been promised of God that the Jewish people would be a nation and have a land.  It was even prophesied that the Jews would be exiled, but also prophesied was their return.  When promises something, He always comes through.  No amount of destruction or devastation is enough to prove God a liar.  He always and always will come through as He stand firm on the foundation of His own Word.  Our response is not to try to figure out the "how's" and the "when's."  Our call is to trust and to hold on to His promises.

As a young boy growing up, being raised by a single mom, I longed for what so many other boys had.  I desired a dad.  And, even at a young age, I begin to pray and believe that God had given me a promise that was based on His Word, but that He was making personal to me.  I sensed that God was speaking to me that He would "turn the heart of the father to his children."  So, I prayed that promise and believed that promise.  However, year after year, I saw that promise go unfulfilled.  The disappointment of rejection seemed almost unbearable, and most definitely unfair.  No matter how hard I tried in my efforts to reach out to my dad, all I ever got was unreturned phone calls, birthdays that never went acknowledged, and the constant reminder in my heart that I was a kid without a dad.

But, God had made me a promise.  He didn't promise when, but He promised what.  I hung on to that promise.  I believed that promise.  I endured and persevered during the desert moments of that promise unfulfilled.  Then, there was a day when that promise began to come to pass!  The last six years of my dad's life were spent getting to know each other, reconciling, and rebuilding what was lost!  On the day I preached my father's funeral, I was reminded of the promise that God made me as a young boy, and was reminded still, of the faithfulness of God to fulfill when we hold on to His promises.

There will be times in your life when there is a gap in between the promises of God and the fulfillment of those promises.  Don't underestimate what God can and is doing in the midst of that gap.  He is in the process of preparing you.  He's preparing every detail surrounding the fulfillment of that promise, and He's preparing you to receive it.  Don't tamper with God's preparation process!  Continue to hold on to His promise, and trust Him!

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