Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers has given you? (Joshua 18:3, NKJV)
Waiting can be tiring. Whether it’s a long line at the store checkout, waiting for an appointment, or delays while traveling, it is difficult to wait patiently. That’s why I find the verse in Joshua so puzzling. The children of Israel had waited for forty years to enter the land promised to them by the Lord, but now they seemed reluctant to actually claim the land. Why did they hesitate?
Was it fear?
Was it a lack of faith in God?
Was the job too big and overwhelming?
Was it apathy?
Whatever the cause of their reluctance, Joshua called them out on it. It was time to move forward and claim the land God had promised them. God keeps His promises. If He says it, He fulfills it.
God has given each of us many precious promises, some through His written word and some through personally speaking into our lives. The Bible contains not hundreds but thousands of promises. But how do we know that God won’t change His mind? Or forget? We trust His promises because we trust His character. He is completely honest and trustworthy. Numbers 23:19 assures us:
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”
It is possible, however, for us to sidetrack God’s promises by our own lack of faith or obedience to His Word. Although God promised the Israelites a land to possess, that promise could not be fulfilled if they stopped at the border. They needed to move forward with complete trust in the Lord before they could receive His promise.
The same is true today. Some of God’s promises are conditional, depending upon our actions. For example, Isaiah 26:3 promises God will keep us in perfect peace—something we all desire in life—but that happens to those “whose mind is stayed on you.” If we lack peace, it means our focus has strayed from Him. Another example of a conditional promise is John 15:7 NKJV). “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
Sometimes our faith wavers if God does not fulfill His promise within our timeframe. We desire an immediate response, but He knows when the time is right.
- Noah waited for 120 years before the flood came.
- Abraham waited 25 years for the promised son.
- Joseph waited over 20 years to be united with his family.
- David waited possibly 15 years after his anointing to become king.
Each saw the promise fulfilled in God’s perfect timing.
What promises are you waiting for God to fulfill in your life? Have you grown discouraged because you cannot see anything happening? Are you beginning to doubt? Don’t give up! We must never grow weary in our waiting. God will fulfill His promise at the time that is best for you. He sees the whole picture and knows when to bring it to pass.
If you need salvation, He made a promise.
If you need peace, He made a promise.
If you need comfort, He made a promise.
If you need provision, He made a promise.
If you need healing, He made a promise.
If you need deliverance, He made a promise.
If you need a place of safety, He made a promise.
If you need wisdom, He made a promise.
“Fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:21, ESV)
Lord, I thank You for the many promises You have given me. You are faithful and completely trustworthy. I know You have a plan for my life and Your timing is always perfect. You will lead me, guide me, and strengthen me—because Your promises are sure.
(Other scriptures on God’s promises: Joshua 1:9, Joshua 21:45, Hebrews 10:23, II Corinthians 1:20, Romans 8:38-39.)
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