Bible Study: The Offer Versus the Promise
Written by Christi Given | November 2, 2017
Usually, waiting on God’s promises takes time and can test our faith. Many times in the waiting, the long-suffering and the wilderness, we can lose heart before we reach the promised land. God calls us to live by faith and tells us that His people will walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Abraham was promised his son Isaac and he waited for years before it came to pass. He knew that the Lord spoke and told him his descendant would outnumber the stars in the sky. (Genesis 17).
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” (Genesis 17:17)
What has God promised you? Do you know that the counteroffer comes before the promise? Sometimes the good is offered before the great. The Lord still blessed Sarah and Abraham with Ishmael even though he was not the awaited son, Isaac, whom God spoke of. The child Ishmael, birthed through the surrogate Hagar, was not the promised heir, but rather was birthed out of impatience. God can still give you a blessing, but He has even greater and amazing promises awaiting us if we can just hold onto our faith in Him.
If you noticed, it was Sarah who really wanted the child sooner than later, and she encouraged Abraham to be with the handmaiden, since Sarah was older and had difficulty bearing children. Abraham’s faith was always strong, even to the point of possibly sacrificing his own son (Isaac), before the ram in the thicket was revealed.
Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. (Romans 4:20)
How do we know how to discern when something is the real thing or a counterfeit? Many times there is temptation or testing before the breakthrough. You can go through such deep pain, suffering, trials or even refining before the blessings of God come to pass. Don’t be discouraged in the waiting. God is faithful, and He keeps His promises. God is the one who will never fail us or forsake us, even when man does. Family may forsake us or people may delay their word, but God is on time.
Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s character. (Psalm 105:19)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
We need to remember that the quality of the promises takes time, versus instant satisfaction. We at times want to snap our fingers and have God deliver His promises, and that is just not how it works. God is eternal and is timeless. He doesn’t think like us or operate how we do. God is there with us in the unknown, in the valley of the shadow of death and on the mountain tops if victories. Trust in Him. He will never, ever fail you…He will bring His promises to pass, but it will be His perfect timing.
PI Girls, do you trust God fully with your heart? Are you at peace in God? Comment below how we can pray for you. Jesus loves you so much!