When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:13-20
One of the things I love the most is coming home, walking up the steps, and seeing through the window my wife and two girls laughing in the kitchen. Jenn can bake with the best of them (as my expanding waistline can attest to). Over the years she's been passing down the tricks of the trade to our daughters. Every recipe she teaches requires an extra helping of patience from Jenn due to our eager beavers wanting to do everything on their own.
When our girls were younger, they'd put the sweet treat in the oven to bake and wait. And, they quickly learned that waiting is indeed the hardest part. The anticipation was too much for them to bear. They wore the oven light out by flipping it on and off constantly. They would swing open the door to get a better view hoping that would speed up the process. And, if that didn't do the trick, they would whine to Jenn, "How much longer! You said we could have cookies!" With the steadiness of a saint, Jenn would smile and say, "I promise you'll get them soon enough. Trust the recipe!"
And, without fail, their promise came true in the form of a delectable dessert (with a huge chunk cut out for yours truly). But, for as gratifying as that first bite was, the waiting was excruciating. Our girls could have come to the conclusion that mom was holding out on them and very quickly taken matters into their own hands by grabbing some oven mitts and bringing out the dessert early. From their limited perspective, it might seem like a good idea, but it would only leave them with an ooey gooey mess.
Growth, trust, and faith reside in the space between the promise and its delivery.
25 years went by from the time God promised Abraham a son to Isaac's birth. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until God led them to Promised Land. And for three days all hope felt lost for the disciples until Jesus rose again and conquered death.
When disappointment rears its ugly head or adversity makes an appearance in our lives, every day can feel like an eternity. Time stands still. Our focus and thoughts lock in on our circumstances. The pain and struggle are so intense we can lose hope and perspective. We wonder, "How can God be for my good if He lets met endure this for so long? Doesn't He care?"
Everything goes back to one critical question: Can the person who stated the promise be trusted to deliver it? In the midst of this ever-changing world, the one thing that remains the same is God's promises, and because of that, we can be encouraged greatly. Trusting in the One who embodies truth enables us to stand secure in His promises. Our hope is so immovable that it’s described as an "anchor for the soul." The waves and winds might kick up, the sea might get rocky, but our heart and soul can remain at peace.
What unchanging promise of God do you need to anchor yourself to for security?
God, may my hope always remain anchored to Your truth and secured by Your promises. Encourage me to trust Your ways, even when they don't make sense to me. May I spend my days walking in confidence that only Your love provides. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.