Faith In His Promises

What does it mean to have faith in the promises of God? As we’ve been journeying through the study of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I have been asking myself this question over and over again; and honestly, it’s been a question I’ve been asking myself for many years. Even more than that, I’ve found myself asking God, “What does it look like to actually trust that You’ll do what You say You’ll do, even if it doesn’t look the way I thought it would?”

In Genesis 28, we see a beautiful story of devotion, faith, and promise unfold. We can pick up in verse 12, where we read about Jacob having a dream from God.

It says “As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!”

Right here, we clearly see not only a promise to Jacob but a continuation of the promise that God has made to Abaraham and Isaac. We know that this promise was not always carried out like Jacob’s father and grandfather thought it would be, but they had faith that God would do what He said He would do. As we continue to read, we can take note of the ways that Jacob, more than likely, had to persevere and lean into the trust He had in God.

In the verses leading up to what we just read, Jacob was instructed by his father to go to the land of his relatives and take a wife there. To summarize, Jacob departs, has this dream from God, shows up to his relative’s house, and meets his family. There he meets Rachel and immediately knows he wants to marry her. He tells his uncle that he will work 7 years if Laban will promise Rachel to be his wife. I’m sure in Jacob’s mind, this was the clear and obvious first step to the promise that God had made to him in his dream.

We pick back up in verse 21, where it says “Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.” So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. (Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.) But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?” “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. “But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.” So Jacob agreed to work seven more years.

I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty jarring to me! I would think that Jacob had to take a minute to compose himself and reflect on the promise that God had made to him all those years ago. As we continue reading on, we see that God did, in fact, fulfill His promise to Jacob; but whenever I read that story, I always ask myself if I would’ve been able to still trust in what God had said to me. Candidly, if I were him, I would’ve had a few doubts going through my mind. At the very least, I would have asked God what in the world was happening and why! However, like so many other stories in the Bible, we are met with the fact that even when we’re confused, or we doubt, or life is not going the way that we thought it would, God has got it all under control. He knows what’s going to happen, and every word that He tells us is completely true and good to be trusted.

At the end of the summer of last year, I went through a huge personal transition in my life. Everything that I thought God had promised me seemingly fell through the cracks, and I felt as if the rug had been completely pulled out from under me. I spent many, MANY moments asking God what was happening and if I’d heard Him wrong. Truthfully, I really struggled with trusting Him to carry me through it. In those moments, I felt as if I was in a hole that I would never be able to climb out of. But by the wonderful grace, mercy, and love of God, I can sit here and say that now, on the other side of that moment, every single promise that He made to me is 100% true and He is so trustworthy. My life today does not look anything like I thought it would a year ago, but I can confidently say that the season of life that I am in today is the healthiest and most beautiful it has ever been. That doesn’t mean that there are not struggles and pain points, but I can look back over my entire life and see how all of the things that God said to me are worthy of being trusted.

He has fulfilled, is fulfilling, and will fulfill every word He has spoken, not only to me but to you too. Today I encourage you, if you’re in a low point like I was and you feel like you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, know that God is absolutely with you. He sees you, knows you, and is able to be trusted with what He has promised you. Take heart, God has overcome the world.

JOURNAL & PRAYER: Take a moment to write down some of the promises that God has given you. Write the recent ones, the long-forgotten ones, the ones that you may have doubts about in your mind. When you’re done, take a minute to pray this prayer: 

“God, even when I can’t see how it will all work out, I trust You and the promises that You have made to me. Lord, when I doubt You, deliver me from all suspicions of Your words, and from the rebellion against childlike dependency on You. God, deliver me from all of my anxiety about the future. Instead, replace these things with Your hope, patience, and grace. All of my trust is in You alone. I have written these promises as an act of faith that You will do what You say You’ll do. It may not look like what I think it should, but I know that Your ways are so much better than mine. Plant new and fresh faith in me and let it grow deep roots. Let me not forget the words that You have spoken. Lord, I love You and I trust You, and I pray that You would continue to teach me how to. I pray for all of these things in Your name, amen.”
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1 Comment

Mike - February 28th, 2024 at 6:10am

Thank you for this message. I'm struggling in a situation at work and wonder if I'm even where God would have me. Through Pastor Aaron's message Sunday and today's devotional I've learned (still learning) instead of telling God I need to know where I'm headed, I can trust God in what He has for me, and trust He will reveal it all in due time.