Along the way, we make God pay for the mistakes of others.  For all the people who have proven to be unreliable, we associate their nature with God’s nature.  We stare at the promises of God and demand that we receive a deadline of when they will come to pass. 

We confuse God’s reliability with our expectations of how he should do it.  When God doesn’t do things the way we want it and when we want it, we decry his methods and question his motives.  Since God doesn’t operate according to our preferences, we claim him to be unreliable.

Don’t make God pay for people’s unreliability.  

For all the expansive lists of promises made by God in Scripture, every single one of them finds their “yes” and “amen” in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20).  While we typically reserve the word, “amen,” for the conclusion of a prayer, the word actually means, “it is true.”  Whenever Jesus would say, “truly, truly I say to you,” he was saying, “amen, amen, I say to you.”  As we pray, especially in light of God’s promises, our punctuation to our intercessions is a confident confession that what we just prayed is undeniably true.  If God has promised it, you can bank on it.

  • Whatever God has promised, he will do (Num. 23:19). 
  • God is not a wishy-washy deity with the possibility of changing his mind (1 Sam. 15:29). 
  • When he makes a covenant with his people, he will not violate it (Ps. 89:34) but remembers it forever (Ps. 105:8). 
  • God promised the unfaithful Jacob that he would continue his faithfulness to him and would not leave him until he had done what he had promised him (Gen. 28:15). 
  • Praise to this faithful God who has promised that he will finish what he started in us (Phil. 1:6)!    

While many of us acknowledge that God’s words are reliable, they are not often as expedient as we would prefer.  Remember that God’s ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8).  Realize that God’s promises have an eternal shelf life.  Even his promise of his return might feel like slowness to us given the current condition of this world, but do not mistake God’s patience with your definition of slowness (2 Pet. 3:9).  His timing is not our timing.  What seems like a day to us might be a thousand years to him, or what seems like a thousand years to us might be a day to him (2 Pet. 3:8). 

God’s promises deserve a waiting spirit from us and not an impatient stopwatch.  He does have good plans for our future (Jer. 29:11), but like the Israelites, we might have to wait seventy years before they are realized (Jer. 29:10).  Even while we wait, we can be strong and take courage because his promises are trustworthy (Ps. 27:14).

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.