The title of this sermon is Trusting God Means Trusting God’s Timing.
God promised Abram that he would have a son. That son would be the heir of his estate. It is obvious that Abram shared this promise with his wife Sarai. Together they have waited for the promise of this son. So far, it has not happened.
When God promises you something, and it doesn’t happen for what seems like a very long time, what happens?
Do you begin to doubt God?
Do you begin to get impatient?
Do you begin to think that you misunderstood God and he never really promised you anything?
Do you think that you have committed some sin and because of that, God has withdrawn his promise from you?
Do you just get mad?
Anger, fear, impatience, doubt, believing lies, are all leading you to developing misconceptions about God.
God hates me.
God doesn’t love me.
God wants me to suffer.
God doesn’t want me to be happy.
God is getting me back for something I did in the past.
Sarai acknowledges that God in his providence is the one that causes a child to be born when the child is born. Sarai does not have a problem with God’s providence or sovereignty as much as she has a problem with his timing.
Because Sarai is frustrated, she makes a very irrational decision. She tells Abram to go sleep with her servant. Do you see a problem here? This has the potential to go really bad really fast.
The devil likes to tempt us into believing that God forgot about the promise that he made to us and that it would be better to take matters into our own hands.
Abram does not resist. He does not tell his wife that he doesn’t think that is a good idea.
God made marriage a covenant between one man and one woman. Marriage is a closed covenant. The only third party in a marriage is God. No one else is invited.
Abram marries Hagar.
Abram is not justified in this decision period.
Abram has gone outside the boundaries of what God ordained.
Before this moment, Abram has most likely not had much interaction with Hagar.
This is not a marriage where Abram is going to love her.
This is not a marriage where Abram is going to serve her.
This is not a marriage where Abram is going to provide for her.
She, being Egyptian, most likely is not interested in loving, respecting, or honoring him either.
Hagar gets pregnant.
She becomes prideful and has contempt for her mistress.
There is no telling what goes through Sarai’s mind.
She could take Hagar’s glaring stab to mean anything.
Most likely, Hagar’s look said, “Your husband slept with me and I am giving him a child. He has been with you for many years and you can’t give him a child.”
Sarai goes off on Abram.
Abram basically tells Sarai that this whole mess was her idea anyway. He tells Sarai that Hagar is her servant and she can do what she wants to with her servant.
Sarai is harsh in dealing with Hagar. Hagar flees.
When God tells you that he is going to do something and you are believing him for this promise, things go really bad when you decide to take matters in your own hands.
This usually comes from a belief that God is busy or is taking too long bringing this promise to pass so you get this idea that this would go better if you were in control of the situation.
When we overstep God’s boundaries and willingly sin. Our disobedience quickly causes an avalanche of guilt and grief.
You reap what you sow.
You have no one to blame but yourself.
We need to remember that Jesus holds all things together.
Because of this truth, Jesus is much aware of our situation. He knows the promises that we are waiting on. He has not forgotten us. He does not wish ill upon you or for harm to come upon you. He is not seeking revenge on you for past sins.
Everything is just the way that he has allowed it to be.
If you are waiting on a promise that God has given you and it has not come to be yet. It is because you are not ready for it.
God will give you the promise when you are mature enough to handle it. In the meantime, he is growing you.
It took Joseph 17 years to become a leader.
It took David 30 years to become a king.
Sanctification is about you becoming more and more like Jesus.
Part of that process is waiting.
Waiting is not an excuse for you to become lazy.
While you are waiting, you hold on to the promise and continue in what God has called you to do.
You continue to make disciples
You continue to pray, give, read the Bible
You continue to passionately pursue Jesus
You pour your life out into the life of somebody else
You do not use waiting as an excuse to not be obedient.
Jesus has not forgotten about you.
He is preparing you for what he has prepared for you.
Jesus is growing you and conforming you into the image of himself.
Later when you share your story with somebody, you can also share that you never lost focus, you didn’t disobey, you did not rebel, you did not run from Jesus but you ran to Jesus.
Live your life on purpose.
Live in such a way that your words, actions, and life point other people to Jesus.
Imitate me as I imitate Christ.