“My point is this: we may never get to see the end result of God’s plan. We have no way of knowing how long it will take…It may be years beyond us. We may be a step in the middle of the plan, and generations beyond us may be counting on us to do our part now. Keep going! Have faith that God will take care of what is beyond your line of vision.” Jessie Clemence
In The Process of Hope, I touched upon Hebrews 11 and the lives of Biblical men and women who were given promises by God that they never saw the completion of in their lifetime. Abraham, Moses’ parents, and Moses himself were but a few of the famous people in the Bible who showed what real faith looks like.
As I study the Bible and grow closer in my relationship to God, I feel there are three elements needed in order for hope to fully blossom in a Christ follower’s life. The first is that my focus needs to shift from an earthly perspective to a Heavenly perspective. Instead of focusing on what the promise means for me, the focus becomes, “What role does God want me to play in His plan…for His greater good?”
Second, I believe that most of the time when God calls us to an assignment, at least part of the requirements of the job will line up with our gifts and talents or experience. If you look at Abraham’s promise from God, Abraham and Sarah’s desire was to have a child of their own. God speaks very clearly in Genesis 17:1-2: “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” (NIV) God didn’t give Abraham that promise for Abraham. He gave Abraham that promise because God knew His glory and His promise would be fulfilled through Abraham. However…at the same time, what was the one thing Abraham and Sarah wanted more than anything? A child. God took the desires of their heart and fulfilled His promise through their desires.
Another example in the Bible is Joseph. Joseph wasn’t put in the position of power for the sake of Joseph. He had dreams about that promise when he was a teenager, but they weren’t fulfilled until he was much older. However, God had created Joseph’s personality and leadership abilities and used those to fulfill His goals for His glory.
The last element I believe that completes the puzzle is this: Contentment. God wants me to enjoy the moment I’m living in and embrace fully where I am all while continuing to have hope about what God has planned for my future. He doesn’t want me living for the future and missing out on the blessings He has for me now. He doesn’t want me missing out on blessing others because I’m too focused on myself, holding tight to what I’ve been given. He wants me living with open hands, experiencing the blessings He has given me to enjoy now while hopeful for a great future as I continue to obey His commands and walk in the direction He asked.
God has great plans for each one of His children. Those plans will be fulfilled not because of us or necessarily for us, but for Him. Wherever we are in the process isn’t what’s amazing. That He wants to use us as part of His big picture is!
© Cheri Swalwell 2014