A new year has begun! 2012 has become a thing if the past and we have ticked over to 2013 with it’s new possibilities, new adventures and new promises. That’s all good and well but what do you do when the promises of the old year remain unrealised? It can be easy to think everyone is excited about the newness of the year, but I know from first hand experience that this is not always the case. When you have been believing for the fulfilment of God’s promise: when everything with in you has clung to His words for you and you’ve lived in that place of faith: when you find that it has not happened as you have believed. Then what? How the do you move forward? How is hope maintained?
I don’t know what your situation might be. For some it could be a healing that has not yet occurred. For others it could be the return of a prodigal or the restoration of a relationship. The possibilities are as limitless as our God. What I do know is that in all cases pain comes with the ‘still waiting’ and New Years become hard. They lead to questions and uncertainty. Did God really say? Am I doing something wrong? Am I just not good enough? Is there something wrong with me? Why? Why? Why?
If this is you I have some suggestions for you.
1. Acknowledge it. Too often we feel we need to hide our feelings, to pretend all is fine. Not only to those around us but often to ourselves. How can God help us if we won’t even admit there is something wrong.
“Remember, when you are prepared to face a feeling and not run away from it, to really feel it, then you are in charge of it, and it is not in charge of you” Selwyn Hughes
2. Grieve with God. Whether we realise it or not each and everyone of us will be grieving over these incomplete promises. The grief cannot be avoided. You will end up in one if the grief stages, but how well you have done step 1 and whether you go to God with your grief will make the difference between camping in your grief or moving through it. Don’t this wi God rather than alone is incredibly powerful. Recently as did just this it amazed me how quickly He could turn my heart. The angst has melted and I don’t even know how. Purely being in His presence and taking it to Him makes the difference.
‘When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the Rock that is higher than I’ Psalm 61:2
3. Listen. God has something to say. It may not be in regards to the promise. I have found He very rarely answers the why question for me. But He does have something to say that will be exactly what is needed. His recent words to me have been melting my hardening heart. They have been renewing hope. Not yet in the promise but definitely in the Promise Maker. And I know that before long it will even be in the promise. For He restores my soul.
‘I sought The Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears’ Psalm 34:4
4. Praise Him. You may not understand but whatever is happening will never change the fact that God is God. He is sovereign and He has not fallen off his throne. Who He is is overwhelmingly more than enough reason to praise Him. Add to that all that He has done for you already and there is no reason not to praise. As you do what the chains gripping you fall away.
‘But I will hope continually and will praise You more and more’ psalm 71:14