Gracious Promises

I am loving Bible Journaling! Working through a book in the Bible has made me think and chew over the word in a way that I have not really experienced before. This is one of my favourite stories and is my first double page spread. Since the story I wanted to illustrate covered both pages, I decided to take it over both. For this post I will be talking about the left hand page but I thought you might like a sneaky peek of the right hand page too! I don’t always go for the obvious because I feel that GOD doesn’t always highlight the obvious, but in this case, this story shouted at me to be drawn!

Genesis 21-22 (4)

Abraham and Sarah had received the promise from GOD about being the parents of a nation, yet they did not have any children. Back in Genesis 18:12 Sarah was ear wigging a conversation about her having a child and she laughed to herself, but her laughter was not full of joy, but full of sarcasm and disbelief. But now, in chapter 21 it all changes. The many years of waiting has passed and the Lord was gracious and did all that He has promised. Sarah bore a son in her very old age. She states that GOD has brought her laughter. This is the laughter of joy, dreams come true, faithfulness of GOD, unbelievable miracles and the graciousness of a Father.

Genesis 21 (2)

This may be a difficult story to read if you are waiting for an answer from GOD, and that answer just isn’t coming quick enough. I have waited to hear a certain answer from GOD and then been disappointed that the answer I got was not the that one I wanted. It is a tough place to be. The laugh that can come out of your heart is one of cynicism, anger and bitter disappointment. It isn’t easy. But here is the truth … The LORD is gracious and will do all that He has promised.

Below are two of my favourite Bible passages that help me to see GOD in the midst of disappointment.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you Philippians 4:4-9

(Rachel wrote a post about this passage, you can find it here.)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns?No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Romans 8:28-35

What GOD had promised was a promise! Human promises are so easily made and easily broken. I think that we very rarely accept the promises of those in power since they rarely seem to be fulfilled. Our lack of trust at a promise overflows into our perception of what we think GOD is like. That perception is completely wrong! When GOD promises something, He does not back out, twist it or manipulate it. He sees that He is able to fulfill the promise as He knows the future and is therefore totally confident when He makes a promise that it will be fulfilled.

I have found that guarding my heart and mind is essential when it comes to wrong thinking and letting bitterness slip in. It is so important to fill both heart and mind with the promises of GOD, because His word will never fail and is completely trustworthy. I have written them on post it notes and stuck them on my mirror, got an app that texts me with a daily verse, I have printed them to learn them off by heart … My advice is just immerse yourself in them. There are a whole load of Bible promises from openbible that can be found here.

I have journaled pages where GOD’s promises just don’t seem to be happening for Abraham and Sarah. I have seen them try to provide the answer for themselves and for GOD. They tried to hurry GOD along so that He would slot nicely into their time frame (I know you have probably heard it before, but GOD’s timing is perfect). There was pain for them in the waiting for the promise. But what I have seen is that when GOD does all that He promises, the outcome was far better than any human could have produced out of their will and desires.

The same still stands today. GOD’s timing and skills are perfect.

Questions to think about … maybe! Am I, and you, trying to make GOD’s promises fit our agenda and calendar? Are we trusting GOD at His word? Are we laughing with sarcasm or with joy? Hmmm, I’ll let you have a think about that.

Thanks for reading and please check out other posts while you are here.

Love Katy 😉




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