When Reality Is So Different from God’s Promise

Paolo Punzalan

May 14, 2021

You believed He was a provider but to this day, you don’t have tuition money.

You trusted His promise, but you didn’t get in to your dream school.

You prayed that things would get better, but things have gotten worse.

It can get frustrating, can’t it? Let’s look at the life of Abraham. He’d been waiting for so long—close to a hundred years in fact—just so he could have one offspring. Abraham received his promiseIsaac. But he was going to face another test. In Genesis 22, God asked him to sacrifice his son on top of Mt. Moriah. There are 5 lessons I’d like to highlight for us from this narrative.

1. Our faith is going to be tested through our obedience.

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 

Genesis 22:1

Not very many love taking tests. Do you? I don’t. But tests reveal what we have learned. There are tests that produce faith. But there are tests that reveal faith.

When tests come, what do they reveal about you?

2. We can either reason on the basis of our circumstance or on the basis of God’s character.

Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”

Genesis 22:5

“I and the boy will come again to you.” What a faith statement! But did he know God’s plan? That God wasn’t going to really make him do it? I don’t think so.

But Hebrews 11:19 gives us a clue to what his thought process was.

He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

Hebrews 11:19

Abraham wrestled but came to a conclusion the night before. He logically concluded that God cannot lie. God made a promise that Abraham will be a father of many nations, and He will not turn back on that promise.

So Abraham did not reason on the basis of his current circumstance but on the basis of the character of Godthat God is faithful to fulfill His promise.

3. The promise given is as good as the Promise Giver.

And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

Genesis 22:7–8

When Abraham resolved in his heart that God cannot lie and will not lie, he made this declaration: God will provide. He didn’t know how and when, but he was sure of it for some reason.

However, since there is no one greater than God, He swore by His own authority and power. Genesis 22:16–17 says, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you.”

Because God is the ultimate authority and power, therefore, what He says, we can trust.

‍4. Obedience has to be immediate, persistent, and ultimate.

Abraham woke up early. He continued walking up the mountain with Isaac. He drew the dagger when it was time. His obedience was immediate, persistent, and ultimate.

I love what John Calvin said, “We pay [God] the highest honor when, in affairs of perplexity, we nevertheless entirely acquiesce (yield) to His providence.”

5. God’s infinite provision is always greater than our finite problem.

So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” 

Genesis 22:14

Yahweh Yirehor the Lord will provideis a title given to God by Abraham. It does not only mean God being the One who supplies. Yahweh Yireh also means “God will see to it.” He will see to it that His plans and purposes will prevail in our lives.

Will it always be in the way we desire Him to provide? Will it be according to our timing or His? Not really. But one thing is for sure. God will see to it that what He has planned will be accomplished.


This article is based on an article originally published in Pastor Paolo Punzalan’s blog.




The Author

Paolo Punzalan

Pastor Paolo is the senior pastor at Victory Fort Bonifacio. He and his wife, Jenn, have four kids and together, they love to speak about marriage, family, and parenting.