Hab.2:3 – For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.
One of the things that can bring discouragement is what we would consider a delay in what we believe are promises from God, delayed answers to prayers, or personal goals that seem to just stay out of reach. The common tendency is to give up, allow discouragement to set in, and either make excuses for our unfulfilled dreams, or just outright abandon our faith in God. This is where long term faith sets in, or as the Bible says it, endurance or perseverance. One of the cardinal doctrines of the Protestant Reformation was the perseverance of the saints. Perseverance is considered an evidence of the reality of our faith in God. This is how Matthew Henry describes today’s verse.
“God has an appointed time for his appointed work, and will be sure to do the work when the time comes; it is not for us to anticipate his appointments, but to wait his time. And it is a great encouragement to wait with patience, that, though the promised favor be deferred long, it will come at last, and be an abundant recompense to us for our waiting: At the end it shall speak and not lie. We shall not be disappointed of it, for it will come at the time appointed; nor shall we be disappointed in it, for it will fully answer our believing expectations. The promise may seem silent a great while, but at the end it shall speak; and therefore, though it tarry longer than we expected, yet we must continue waiting for it, being assured it will come, and willing to tarry until it does come.”
This kind of faith, or perseverance, may seem foreign to you. How can this be your testimony and you too be counted among those who persevere? Like I said earlier, perseverance is just long term faith. So the better question is where does true Bible faith come from? Faith is a gift that comes from the Lord. It becomes my testimony as I find myself caught up with Jesus. It’s in the light of His presence that my doubts are dispelled. It’s also in His presence that His promises become real in my heart. In that place of faith time doesn’t matter. Delays inevitably bring glory to God.