enCourage Joy – Part 3

Did he get up each morning wondering if that would be the day?

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. And longing fulfilled is like a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12). We all know what it feels like to wait for a promise to be fulfilled. Some are small, such as when our spouse says, “I promise to pick up the groceries on my way home from work.” Some are heart-wrenching, such as:I promise to come home from the war in one piece.”

As the years roll by, sometimes our faith grows thin on unfulfilled promises we feel God has made. Maybe it’s a longing for marriage. Or a certain position. Perhaps we’re still waiting for healing. Or a family member’s salvation. Did God really say? we start to wonder.

A man named Simeon lived in light of God’s eternal promises crashing into temporal human nature. The Bible tells us he was a faithful, devout man who was “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25). In fact, the Holy Spirit revealed that Simeon wouldn’t die until he saw “the Lord’s Messiah” with his own eyes.

That’s some serious hope and longing.

We don’t know how many years passed between the promise and the fulfillment. Did Simeon get up each morning wondering if that would be the day? Did he wonder every time he met a holy man? His joy at finally seeing Jesus being presented at the temple gives us an idea of what it meant to have the promise fulfilled:

When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
 For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:27-32)

A tree of life indeed. What uncontainable joy he must have felt at this promise to humanity now fulfilled through Jesus, the Savior of the world. No wonder he was ready to rest in peace.

So what promise are you waiting for God to fulfill? What would make your joy complete? Be encouraged that when we align with God the way Simeon did, his promises over our life are “yes” and “amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, make my joy complete today by bringing me into full alignment with your promises over my life. Give me grace to trust your ways and timing. I entrust my loved ones to you as well, knowing that you have their best interests at heart. I look forward with faith and joyful anticipation to what you are going to do. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.