God's Plan Is Taking SO Long! Should I Give Up Hope?

Some people on the internet were predicting that the world was going to end again, or at least something hugely significant from a Biblical perspective was going to happen last Saturday, September 23, 2017. 

The world seems to be heading for self-destruction anyway, both by the forces of nature and by acts of humanity.  We've experienced what seems like an unprecedented number of natural disasters within the last month alone: 

Hurricane after hurricane after hurricane. 

Fires and fires. Smoke and more fires. 
Earthquake followed by earthquake.
Flooding then mudslides then more flooding.

All this has been occurring, not just in the USA but in Asia and Mexico too. There were more terrorist attacks in Europe and across Asia this week. There was a school shooting last week in the USA, and a church shooting this week too. Those were hardly even blips on the news. I am an avid follower of current events around the world, and I literally cannot even keep up with all the destruction and evil and suffering that has happened in the last thirty days alone. All of these are such horrible events happening close together. Oh, I just realized I forgot to mention that we are also under a threat of nuclear war. 

Now, there is also much news of spiritual good within all this. People are helping people. Some who had grown lukewarm in their faith are seeking the Lord again. Thousands and perhaps even tens of thousands of those from the Islamic faith are being drawn by the Holy Spirit, and are discovering the teachings of their prophet Isa for the first time, and learning that their Isa is the way of assurance and the path to a right relationship with God. Some lukewarm followers, who had left Christian fellowship, are seeing the hope that such communities offer in times of crisis, and are returning to such fellowship once again. 

Overall, though, it seems as if I can almost "feel" the beginning of the spiritual separation in the final harvest. I'm referring to the separation of the wheat from the tares, the good in the world from the evil. 

Are we in the time of the final spiritual harvest? 

It is taking so long, so very long.
Do we give up hope?

There are many passages we can read to remind us of the assurances and promises that we have from God. However, today, I want us to find assurance in what may, at first, seem like an unlikely passage in the Bible. 

It's in a passage of scripture from the first part of Matthew.  Go ahead, open up your Bible, or your Bible app, to Matthew 1:1.  

This is where we are going to find our hope today.  

Look up Matthew 1:1 Then scan from Matthew 1:1-1:17. 

What it that section about? 

I'll wait a few minutes........



Oh, did you think perhaps I had given you the wrong passage? 

What is in Matthew 1:1-17?

That's right, it is a genealogy -- a really long genealogy, from Abraham to Jesus Christ. 

No, my recommending that passage for today's source of hope was not a mistake. Yes, today we are going to find a source of assurance and hope in a lengthy New Testament genealogy. 

Look more closely and think about this question, "How many generations passed between Abraham and Christ?"

Hint: Look at verse 17 and then add up the generations. 

Answer:  42 generations passed from Abraham and the birth of Isaac, to the birth of Jesus. 

And therein lies our hope. 

God works through many, many generations to fulfill his great plan for the world. He is patient. Early on, God promised His people that He would send the Christ. 

From Adam to Jesus, we know the fulfillment of His promise took 6000 earth years.

From Abraham to Jesus, the time that passed was approximately 2100 earth years.

David knew the Christ would come. David longed for his coming. Yet, God fulfilled His promise at least a full 1000 years after David’s birth.  

Today, we also know that Jesus will return as he has promised. 
We shouldn't be doubtful because it seems to be taking so long. We shouldn't lose our assurance and hope because it is taking longer than 2000 years. 

Rather, we should expect it to take so long. For that is the way God has always worked out His plans, and that is the way God often fulfills His promises. God works through the generations. Long, long lists of generations. 

This is our assurance for these times. May your will be done, Lord. May your will be done in your time, Lord. 



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"The Road to Emmaus," painting by Robert Zund, 1877.