“At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house,”. 2 Chronicles 8:1 ESV
King David had wanted to build a temple for over 40 years before Solomon’s accession and then it would be another 20 years according to 2 Chronicles 5 before it actually came into being. God appeared to be in no hurry to have a building and David & Solomon knew that and were content with His plan.
Before building began there was a lot of preparation to be done, materials to be acquired, craftsmen to be found, food to be organised – probably a 1001 things to do even before a trench was dug or a stone laid. Timing was of essence if the construction was to be done well. We should note it wasn’t “time” was of importance but “timing” was.
At points of our lives, our walk with God that we need to know the difference between the two. We will have those pivotal ‘kairos’ moments but there are ‘chronos’ periods too, the times when we feel frustrated with the “waiting”, “processing”, “preparations”, “delays” and “frustrations” when we feel we just need to get on with the job.
For myself, most recently, the completion of our lounge has been like that! Through a number of reasons and circumstances it has taken nearly 9 months to complete (I built a 4x7m extension quicker than that!) but probably for the first time ever it has caused me less anxiety than other projects, I’ve been content not to let it become the driving force or to neglect other things.
God said to me soon after we arrived in Dundee that our home was like CCD, that it would take time to be “finished” - it wasn’t a finish in a day project. There would be frustrations and delays but it would move forward and it would be done.
At times, particularly for the leadership, that “chronos” period seems like forever and the vision for CCD looks like it will never be achieved – “completed”. And even when it seems it might along comes another frustrating chronos period!
But there’s a master designer, planner, builder, timing organiser – “Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” Philippians 4:5-6 AMP For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
We can have the reassurance that Father God hasn’t lost the plot, forgotten us, He’s too busy with the ‘important stuff’, that He dismisses us when we lose heart, no, His care and purpose for us is always 100%. He definitely has a cunning plan for each of us.
At times life is tough, seemingly unfair and just plain hard going. But Father knew and knows about trials we’ve faced and the ones yet to come.
Jesus said;- “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]”. John 16:33 AMP
Nothing takes God by surprise, though sometimes it does us. It would seem the “Temple of our lives” will never be finished – the celebration of its completion I rather think will be when we finally meet with Jesus!
For us there will be “rest” when our Temple’s complete but for Solomon the work went on! “Then Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and captured it. He built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all his storage cities in Hamath. He also built upper Beth-horon and lower Beth-horon, fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars [to lock the gates];”. 2 Chronicles 8:3-5 AMP
His was like the “Never Ending Story” and I wonder if he ever thought “Will I ever finish?”
We’re in a much more privileged position. The “work” for us has been done by another – the Master Builder Himself! Our part is to have a confidence in Him so our hope is not frustrated nor delayed;
“This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells],” Hebrews 6:19 AMP
Amongst other things we are called, appointed and anointed to be “HOPE” carriers in a World that is being shaken at its roots.
A pandemic, like the present one, threatens everyone on the Planet. It’s brought fear, desperation, lose, death and the depletion of hope. But we have a confidence, a real hope that despite what rages around us, that God is totally for us, and for ALL men.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 ESV
More than ever we can bless those we know, who don’t yet know Jesus, by holding out to them “Hope” – not something ‘soft and fluffy’ but strong, confident “Hope” that Father God is there for them, He has plans & purpose for their lives, and best of all – that He loves them. It may seem like “forever” but we really know it’s not and one day all will be completed –
Julian wasn’t an optimist, she was a realist that loved God and her hope was securely anchored in Him. Finally –
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV.
Motivated by love for God and others, we can express faith and hope.
– Geof Cole