Hope Deferred

I went to the Bethel Worship Night on Wednesday, and let me just start by saying: WOW.  I went last year and God definitely blessed me, but this year He absolutely blew me away.  First of all, I prayed to have a friend to go with earlier that week and randomly ran into an old acquaintance from DBU who just happened to be going (which also strangely happened last year).  We then ended up finding each other at the very front of the line when we both got there (which is crazy because that place was PACKED)!  I was already extremely expectant, but during worship, when Josh Baldwin started singing his new song “Get Your Hopes Up,” I UNexpectedly became a balling mess.  I couldn’t contain the fact that I felt God speaking something deep within my heart I didn’t know I needed to hear.


It was in that moment that, almost without thinking, I heard myself say this genuine prayer:

“Lord, I don’t want You to take my disappointment away, but take away every ounce of my disappointment with You.  Take away every accusation from my heart that You are not good.  I want to worship You in the midst of my disappointment.”


Where did this come from?  Well, Bill Johnson spoke on many things that night, but the one thing that stood out to me over everything was the fact that in the here and now, the middle stage between desire and fulfillment, heaven and earth, the one gift I get to give my Jesus, the One who gave everything to me, is the gift of my faith and affection in the midst of disappointment.  You see, in Heaven, I will not be disappointed.  But on earth, “hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12).  There is absolutely no sickness in Heaven, but on earth, most of the time that is all that we can see.  We’re praying and praying, and nothing seems to be changing.  Sometimes, things may actually get worse.  But does that mean that God is not good?  Absolutely never.  I loved what Bill Johnson said about how we can be trusted with the weightiness of Jesus’ anointing for breakthrough ONLY to the degree that we navigate through our disappointment.  So, how do we navigate through disappointment?  It comes through seeing our disappointment, deferred hopes, and unfulfilled desires through the filter of His love.  He will always answer us with a yes, no, or not yet.  It’s up to us to rest in His answer and trust that He knows best.


If there are some prayers that you have been praying for a long time that have yet to be fulfilled, I want to encourage you with how the Lord encouraged me as to why His answer has been “not yet.”  Here are three reasons why that could be for you:

  1. He loves you too much to allow you to settle for a halfway relationship with Him.
    • If you are allowing yourself to stay in a pit of discouragement because you feel like He hasn’t given you what you’re praying for yet, you are missing out on the fullness of what the Father wants to do in you, and how He wants to bless you right now…with Himself! If you are praying and seeking Him for something specific, or you have been for a long time, you may find that you have opportunity to grow or you already have grown closer to Him in a way that you wouldn’t if He just went ahead and answered your prayer right away.  You find Him as you genuinely and desperately seek Him!  He allows us to feel our need sometimes so that we can realize how desperate we truly are for Him above anything else, and so we can receive the comfort that He brings when we are forced to rely on Him, and not the fulfilled desire.  What is so crazy about this, is He truly wants to bless us with the fulfillment of the dreams that He has put inside of us.  However, He alone knows that our true fulfillment comes from Him, not those dreams.  He loves us so much – enough to delay our desires so that we can grow in our revelation of the sufficiency of that love.  He does not want to give us something before we are strong enough to handle it without taking our eyes off of Him, which leads me to my next point…


  1. He loves you too much to allow you to make what you’re praying for an idol.
    • It is the grace of God for Him to not always give us what we want, when we want it. This is because when we begin to want it more than Him, He knows that we will destroy ourselves!  Why?  When we desire something SO much, we begin to be blinded by it.  That thing becomes an idol and it is like physically taking a veil and placing it over our eyes.  We become so focused on it, and so unable to think of anything else that it hinders our sight for God and what else He may be doing in our lives.  This is idolatry!  When the Lord causes us to wait, and we begin to submit to His process and seek Him through praise, the veil begins to be lifted, and we can now see and have the ability to differentiate what is good from what is best.  He is always best.  A “not yet” answer to our prayers allows us the time to realize the greatness of Who and what He has already given us, and to not make more of what we are praying for when He ultimately gives it.


  1. He loves you too much to allow you to miss out on the fruit and blessing of your current ministry.
    • If you are wondering why the Lord hasn’t automatically shifted your season from one to the other by answering your prayer, it may be because He is still pulling the greatness out of you in the current season that you are in…for you as well as for others! Ultimately, our greatest blessings come when we learn how to take our eyes off of ourselves, and focus on BECOMING more of a blessing to others.  You may think that you would be so much more effective if He would just go ahead and give you what it is you are asking Him for, especially if it is a good thing and a part of His will, but He may have even bigger plans right now.  In fact, He always has bigger plans.  Everything the Lord does is on purpose (see Ecclesiastes 3).  He is giving you a testimony while you are waiting for your prayers to be answered, and the lessons that you learn in this season will extend far beyond the moment you receive the fulfillment (like Abraham and Sarah with the son of their promise!).  You are called to show others what God is showing you in this season!  Sometimes, we feel that He is holding out on us, but in reality, He is wanting to pour His love out on us in an even greater way through His using us to be an even greater blessing!  Whether you choose to encourage others who are in the very same place of waiting, or if you simply choose to worship Him before He has answered your prayers, others are watching.  You are being used by the Lord more than you even know, and it’s simply by being obedient to Him in the season that He has placed you in.  He is showing you how to rest in what He has already given you, and to use it for His glory exactly where you are, and that in turn, teaches others how to do the same.  That way, in His lovingkindness, He can bless you with even more than what it was you originally asked for because He is enabling you to reap where you have now sown – in places it may not have happened in if He hadn’t given you a “not yet” answer.  Do you see how wonderful He is?


With all of that being said, I would love to share with you all a song I wrote last year (my first on the ukulele!) that God has used in my life again and again to speak truth back to me.  I hope it blesses you.  🙂


Hope Deferred by Amanda Rassamni:

I have been down on my knees with desperate pleas, singing “Come and fill me.”

I know what it looks like to wait day after day, when nothing has changed.

But You, You are not a God who withholds good from me, and I, I cannot accuse You of wrongdoing.

Oh, how precious are the seasons that I choose to cling to You, before You do what I’m asking You to do.


Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but how I trust You, oh, how I trust You, my Father.

Desire fulfilled is a tree of life, and I know only You can satisfy.


Shall we not accept from the Lord good and trouble?

Shall we not accept from the Lord every season of the soul?

Shall we not accept from the hand of God the comfort that He brings when He knows we’re suffering?

He knows we’re suffering.


Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but how I trust You, oh how I trust You, my Father.

Desire fulfilled is a tree of life, and I know only You can satisfy.


© 2017 Amanda Rassamni


Let’s face our disappointment with the love of God and the faith and trust that He will complete the good work that He began in us (Philippians 1:6).


Blog Pic: From the inside of Glasgow Botanic Gardens on a rainy day in Scotland

For the Love of Redemption

I was eating dinner with a friend the other night, and as we were talking about our stories, these words came out of my mouth:


“You went through what you went through so that God could REDEEM it.”


I couldn’t help but realize that those words were straight from Heaven to my own heart, and exactly what I personally needed to hear.  You know, some things that happen in our lives are unexplainable.  Some things are just plain hard and sometimes, it is next to impossible to try and figure out how on earth they could ever turn out to be good.  It actually can seem pretty hopeless.


I want to encourage whoever is reading this though, if you are willing to believe it, that there is a God who truly loves you, more than you know.  The whole premise of our faith in Him is that He loved us enough to give His life for us and save us from ourselves.  “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).  Who else can reconcile the things that happen in life, but a Christian who knows the love of a redeeming God?  To know without a shadow of a doubt that, if He allowed it, even if it happened according to our own faulty enacting of the free will He gave us (bad decisions and wrong choices), if He redeemed our very lives, He can and will redeem anything if we surrender it to Him.


If you put yourself in situations that led to where you are, or if horrible things have happened to you, our God is a God of redemption.  What kind of love is this?  A love that loves and redeems just because – for no other reason than that He has chosen to make you the object of His powerful affection.  Do not condemn yourself to a life of hopelessness and discouragement because of your past choices or experiences.  If you do not, “neither (does Jesus) condemn you” and He simply asks you to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11).  He can redeem every single thing that you have ever done or been through, and not only does He have the power to, but He actually wants to.


Our God is omnipresent – everywhere, all at once, He is omnipotent – entirely powerful, and He is omniscient – He knows everything that there is to know.  He existed before time began because He actually created it.  He was alone, in community with Himself, with need of nothing and no one.  But He chose…He chose to create.  To think that God is sovereign over the entire universe and He could do anything He wanted to.  He could choose to create a planet of people that were consigned to loving Him and doing whatever He says, even though everything He says brings life and peace.  He could create an empire for no other reason than to serve Himself, even though serving Him is the very purpose and beauty and fulfillment of our lives.  But NO.  Our God, the God above all other so-called “gods”, chose to create creatures with the free will to actually make the choice to love Him themselves.  Not only did He do that with such love and generous freedom, but He then chose to lay His own life down as a perfect, redeeming sacrifice for the ones He loves, when we didn’t even exist yet to know that we needed Him at all.  This is not a fairy tale, but this is real life.  This is real love.


You may not believe this is true, but I personally refuse to believe that my story and my personal pain means nothing.  If the greatest pain – complete and utter separation from God, has been redeemed once and for all, then how can every other thing that happens in life not be?


“For your Maker is your Husband—the Lord of hosts is His name—and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth He is called” (Isaiah 54:5).


I’m in love with the Lord because He is strong enough to handle my pain.  He does not shy away from it in cruelty or in powerlessness.  When I am in need of His comfort, He speaks.  When I am desperate, and I open myself to genuinely hear from Him, I do.  Many people think that God is silent, but while there are seasons in which we hear His voice more clearly than others, we can always hear Him by reading His word and seeking Him genuinely.  He will always ultimately honor our seeking Him in desperation.


Although I have yet to see what it is He is doing, and what He is going to do with my story, I have to believe that He is still on the throne.  He is my God, and in Him, I lack no good thing – even before I believe that what He’s given me is good yet (Psalm 34:10).  He is the Redeemer of all things.  Nothing is too hard for Him.  He is the very definition of goodness, and I will choose to put my full faith in Him.


If He saved us for the love of redemption, will He not also delight in redeeming our current situation?  He will.  And He will do more than we can ask or imagine because He is a creative God of Redemption and Love.


Blog Pic: Looking over Dumfries from the top of St. Benedict’s Convent in Scotland

You Were Made to Fly Higher

“Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

-Philippians 3:12-14


I do not presume to know everything about God, or everything about the Bible, but I can say with absolute confidence that I have experienced Him.  It is impossible to nail down any one way in which He comes or to fully explain exactly what it looks like when He does, but let me just say that when He comes…you know.  His Presence is marked by peace, joy, hope, love, confidence, comfort, strength, purpose, and encouragement.  There is no shame, no guilt, and no fear in His Presence, and if there is, He replaces it with the understanding that He fully sees you, knows you, and accepts you as the One who loved you enough to die for you.  It feels like coming home.


Just as God spoke to Moses through a burning bush, He can speak to you today.  On the other hand, just as God spoke to Elijah through a still small voice, He can speak to you today.  He can speak audibly, and He can speak quietly, and He speaks in many different ways.  Just like Moses and Elijah, you can experience Him and hear His voice in a way that will always line up with the truth of His Word, but that is personal to you and your current situation.  The way you hear and experience God does not make you more or less spiritual than anyone else, but to expect to hear and experience Him as you seek Him – that’s what will take you deeper.  We cannot be led by our fickle feelings, but when we have devoted our feelings to the Lord and we are desiring to experience and draw closer to Him in a genuine and biblical way, we can expect Him to come.


That being said, I just want to make it clear that:

Wanting to experience God is never wrong. 

Being passionate about God, and about experiencing Him, is never wrong. 

Wanting to surround yourself with people and be in Christian circles and churches that are passionate about God, and about experiencing Him, is never wrong. 


I asked God to give me a clear metaphor of what experiencing Him is like, and this is what He spoke to me:


Experiencing God is like flying in an airplane.


You are flying the plane and using all of the given instruments in order to reach your destination.  Your spiritual instruments look like praying and communicating your heart to the Lord, applying His Word to your life in faith, and worshiping Him genuinely with everything you have.  It looks like simply being obedient in your relationship with Him.  When you live in this way, despite your feelings, you are experiencing God and you are FLYING.  There is so much to see, and so much revelation to receive!  You are content in seeking God and drawing near with all of your strength, but guess what?  The next thing you know, He comes in with the wind of His Spirit – with a force that comes up underneath you to support you, lift your wings, and take you higher than ever before!  This is what you were MADE for!


When flying a plane, this is literally called “lift.”  Lift happens when the plane begins to be pointed upward due to the incoming contact of rising air.  This does not cause the plane to crash, or take the place of the instruments that the pilot is already using, but it actually lifts the plane up higher than it could ever reach with its own power!


Literally, this is what it looks like to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14)!  However, James 4:8 also says: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  Never forget that our relationship with God is NOT, not will it ever be, a one-way relationship.  When we begin to put into practice simple spiritual disciplines in order to draw near to God, He draws near to us with the wind of His Spirit and encounters us in ways that are deeper than just reading words on a page.  Our God is alive and we can personally experience Him!  Experiencing God through the power of His Spirit does not detract from our personal devotion time spent in His Word and in prayer, but it actually strengthens it due to the fact that the wind of the Holy Spirit comes to meet us where we are and lift us higher in Him, encouraging us to want to devote ourselves to pressing into Him even more!  When we seek Him in His Word, we can expect to find Him in our daily experience.  We can also expect that He will exceed our expectations by taking us to new levels in Him.  🙂


We were never intended to be in control of where God takes us and how He takes us there.  We were always intended to surrender.  If God wants to shift our paradigm of what He can do, and lift up our wings a little bit, let’s give Him free reign to do so.  After all, He is the King, and this is His Kingdom, not the other way around.


So, let us be open to experiencing Him however He wants to come.  Let us live our lives confidently by utilizing all of the spiritual disciplines we know of (praying, reading His Word, worshiping Him), but let us not think that this relationship solely rests on us!  When we call out to God, He answers.  In His kindness, He allows us to experience Him in ways that literally bring His Word to life by enabling us to apply it to our lives more deeply and more personally.  We need not be afraid of experiencing God in new ways as it only takes us higher and causes us to draw closer to Him than ever before!


You will not crash when you fix your eyes on Him.  You were made to fly higher.  🙂


(P.S.  If you would like to go a little deeper into this topic, take some time to read my story about My Journey into the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and may it encourage you!)


Blog Pic: Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean