Upon the heels of many encouraging promises from the Lord the opposite begins to happen. Have you ever noticed that? It isn't just that way for us. We are in good company. In scripture we see in the life of the nation of Israel that between their promise and promised land lay the Sinai wilderness. We see in the life of Joseph a 22 year period of testing between his dreams and their fulfillment. One day Joseph sees everyone bowing down to him. The next day he is being brought down to Egypt sold as a slave. One day John baptizes Jesus in water. Jesus and others hear the audible voice of His father affirm His love. The Holy Spirit literally fills Him. Everyone sees the sign of the literal dove light upon Him. Then He is 'driven' into the wilderness to be tempted. Why is there this 'gap' between the promise and fulfillment? It can be quite discouraging, particularly to one who doesn't understand this aspect of spiritual development. We can begin to wonder if we have done something wrong or not done something right. We can doubt that we heard correctly from the Lord. Even worse, we can succumb to the temptation to doubt the Lord's goodness towards us.
The difficult time between the promise and the fulfillment is the goodness of the Lord! Its the opportunity God provides for us to develop sufficient faith to obtain and maintain the promise. He really wants us to benefit from His kindness. The Proverbs tell us that "An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end" (Proverbs 20:21). Some have gotten inheritances who didn't have the faith and character to keep them. It is sort of like the poor folks who win the multi-million $ lottery. In a few years they are living in the trailer park again in worse shape than before they won it. The gap between the promise and the fulfillment must be bridged by a new more substantial level of faith and character or one will not be able to successfully stand in the new higher place of blessing.
It's time to build the level of faith and character that will bridge the gap between the promise and its fulfillment.