How covenant keeps us going.


I recently went to the wedding of a young friend I’ve known since she was a skinny eight-year-old. She is now 27. The wedding was beautiful in both its simplicity and its message.

The young couple intentionally choreographed a ceremony that highlighted the fact that what they were entering was a covenant marriage before God. Having watched the bride grow from a gangly pre-teen into an accomplished and godly young woman, those of us who have loved her over the years delighted to see the marriage God prepared for her—for this was indisputably a marriage prepared by God.

The toasts at the reception made it evident that both the bride and the groom had committed as young people to wait for God’s best in marriage. Both guarded their hearts through high school and college. Both experienced seasons of disappointment when doing things God’s way did not seem to be producing the desired outcome. Undoubtedly, each one experienced the temptation to prioritize romantic love and give up on God’s way because His timing was just too slow.

Thankfully, neither one did. Although the wait was sometimes with gritted teeth or tears, they waited. To hear them tell it, what God delivered—while not on their timetable—far exceeded what they ever could have wished for.

As I rejoiced with the newlyweds, a part of me also grieved because I know of too many who gave up on God’s way and took matters into their own hands. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was about these two kids that made them able to hang in there when so many don’t. The explanation, I believe, lies in the word “covenant.”

So many situations in the Christian life put us in circumstances where we might feel that we’ve done our part but God is not doing His.

This bride and groom were able to wait on a covenant relationship in marriage, because they each first had a covenant relationship with God. The foundation of their personal relationships with Christ had given them the trust that His way is best — even if it didn’t produce the results they thought they desired. In this case they got their heart’s desire, but it is important to recognize that in the waiting — they had no idea what the end result would be.

And still they trusted God.

As I have thought about this sweet couple, I realize that they modeled something for me that is true in every area of life. So many situations in the Christian life put us in circumstances where we might feel that we’ve done our part but God is not doing His.

As a parent, perhaps you’ve lived to the best of your ability to expose your kids to the gospel and prayed for them to develop a deep love for Christ — and yet as they grow up, a child rejects Christ and the truth of the Bible. Or maybe in your work life you strive to engage with integrity and are passed over for promotion by someone willing to compromise ethics for profit. You might live generously towards God and others and practice sound financial principles, only to then experience job loss or some other financial devastation. Maybe you have followed Christ as diligently as you know how, and still struggle with depression or anxiety. You did what you were supposed to do, and He didn’t come through.

In any of these situations, the covenant love of Christ must be our foundation. Truth be told, not one of has really done our part with respect to God. Even one sin breaks our side of the promise to God. What’s more, we are incapable of fulfilling our part of the covenant, because we are fallen people in a fallen creation.

The beauty of a covenant relationship with Christ is that He satisfies both God’s part and our part. When Jesus voluntarily went to the cross, died, and rose again, He fulfilled both the wrath and the love of God. For me, this covenant means that God can be trusted, even when circumstances seem otherwise. He can be trusted with the temporary circumstances of my life because He has already made possible the eternal rescue that I so desperately needed.

When I really grasp the sacrificial, perfect, and eternal love of Christ, how can I not trust that His desires for me are so much better than my own? How can I not understand that He is worth any wait?

Original article written by Grace Oviedo member Mary Odell.