The work of the Lord is difficult to undergo because of the time God takes to work. Enduring the Lord's work requires patience, focus, hope, and an intense diligence in the Word to often be reminded about God's work and its ultimate affects. Many believers have an understanding of the results of God's work, but His work pace makes it really difficult to ride out the process. Nevertheless, one must consider the extent and magnitude of God's work, and always remember that God knows what He's doing since we are merely a small part of a very large plan that God has.
In Genesis 25:19-26 the Bible explains the next phase of God's work regarding the promises that were made to Abraham. Genesis 25:19-26 first explains that Isaac was 40 years old when he was able to marry Rebekah. This means that it had been 65 years since God had made His promises to Abraham. The Bible explains that by this point in time, 65 years had elapsed, Abraham as dead, and Isaac was getting on in years while his wife was barren. Yet God was diligently and methodically working to fulfill the promises He made to Abraham decades before. The Bible teaches that, God is not just interested in fulfilling His promises, but also desires to do so in a manner that reveals His unique attributes, temperament, and brings Him glory in the process.
God promised Abraham that he would be a great nation. God promised Abraham that Isaac would be the heir of that promise as well as the heir of the land inheritance and 'blessing.' This means that Isaac would also be a great nation. Yet the Bible shows that, like his father, Isaac and his wife were getting on in years and did not have a child. The scriptures show that Rebekah was barren. Thus, Isaac inquired of the Lord. Isaac prayed to God on behalf of his wife. Isaac and Rebekah's situation was difficult, not just because God was taking long to fulfill His promises, but because a barren woman in Biblical culture was the sign of a cursed woman. Rebekah was supposed to be blessed as Isaac's wife. Rebekah was supposed to be the tool that God used to bring forth the great nation that God promised. Yet Rebekah was barren.
The Bible explains that God heard Isaac's prayer, and she finally conceived. However, the challenges did not stop there. Genesis 25:19-26 explains that Rebekah felt something was wrong with her pregnancy. The Bible says that the children struggled against each other in her womb to the extent that she pleaded to the Lord and asked, "Why is this happening to me?" Rebekah clearly couldn't understand the work of God and the will of God. While the Bible is not clear if Rebekah had an understanding of the promises made to Abraham and Isaac, it is clear that she is confused about the Lord's work and why it involves such difficulty.
The scriptures explain that God responded to the plea of Rebekah. The scriptures show that God explained the purpose for her struggles and revealed part of His plan to her. God stated that Rebekah was carrying twins, but that the two brothers in the womb of Rebekah would not get along. God told Rebekah that the two boys she would give birth to would be separated, that one would be stronger than the other, and that the older would serve the younger. God knew these things because these things were according to God's will. God was doing His wok in ways that were unconventional to culture and "normal" human rationale. While it is likely that Rebekah would have preferred her boys to get along, God exercised His sovereignty to do His will in spite of their opposition. Though God could have removed the opposition, He worked in spite of it to accomplish His will while showing that the opposition of mankind cannot affect His work. Nevertheless, Rebekah would have to endure this as a mother.
Genesis 25:19-26 explains that when the time came, Rebekah gave birth to twins just as God spoke to her months before. She named the older Esau, and the younger was named Jacob. Yet the Bible explains that Isaac was 60 years old when the boys were born! This means that Isaac and Rebekah had to wait 20 years in their marriage for their first children. This means that God had taken 85 years to progress to the next step of His plan to fulfill the promises made to Abraham through the next generation. This means that Isaac and Rebekah had to patiently endure the work of God. This means that Rebekah had to go through a difficult pregnancy with twins fighting in her womb as a woman well past her prime of giving birth. This means that Isaac and Rebekah had to deal with these realities on a daily basis for this amount of time. For 7,300 days, Isaac and Rebekah had to wonder if God would bring them children. Each and every one of those days they had to decide whether or not they would trust in God or become bitter about their circumstances and loose hope.
The truth is, God does not work in timetables that favor typical human impatience. When one considers the challenges and issues that one has in life, and interprets those circumstances as lacking progress, one must consider the patient work pace of the Lord. The scriptures show that God is faithful to fulfill His promises; but He does so in His time - not ours. His time demands our patience, endurance, and a strong hope. It must have been difficult to possess hope in God's promises every day for 7,300 days. It must have been difficult to consider that the hope of Isaac and Rebekah required them to accept a bitter relationship between their twin sons. Nevertheless, God was faithful to fulfill His promises. The Bible is clear to explain the magnitude of God's promises, to the extent that the scriptures teach people can't even fathom the greatness of them. Thus, it is fitting that such a great reward requires such great hope and endurance to receive the benefits of such a reward. When one examines one's circumstances and realizes the difficulty of them and the lack of progress within them, one must not loose hope. Instead, one must hold even tighter to the hope of one's trust in God's power and faithfulness, understanding that God will fulfill His promises He has made to us, but in a manner that tests our faith, reveals His nature, and glorifies His being all at the same time.