By Faith

The book of Genesis takes us back to how things were. We see how it all started and how God had absolute mercy on His children even through their disobedience and rebellion. In Genesis, we’re introduced to great characters of faith and are told intricate stories of how our ancestors communed with God. The story of Abraham (Abram) and Sarah (Sarai) is included in this beautiful book. If we fast forward to the New Testament, Hebrews 11:8-11 tells us a little bit about how this couple lived –

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.

It was all by faith.

But did they ever doubt? Did they ever act out of God’s will for their lives? Did they make decisions without seeking God first? The answer to each of these questions is  yes, absolutely yes. 

Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 15:2-6

Abraham didn’t have an heir of his own. Having children is what most married couples desire – someone to carry on their legacy and their family name. Abraham didn’t have that. Then God, being overly gracious and loving, promised Abraham an heir who would be his own. And not only that, God also promised Abraham that his descendants would be as much as the stars are in the sky. All Abraham and Sarah had to do was to have faith. They had to believe that the Lord would fulfill His promise because of who He had proven Himself to be to them and not because of what they thought they deserved. God never told them the timeline of when these promises would be fulfilled. He didn’t tell them the exact day or place in which it would happen. He made a promise. It was up to Abraham and Sarah to believe in that promise. According to Genesis 15:6, Abraham did believe. But as time went on, doubt set in.

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.

Genesis 16:1-4

Sarah took things into her own hands. She wasn’t having any children, and she had to solve the problem herself. What she believed was that the Lord prevented her from bearing children, not that He had the power to make it happen. More time went on and again the Lord reminded Abraham of the promise He had made to him.

He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah denied it however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

Genesis 18:10-15

Sarah didn’t believe what the Lord told her would happen. In her human logic, she knew it wouldn’t be possible. But she was wrong. God took her human logic and threw it out the window. He showed her what He could do.

Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.

Genesis 21:1-3

Isaac – the long, awaited for promise was finally here!

God was faithful to His children. God is always faithful to His children. He does what He says He will do. He isn’t too busy. He doesn’t forget about it if something else comes up. He even ignores your doubt. If He has promised you something, you better believe He will fulfill His promise. He always has and always will. History shows us the kind of merciful, gracious and loving God we have. Nothing is going to change His faithfulness.

What will change our faithfulness? Will it be the perfect job that we never land or the fact that we aren’t getting married when we want to, maybe it will even be that we aren’t able to have children? We doubt, but that doesn’t change the promises He has made. It may change our circumstances and may cause trouble along the way, but He still follows through.

Wherever you are in your life today, have faith. After all, God sent His only Son to die, rise again and intercede ALL for us. He wants us to see, understand and experience His love. The least we could do is to take Him at His word. We may think we could do things better, but that’s the farthest from the truth. God doesn’t ask for our opinion; He expects  our obedience. It’s up to us to place our lives in His hands. 

Here are a few lines from a sweet hymn –

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Brother and sister, today we will have faith. Today we will see God for what He is, in all of His glory. We will wait for Him as He waits for us. We will allow Him to mold us and make us because we know that He is our faithful Father.

The best place we could be is to be trusting in His promises and standing steadfast in His will.

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