Friday, October 12, 2012

Sarah: Standing on the Promises

And by faith, even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had given the promise.  (Hebrews 11)
An impossible thing, to bear a child when you are past childbearing age.  Laughable, even.  But Sarah was given that promise and (after laughing for a moment), she considered the one who gave that promise faithful.
After reading this, I wondered, what’s something that would be a similarly impossible promise given to me?  How about . . . I’m going to become a published author and before 2020, I’ll sell more books than J.K. Rowling.  Yeah, that’s pretty darn far-fetched.  But what if I were promised that – and what if I considered him faithful who had given the promise?  What would I do differently if I considered him faithful than I would do if I considered him flaky?
Well, I suppose I might be tempted to try to make the promise happen myself (Sarah did that, too resulting in Ishmael, ancestor of the Arab people – thank you, Sarah, for the conflict in the Middle East).  But the one significant thing I would do is keep writing.  I wouldn’t feel as discouraged on days when the well runs dry, or when people don’t like what I’ve written, or when no one seems to be reading at all.
Now, granted, Sarah had the advantage of having an outright spoken promise from the Almighty; not many of us are so privileged.  But that doesn’t let us off the hook, because we have been given MANY promises already that we don’t bank on.  Let’s start with a practical one:
Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  Luke 6:38
How many of us give of our money and possessions as if we considered him faithful who gave this promise?  Or this related one:
And the same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Jesus Christ.  Philippians 4:19
If believers really considered the one who gave this promise faithful, wouldn’t worrying become extinct among us? God tells us “Do not fear” over 300 times in His word – why do we continue to fear?  And folks, these barely scratch the surface of the big, fat, hairy, bold promises God has given us.
I’ve come to realize that I have a choice.  I can continue to live as an American cultural Christian with a wimpy faith that makes me comfortable and just kinda suffices . . . usually.  Or I can get bold and genuinely consider Him faithful who has given the promises.  I may crash and burn . . . or I may end up like Sarah with descendants as numerous as stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.

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