“When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do, but on what God said he would do.” Romans 4:17
We could learn a lot from Abraham if we would just lean in a bit closer. Tucked away in Romans 4 are many secrets to living this life of faith. The retelling of the story of Abraham gives us a wonderful example of how to live in days like this. I have read it over and over and each time I see something new. As we read and meditate on God’s word, treasures are revealed. Step by step and layer upon layer, our eyes are opened to understand His truth. It’s not just the story of Abraham, but encouragement to us on how to believe God for the impossible.
Abraham faced the facts of his old body in comparison to God’s promise of fathering a son and many nations, but he didn’t allow his reality to be bigger than God’s promise. It’s easy to stare at what is going on and call it impossible, and to our eyes and our experience, it is impossible. We are more prone to lean toward the negative, instead of believing God. We add up our solutions and the sum total equals: “It is hopeless.”
We hear the doctor’s report and determine it is over.
We stare at the empty bank account and call it bankrupt.
We see the rebellion and call it loser.
We land in the cul-de-sac and call it dead-end life.
We see the empty pantry and foresee starvation.
We look at the empty womb and empty cradle, and call it childless.
Our key verse says, “when everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway.” Did you hear that? He believed anyway! Yes, he looked at his old body (as good as dead) and believing God, he saw himself as a father.
How? I want to know for my own life. I want to live with the faith of Abraham.
How? “He decided to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do, but on what God said he would do.”
Let’s look a little further into The Message Translation. (Romans 4:19-21)
Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.”
Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up.
He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions.
How about you? Are you focusing on the truly impossible situation?
Are you surveying all the details? Are you tiptoeing around God’s promise asking skeptical questions?
I think Abraham’s way is the better way--instead of focusing, surveying and tiptoeing,
“He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”
How different would our lives be if we believed God anyway--if we truly threw, thrust, plunged ourselves into His promises and believed He always does what He says He will do?
I think I’m diving in a little deeper and more enthusiastically to what God says. Turn down the news and turn up the word of God, then you will hear the voice of God calling you to “be fully persuaded that He is able.”
Lord, we choose to join Abraham in this life of faith and righteousness. No matter what comes our way, we decide today we will “believe God anyway.” We are “deciding to live not on the basis of what we see we cannot do, but on what God says he will do.”