Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Do you hope, or do you waver?

Abraham was old.  Really, really old.  His wife was almost as old, and as dry and barren as a desert.  They'd tried and tried and tried and tried to have kids.  Anyone who has ever gone through a few years of infertility and the accompanying medical intervention knows what it is like to wait and see, month after month after month, only to be disappointed.  Imagine doing that for 70 YEARS.  

No wonder they laughed.  (People often point to Sarah as a wife of little faith, as the one who laughed at the news that she would bear a son.  Abraham laughed, too.)

Genesis 17:17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
Genesis 18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”
I wonder if God laughed with pleasure as He told Abraham the name of the son who would be born in a year's time.  I'm sure He smiled.

The point of this blog post is not the laughter
                                       ...it's the FAITH we see in Abraham.  

In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.   Romans 4:18-21 ESV

In HOPE he believed against hope.  There was no hope for Abraham, humanly speaking, to have a child.  His wife was far past her time of bearing children.  She was OLD.  And dry.  And barren.

Yet NO UNBELIEF MADE HIM WAVER concerning the promise of God.

He GREW STRONG IN HIS FAITH as he gave glory to God.

He was FULLY CONVINCED that God was ABLE to do what He had promised.

How about you?  Are you wavering because of severe trials that have come into your life?  Are you shaken in your faith by the thoughtless words or deeds of another?  Has your beloved let you down, broken your heart so severely that your marriage is on the precipice of failure?  Are you facing loss - the loss of everything  for which you've laboured over the past few decades?

Are you broken, battered, bruised, and bent? Let these few poetic words from Jill Briscoe sink into your heart.

Bruised but never broken,Down but not destroyed,Battered by life's problems,Sick or unemployed:Struggling with a marriage -Rejected we might be -Bruised but never broken,His promise is for me.

Dim my wick is burning,Darkness all around:Few can see my life-light,Faith with doubt is drowned.May nail-pierced hands surround me,The breath of God breathe low -My little light flare upwardsAnd set my life aglow!

He heals the broken-hearted,He sets the prisoner free,Those desperate for forgiveness,For hope and empathy.He touches, strengthens, comforts,And turns their lives about,Bruised but never broken,Dim but never out!

~ Jill Briscoe, The Deep Place Where Nobody Goes, p.69, 70.

Amy Carmichael was a woman of great faith.  She penned the following:

If I cannot catch "the sound of noise of rain" long before the rain falls, and, going to some hilltop of the spirit, as near to my God as I can, have not faith to wait there with my face between my knees, though six times or sixty times I am told "there is nothing," till at last "There arises a little cloud out of the sea," then I know nothing of Calvary love. ~ Amy Carmichael, If, p. 16.


  • do not waver.  God keeps His promises.
  • do not doubt.  God is always faithful.
  • do not worry.  God is in control.
  • do not ever think God does not love you.  He showed His love at Calvary.
Press on!  Wait on Him.  Stand still, and you will see the salvation of God!

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