Don’t you just love it when someone keeps their promise? Especially when it has to do with something that you would really enjoy. Each time you think about it, you smile to yourself and you may even feel like you’re on cloud nine. What an exhilarating feeling!!
But what about the times when a promise is broken due to circumstances not working out? Or it was due to just plain negligence and distraction from the person who gave it. It is so easy to feel discouraged, upset and even devastated. Depending on the situation, distrust in that person’s ability to follow through can start to set in.
What about this? Have you ever received a promise from God? You feel excited about the future and all that will take place. But then a series of bad things happen in your life all at one time and you find yourself starting to lose hope. Or how about when you have been praying for years to see the promise come to pass and it hasn’t. That’s when discouragement and faint heartedness can set in. You can begin to feel like God has forgotten about you or that He doesn’t care.
Well, I would like to share with you a story about someone who had a promise from God and it looked as if that promise would not be fulfilled.
I would like to tell you a story about a man named Abraham. You can find his life story in the book of Genesis in the Bible. Abraham and his wife Sarah longed to have children. God gave Abraham a promise that one day he would have a son. God also gave Abraham a promise that He would become the father of many nations.
However, many years passed and he still had not received the fulfillment of God’s promises. 25 years had gone by since God gave Abraham and his wife the promise of a son. At this time, both Abraham and his wife were past the age of being able to have children. Did Abraham complain, give up and walk out on God? Did he get bitter and think that God was one who doesn’t keep His word? Did he think that God had forgotten and abandoned him? Well let’s find out.
Romans 4 in the Message says, Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. 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. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” 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. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.
I would like to point out another version of this same scripture it says, against the odds, Abraham’s hope grew into full-fledged faith…
Abraham’s response to God concerning God’s promise was that He trusted God anyway. Why? Because, He knew the faithfulness of God. It didn’t matter to him that it looked like all of the odds were against him. It didn’t matter that there was every reason in the natural that what God had promised wouldn’t come to pass. He believed that God would do what He said that He would do. And then you see God’s response to Abraham. “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” Another version of that verse says, God saw his faith and counted him as righteous; this is how he became right with God.