Don’t Stop Believin’!
Romans 4:16-22: 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Have you ever heard or sung the old song, “Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through? God specializes in things thought impossible, and He will do what no other power can do!” Even as I type those lyrics I can hear some of my favorite saints of old singing, oft times without any meter at all, building up their faith with tears streaming down their wrinkled faces.
Things deemed impossible are truly possible through the power of Jesus Christ. So why are we often found living in a frustrating, unfulfilled daily life? Is it a lack of faith?
I think we all face the wall that separates faith and unbelief from time to time. Circumstances can seem overwhelming, our bodies are weak, our health–mental, physical, and spiritual–is failing, and it seems it takes all we’ve got within to survive the day, week, month, or even year! It makes you wonder: how did Abraham manage to sustain his faith to believe that God would fulfill His promise of many nations when years, and even decades, passed before even one son was born?
Well, you can read it for yourself in Genesis, but Abraham, formerly Abram, had faith to believe, by faith, up front, and it was credited to him as righteousness (or right-standing with God). But it wasn’t too long before Abram thought he might should help God out in fulfilling His Word. Enter major family drama! Sarah handed over her maidservant, Hagar, and prompted Abram to sleep with her. This didn’t end well and it wasn’t God’s Plan A. God’s Plan A involved Abram and his wife, Sarah, alone.
And yet, the apostle Paul highlights what God spoke over Abraham when it was all said and done. “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being FULLY convinced that what He had promised He was able to perform.” (Rom 4:20-21). How is this?
As I read verse 19, it says that Abraham did not consider his own body or Sarah’s, as they were basically as good as dead. They were “up in years”, considering the window for childbearing in the natural. In other words, if God was going to keep His Word and fulfill His promise to produce nations through Abraham, it was going to take something supernatural! Abraham had learned through his first mistake in bypassing the supernatural to produce an heir via his wife’s maidservant that his ideas were far inferior to God’s promise.
Has God given you a promise that you’ve yet to realize?
It is quite possible that you may have tried an alternate route. Or it may be that you’ve moved things you once believed to be possible over to the ‘Impossible’ column. Abraham’s faith was not flawless, as “contrary to hope, in hope (he) believed”. But he did have faith in God. He had faith in God for righteousness. He had faith that, in essence, if God could redeem his soul, his nation, and nations to come, God could produce life from his own seed, even if it appeared to be dead.
Faith that produces life from death:
- requires renewal, sometimes daily or hourly. When we are tempted to lose faith, we must choose to remind God, and ultimately ourselves, of His promise.
- keeps us in right-standing relationship with the Almighty God through His Son, Jesus Christ. When we are walking by His side, living in His Word, and following His Spirit’s leading, faith can increase when we need it most.
- is supernatural and nothing we can produce on our best day compares to its results. Our alternate route simply can’t measure up. Therefore, we must wait patiently, knowing that His track record with humanity is flawless, even when the fulfillment doesn’t come on our timetable.
- grows by the hearing of His Word. This includes what is taught and preached each time we gather in a corporate setting like a small group or church service. But it also includes the words we speak over our own lives. If we speak what we are feeling in the moments we are weak, we are not building our faith. We may just be opening a door of doubt for the enemy to sneak through.
So don’t stop believin’! Stir up your faith. Memorize the Word of God that relates to your situation and build yourself up in this most holy faith as Jude reminds us.
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21)
God specializes in things thought impossible!
Believin’ for supernatural results,