Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Romans 4:18–25
Abraham and Sarah are two of my favorite characters in the Bible, partly because of what they experienced and felt. For instance, they faced the heartbreak of infertility for years before God promised Abraham that he’d be the father of many nations. Abraham’s biggest point of need – his desire for a son – was right where God met him. And not only met, but exceeded with mind-blowing abundance, for he promised that Abraham would have more descendants than the stars in the sky.
Abraham held on to God’s promise, even when it seemed impossible. In terms of him and Sarah conceiving a son, he believed God even though Sarah was long past her childbearing years. And God delivered; they had Isaac. Then Abraham held on to God’s promises through the heart-wrenching experience of being asked to sacrifice his beloved only son. Abraham knew that God would find a way to keep his promise, perhaps through the resurrection of the dead. For God had never failed him. And indeed, an angel of the Lord provided a ram in the place of Isaac.
Such hope and faith is modeled through a life of listening to and obeying God. As we mature in our faith, we learn to relinquish the requests that may not be of God or may not be for our best. We can ask God to change our hearts to align our desires with his. And our faith will grow as we look back and see how God has answered our prayers. I love reading through my old prayer journals, not only because they immediately and vividly transport me to times past, but because they reveal how faithful and loving is our God.
How might you be persuaded that God has the power to do what he has promised?
For reflection: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).