Faith Holds On To God’s Promises
- Date: August 4, 2017
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” (Romans 4:20-21)
- From Faith That Prevails
"Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be" (Romans 4:18). Abraham hoped against hope. When he no longer had anything in him to hope for the promise, he still had hope in his God. He favorably expected God to do that which He promised. "Lord, it's beyond me. I believe; help my unbelief." "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). You will find out as this story goes on, we'll understand what hoping against hope is, as we reveal a little bit more of what it was that Abraham was trusting God for. But as he hopes against hope, it says God brought him to this place "…that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, [the rhema, what God had said] So shall thy seed be."
God gives him a promise, a promise like some of us receive, and then what did Abraham begin to do? He took it into his own hands. He said, "Well, since Sarah is unable to have kids, and I am-still frisky here at 75. So I know what we'll do. I'll take a handmaiden." Hagar was not a good idea. "And this will be my heir." And so we have Ishmael come on the scene. For those of you who are not familiar with who Ishmael is, he's the guy that has you paying four dollars a gallon for gas. So Ishmael comes on the scene and God speaks up and says, "He's not the heir. Technical difficulties and I want him out of the house." Bummer. A little bit of bitterness can come from that, right? So he gives him a slight inheritance and they leave. God said, "My heir is going to come by a miracle." The angels appear to Sarah and they say, "Next time at this year, you're going to be pregnant." She laughs, and that became the name of the child. Laugh. Isaac means what? Laughter.
It's a long story to try to cram into these few minutes, but two different things are happening. The faith that Abraham needs to possess this land, the faith that Abraham needs to have this child, and then the faith that Abraham needs to offer him back up to God on Mount Moriah. And there are different dynamics working in each of these areas of the life of our father Abraham, the father of our faith. But in all of them the one thing that we see is it takes faith and patience. You see, long periods of time came between these promises and the manifestation. Many, many nights and days of doubts and fears, and the moment that any of us doubt or fear, we think it's all negated. Beloved, that's part of the process, that's part of what grows your faith. "The trying of your faith worketh patience" (James 1:3).
We just don't like the times of trial, do we? We want to go from promise to fulfillment in twenty-four hours. Do you know what God needs to do to help some of us out? Maybe He needs to take some of us back to dial-up internet. (Whistling while waiting.) I never did read War and Peace. (For those of you that are as literate as I am, that's a big book! It's like the one guy said when he pulled Plato off the shelf. He looked at it and said, "Man, they wrote this big a book about Mickey Mouse's dog?") Some of us are more literate than others, but patience, patience. "And being fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised, he was able also to perform." How persuaded are you? What promises are you still holding on to? I've got promises that God has spoken to me forty years ago that I'm still holding on to and I believe that every promise of God is yea and amen! "But without faith it is impossible to please him."