This morning I read this particular portion of scripture out of The Message and it fell on me so afresh that I couldn’t help but share it you with you fine ladies on this Monday morning! I don’t think we should live in the past, but occasionally it’s good to remind ourselves how faithful He’s been in the past so that we can believe Him for the future. God knows what He’s doing and sometimes, that’s good enough. If I may be a little bold, oftentimes in a blog post we can scan over the scripture references because we’ve read it so many times that we don’t feel the need to waste another second on it, but don’t sit this one out, read it slowly and let it sink into the marrow of your bones. And for the record, you’ll never waste a minute in God’s word, and neither will I. Something I have to preach to myself daily. I pray it encourages your Spirit like it encouraged mine.
“That famous promise God gave Abraham—that he and his children would possess the earth—was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed. If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God’s promise at that—you can’t break it.
This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father—that’s reading the story backward. He is our faith father.
We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. 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.”
Romans 4:13-25 (The Message)
And all the people said amen. I don’t know how your day, your week, your month or your year is going, but rest in the truth that God made and is making all things new and right through Jesus Christ. And that includes us. Our faith. Embrace God. Embrace what He’s doing. Embrace what He has done. Embrace what He is going to do. Whether you’re currently sitting in the valley or perched on a mountain top, “believe the One who brought Jesus to life when conditions were equally hopeless!” If you know Jesus as your personal Savior, rest in knowing that you are set right with God. And if you don’t know Him yet, what better time to take Him up on it than right now? If you’re looking for peace with God and you don’t fully understand what that means, we have a page on our website to help you. Nothing, and I repeat nothing, is too hopeless to redeem!