I should most definitely be working right now, so I’m going to get straight to the point. I want to be a faith filled person. I want to be be spiritually ripped like Arnold was back in the day. I’d like to be able to say to any mountain, any obstacle, any difficulty in my life, “be gone – get the heck out” and have it be done. Simple. Just like the word says. No anxiety, no stress, no worry, just a life lived in real honest actual faith.
Faith is an interesting topic, and not something that you can learn by head knowledge, it has to be more of a heart knowledge. The bible gives us a few examples of how our faith grows. In one instance, it says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. When we make the effort to dust off the leather book, or at least download the a bible app (You Version – best free app ever!) The Bible also mentions that we can build ourselves up on our most holy faith by praying in the Spirit. When we do these things, we place our hearts and minds into a spiritual atmosphere that is saturated with faith. If we are open to it, we can absorb faith into our being in an almost osmosis like fashion. These actions are the most basic and necessary disciplines that we can develop to build our faith.
Tonight though, as we were having our family time after supper, which consists of reading a chapter in the bible and then talking about how it applies to our lives, I had a “wow” moment as we were reading Romans chapter 4. For those who don’t already know and aren’t going to take the time to read it for themselves, a lot of Romans 4 deals with Abraham’s faith journey. It talks about how Abraham was made right with God through the sole act of believing and having faith in God’s promises. It talks about how he believed God when he was told that he would become a father of many nations, and it talks of how he continued to believe that promise even has he and Sarah went through their child bearing years with no Children.
In fact, Abraham didn’t have any children before he was 50 years old. …or 60 …or 70 …or 80 ~ I personally don’t know any women, or even men, able to conceive (let alone carry and deliver) children in their 80’s. But the 80’s passed and still no children. Abraham hit 90, and I have to imagine that in his mind, the idea of conceiving a child had passed into the realm of absurdity. You he and Sarah talked about it, that it was becoming the family joke. I’m guessing that there were also some less humorous times, when Sarah saw other women not only having children, but now grandchildren, and great grandchildren ~ while all she had was a supposed promise from a nameless God. I can imagine the times when she sat alone and wept. I can imagine that there were times when Abraham looked up into the star filled sky and saw more questions than answers. He had his promise, but at the same time, he didn’t have his promise.
As Abraham approached 100 years old. All hope of conceiving a child was gone. It was absolutely physically impossible for him or Sarah to have a kid. The lack of little blue pills would have made even the act of conceiving a miracle. But Abraham did something unique. The bible tells us that he “hoped against hope”. Even the overwhelming hopelessness was no match for Abraham’s hope. When all hope was completely gone, Abraham continued to hope.
I mentioned that I had a ‘wow’ moment while reading the chapter. It happened as I came to verses 19 & 20. “Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God”
Here it is: The longer Abraham waited on the promise of God and the more hopeless the fulfillment of that promise became, the stronger his faith grew. The impossible nature of his situation was the proving ground for his faith. As he aged, he entered a stage of life that ruled out every possibility of his promise coming about in by some act of his own. When he could not lean on his own strength any longer, he was forced to either give up or lean more heavily on his faith in God. Abraham chose to continue hoping, and through that hope, his faith grew to the point where he became known as “the father of the faithful.”
When we have depleted every resource we possess, we begin to truly tap the limitless reservoir of faith.True faith will always grow in the fertile soil of impossibility. When we have depleted every resource we possess, we begin to truly tap the limitless reservoir of faith. If we are still holding to some sliver of hope that we can make it happen, we are not fully living in the realm of faith. Instead we’re living in faith in God + my own abilities. When God truly wants to be glorified and receive all the credit, He will call on someone who is willing to follow His leading into truly impossible situations.
Let me make it personal for one moment before returning to work. Do you have a promise from God that is becoming increasingly unlikely to be fulfilled? Did you have a dream one day that has been placed further and further back into storage, and has now been placed in the throw away box? The bible says that unless a seed falls into the ground and dies, it cannot bring forth the plant it was destined to produce. Tonight, take the lifeless promise that God gave you and replant that dream-seed into the rich soil of your faith. As your natural hope has been dying, your spiritual hope (your faith) has been growing stronger and stronger. That faith is the water that will cause that dead promise to sprout. Make a stand. Hope against hope today!