Believing the Promises
Do you ever struggle believing promises? In human terms, we tend to judge the validity of a promise by two things, the promise itself and the person who gave the promise. We have people in our lives that we trust; that we believe can keep a promise they make. We also have people in our lives that we have learned, by experience, not to trust what they promise; even if the promise they promise is not very difficult to fulfill. But even sometimes people who are trustworthy make promises that they can’t keep. Perhaps they do it out of obligation or a genuine desire to see something happen, but it is just out of their ability to make it happen.
I sometimes struggle believing the promises of God. I know intellectually and in my “heart” that God’s character means that He never makes a promise He won’t keep. I “believe” that. But then the rubber meets the road and I struggle to hold on. I think Abraham was like this in some way. In Genesis 15 God makes Abraham an amazing promise: 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. At this point Abraham is old and has no children. Yet Abraham believes God. However, in the next chapter, Abraham yields to the advice of his wife and fathers a child through her servant, Hagar; really going against the promise of God that he had just believed.
I’m glad this doesn’t ruin everything for Abraham. God does step in and helps Abraham recover from the mess. Abraham’s unbelief causes problems but God’s plan is not set aside. I pray that God would help each of us to really believe the promises He has given us. And in those moments of doubt, even when they lead to actions that are wrong, we would remember that God is there to remind us of His promises, help us clean up the mess and move ahead in faith. If there are any promises God has given that you are not believing, I pray you will trust Him.