your struggle has a redemptive meaning; God does not waste your suffering. Countless e.g. in bible, most telling is Jesus – suffer the cross to bring redemption to us. Perseverance, - character, and character –hope. My beloved friends in the Lord, God has not abandoned his promise to you. God is committed to you and will fulfill His promises to you. Perhaps you can sense God taking u by the hand today, and say to u “shall we look at the stars tonight?”

Maybe you like Abram, are already making plans for the future with the Eliezer of Damascus of your day. Doing what you can humanly can do to stave off meaningless life, fearing the future. But as you read the story of Abram, you will note all along, God was developing Abram’s character. God wants him to believe that it will be literally through Abram that God will bless the world. God is passionate about blessing the world. God was teaching him not to rely on human reasoning and technology and methods. God was showing Abram that He is above all things, even the very nature of giving an offspring to senior citizens.

God is a missionary on a mission - committed to bless the world, it is His unbreakable bond, but He has His way of doing things, to develop off the charts faith in people, so that the Kingdom of God is established by faith not by fancy human methods and machinery. God was not asking for a huge leap into the darkness, just look at the evidence of the stars, how He ordered the universe and gave it existence. Surely God can do what looks impossible, could He not? Otherwise, God couldn’t be defined as a shield and very great reward, right? Look beyond the odds, and believe God!

When was the last time you really let God know your true feelings? What is churning up inside of you? What’s breaking you today? What are you hearing God say to you? If you persevere with a redemptive faith you will know God is with you even in your deepest struggles. But in face of crushing defeat, such as an old guy like Abram who faced the facts that his body is nearer to grave than the cradle, boy, sometime it is just tough to hang on to God, isn’t it? Yet Abram stake his life on the promise of God, even if it circumstances looked awful! And God credited his faith as righteous!

How do we proceed from here on…

3. PROCEED WITH THE “PASS BETWEEN THE PIECES” COVENANT GOD

What guarantees do you have that God will do what He says? For Abram, God responded with an ancient custom of cutting a covenant that Abram could understand. It is weird to us but not to Abram which is what gen.15:7-18 is all about. The custom of making a covenant, or cutting a covenant, where an animal is cut in half and the parties involved would pass between the half pieces. Significance: the parties involved are making a self-maledictory oath that goes something like this “May it be so done to me if I do not keep my oath and pledge.” The smoking firepot with a blazing torch show of v.17 symbolize God passing through the