Summary: Learn from Abraham - believe God even when we don’t see it. Wait on the Lord.
Our passage today describe another experience that Abraham went through in his life of faith with God. We can read of this event in Genesis 16.
By now, Abraham was close to 100 years old. His wife Sarah 90 years old. They were still childless. It was not because they did not try. They tried but had no kids. Sarah gave up hope, and gave Abraham her servant to bear him a child.
Yet God came to them and said, "I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her." (Gen 17:16). It was really difficult for them to believe, because by now it was impossible for Sarah to have a child. That’s why Abraham first reaction was laughter. Gen 17:17 "Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?""
In fact, God gave Abraham a specific time. Gen 18:10 "Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." When Sarah heard the news, her first reaction was also laughter. Gen 18:12 "So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?""
They laughed because it was humanly impossible. Gen 18:11 "Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing."
God kept to His promise and did a miracle. This is what Abraham learnt and what we can learn today:
FAITH IS BELIEVING EVEN WHEN WE CAN’T SEE IT
Paul says, "We live by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor 5:7)
Having a son is very important to Abraham. Because God has given him a promise - that he would be the father of many nations. His descendents would be countless and they would have a Promised Land. Abraham was given all these wonderful promises. But now he don’t see this happening.
We all struggle in the same way today. God has given us great promises. Sometimes, we don’t see it happens. In fact, it almost seems impossible for it to come true. When we look at the circumstances around us, it can really cause us to lose faith in God. And we begin to do things our own way, to try and solve the problem on our own. Abraham and Sarah tried to help God solve that problem, but they were wrong.
God answer came, but it was much later than what Abraham and Sarah expected. We do not know why the long delay. It could be a test of their faith in God. Yet we know that God’s timing is always right.
Do you feel that God has put your life on hold? Are you still waiting for His answer?
Abraham and Sarah went through the long wait. In fact, they come to the point where they find it difficult to believe God will give them a son - both of them laughed when God told them that is exactly what He will do. But faith is believing even when I can’t see it.
Abraham learnt. Heb 11:11 says Abraham "considered Him faithful who had made the promise." God can and will keep His promise.
Faith is the confident assurance that God is in control of the future and that He will keep His promises to me because he has a plan for me. God has a purpose for my life. God is committed to keeping His promises to me, even when I can’t see it. I may be in a rush, but God isn’t.
Two things we can learn this morning:
(1) WAITING TIME IS NEVER WASTED TIME.
We may be waiting for God to do something. You may have given up. But God’s will will surely be done, whether early or late.
What is God doing while we wait? A lot of things. God is moulding us, maturing us… God is testing us, so that our faith will be strengthen. God may be working behind the scene preparing the way. God’s timing always has a purpose. God will fulfill His promises to you.
(2) HOLD ON TO HIS WORD WHILE YOU WAIT.
Somebody has said, "What God originates, he orchestrates." What He has said, He will do it.
Whether you are up in the skies, flying a plane. Or in the middle of an ocean, steering a ship. Or in the middle of a forest, trying to find your way out, there is one thing that is common. You’re lost without navigational instruments. You can’t SEE where you are. Up in the skies, everything looks white among the clouds. In the ocean, you look all around and see only waters. In the forest, you see only trees.