Summary: How do we respond when the situation in our life seems contrary to the promises of God?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 22: 1-18
Sermon Title: Faith Problems
By: Anthony Perry Jr.
Most of us are familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac, but for those who are not I will do a quick summary.
Abraham was called by God to a land that God was going to give him with the promise that his descendents would become a blessing to all humanity. Abraham lived a long life and lived day by day with the promise that God would provide that descendent through Sarah his wife. Now Abraham and Sarah got a little impatient with God looking at their age and situation and thinking about the future made some questionable decisions. They kept trying to make God’s promise come true by other means. It caused Abraham’s life to be full of complicated twists and turns and we find him nearly 100 years old without the promise of the child having being fulfilled.
Sarah had remained barren into old age and God’s promise to Abraham seemed as if it would never be fulfilled. Then God visited Abraham and Sarah and at ninety years she becomes pregnant and Abraham’s faith in God was bolstered and solidified.
I believe that this helped Abraham understand that this child of Promise, Isaac, a child born when all manner of human effort and hope could not help, was utterly given as a gift from God. It was utter proof that God would accomplish all that God had promised to Abraham concerning the promise. Abraham believed that his descendents would inherit the land and that they would become a blessing to all nations of the world.
We join the story at the time when Isaac was a young teen and Abraham and Sarah well beyond a hundred years old. Without going into too much more of the background of the story I want to submit to you the faith problem that Abraham had to face as he walked this three day journey to mountain that God would show him.
Abraham had to come to the realization that he faced a situation where His obedience to God was contrary to the promise that God had given him. He was called to surrender that which God had given and promised him. He was called to willingly lose the gift of Isaac and the promise that that God had attached to him. It was the promise that one day, through him; they would possess the land and be a blessing to the nations of the world.
(SLIDE) In order to let this passage speak to us today, I want to begin by asking this question. What do you do when the situations that enter into your life seem to be contrary to the promises of God?
I am keenly aware of the fact that God claims that He will bless who He decides to bless and He will curse who decides to curse, but as Christians we have been given many promises in the scripture that tell us that God’s grace is sufficient for the day.
For example we are told that God will take care of our needs if we will just seek the kingdom and His righteousness. We are told if we will seek, then we will find, if we will ask we will receive, if we will knock the door will be opened. If we call upon the name of Jesus, believing in our heart that we will be saved, that if we will ask for God’s Holy Spirit to enter into our life it will come, that if we are tired and worn out in life that Christ will give us rest if we take his teachings upon us, and if we will follow Him that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. It is a formula that tells us if we will hold to these promises, the God of the promise will respond as He has promised.
But Abraham who has been following God all of his life, who had finally received the son of the promise is now asked by the God who fulfilled the promise to sacrifice, to surrender, to give up the promise for God’s sake, just because God ordered it.
I want to tell you that there are some things in our life that we know are the right things to do in the will of God. When we do them it will leave us feeling that if we follow God’s will, then the result will seem contrary to the promises of God given for your life. What do you do when the situations in your life seem to be contrary to the promises of God?
How many of you have ever felt that you have sought the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, but your still struggling to get your needs met? Now I am talking about situations like missionaries called to the mission field that can’t seem to raise the money in order for them to go. What I am not talking about is the wishy-washy Christian who parties and spends wastefully, and then wonders why God isn’t providing for their bills and food.