Summary: Sometimes God’s promises are so amazing they are hard to beleive! Yet God does the amazing.
In the movie “It Could Happen to You” which is said to be loosely based on a true story, Nicolas Cage plays a cop who stops in to a diner and doesn’t have enough money to give a tip to the waitress, so he makes an unbelievable promise. He says that he has a lottery ticket and if he wins, her tip will be half of what ever the prize is. The waitress laughs it off, and who could blame her, but to the amazement of everybody the cop wins the lottery and he comes to that same diner, and fulfills his promise and he gave the waitress a 2 million dollar tip. The funny part of the movie is watching Nicolas Cage explain to his wife that he had to give the waitress 2 million dollars because…he had promised her. Now the producers of that film claim that it is based off of a true story, but we may find that hard to believe, primarily because if the absurdity of the promise, but even more so that such an absurd promise was kept.
We’ve become accustomed to being skeptical of big promises. I got an e-mail awhile back that said that Bill Gates was giving money to people who sent this e-mail to at least 10 other people, that it was being tracked by Microsoft and there was a picture of a person holding a check that was signed by Bill Gates. I was skeptical but I thought why not, and needless to say, I still haven’t received a check from Bill Gates.
Now whenever a person makes a promise, whether it be a preacher, a politician, or a spouse, two things that you must consider about that person is their ability to keep the promise (some people make big promises with good intentions but they lack the resources to carry them out), and that person’s trustworthiness. Is this person just blowing smoke trying to get you to do something. Now when it comes to the many promises that God makes to us in His word, we must look at God’s ability to keep those promises and His faithfulness to uphold His promises. In the scriptures, we read about a loving heavenly Father who has made to you many precious promises. Promises that tell us that our needs our taken care of, that our sins our forgiven, that we will never be overwhelmed beyond our ability to bear, and he has promised the gift of everlasting life. Now God has both the power and the integrity to fulfill each and every promise He has made. He has proven His power and His faithfulness time and time again, and like a loving Father, God cares for each and every one of us and He has promised that whatever happens He will always be there for us.
Now although we may know this and truly believe this, at times we may find it difficult to believe all that God has promised. On occasion, whether because of circumstances or because of our inability to see the promise being fulfilled, we may doubt God on occasion. Sometimes God’s promises may go against everything we see and feel, and on the surface they may appear to outlandish to believe.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of Sarah. I picture Sarah in a nightgown like my Grandma wore shuffling across the floor in her dearform slippers with the aid of a walker to take her teeth out by the sink, and then to hear that when as she is celebrating her 90th birthday she will be giving birth to a bouncing baby boy. Is it any wonder why Sarah laughed when she heard this?
Now maybe you’ve laughed at God’s promises to you. When God says that all things will work for the good of those who love Him and called according to His purpose, you laugh and say, “Hah, how can any good come from this!” Maybe it’s the promise that God has made to meet all your needs and you are looking at a stack of bills higher than the Eiffel tower wondering how you will pay the electric bill next month. What I want us to do today is to look at the promise God made to Sarah, why she laughed at it, and how God responded to her laughter and then conclude with some assurances we have when it comes to the promises of God.
So let’s start off by looking at why Sarah laughed at God. The first and foremost reason I can think of is that the promise was just that absurd! Now I’m not into age discrimination, 90 year old women can do a lot of things, but I would dare say that child birth is not one of them. Imagine trying to get your health care provider to pay for that one. I picture Sarah telling her friends in the nursing home, I can’t make it to Bingo Wednesday, I got Lamaze class. 90 year old women don’t give birth. Everything we know about the human reproductive system tells us that this just doesn’t happen, but we know that at least on one occasion it did. Max Lucado said that if Sarah were to give her testimony it may sound like this, “I did things my way, I get a headache. I let God take over, I get a son. You try to figure that out. All I know is I am the first lady in town to pay her pediatrician with a Social Security check.”