6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: Sometimes we scoff at the idea of the miraculous things God desires to do in our lives! We shouldn't be shocked at God's favor and His doing the impossible! Doubting God is never a “laughing matter”! Doubt is a poison we should do our best to avoid!

Why Are You Laughing?

Continuing with the series, “Questions?”

• First week, “Did God Really Say…?”

• Second week, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”

• Both of these were questions asked in opposition to God’s plan and purpose

This week, we are going to look a little closer at a question that was asked by God himself.

• As we have said all through this series, when God asks a question, He knows the answer. The purpose behind the question is self-evaluation, to bring us back to reality.

• Like when God asked Adam and Eve, “Where are you?”

• Or when He asked Cain, “Where is your brother?” and “What have you done?”

The question we are going to explore today is, “Why Are You Laughing?”

• This isn’t God cowering in a corner like a child, “Stop laughing at me!”

• It is a declaration of authority at the foolishness of the laughter!

• I believe God is still asking the same question to the doubting, skeptical world of today!

• Soon the world will see that it is no laughing matter!

• I also believe He is asking it to the church today that somehow has fallen into a state of compromise, doubt and even making excuses for Him, while secretly scoffing at some of the promises ourselves!

Genesis 18:13 (NIV)

Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?'

But before I go too far with that, let’s look at the biblical origin of this question asked by God…

If I have found favor?

We all like the idea of being in God’s favor.

• Superstitions (Rabbit’s foot, Horseshoe)

• Some think it can be earned by good deeds.

• Others think it is some kind of secret selection process known only by God himself.

• To me the strongest case can be made that faith is the key to favor

Genesis 18:3 (NIV)

He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.

Abraham who asked this question (a question that we all have asked at some level) is a very interesting Character in the Bible.

• Abraham was a direct descendant of Shem the son of Noah

• At the age of 75 God called him out by faith to leave his people and set out to an unknown destination with the promise, He would bless him and make him a great nation.

• Abraham was a man of faith, but just like us, he had his moments of doubt

o When he and Sarah had to go to Egypt due to a famine, out of fear he had Sarah pose as his sister instead of his wife…

o He also had times of struggle with the promise of a son due to how long the fulfillment was in coming

o He got restless and tried to make the promise happen by his own means…

• Yet he was capable of moments of great faith! (Heb 11)

o By faith Abraham went to a land he did not know

o By faith Abraham believed God would fulfill the promise

o By faith he was willing to sacrifice the promise, believing God would raise Isaac up

The question Abraham asked God, “If I have found favor?” shows that after the original promise at the age of 75, that 25 years later even at the age of 100, there was still a glimmer of faith!

This morning, I have no doubt that most of us here today have that same question, “If I have found favor…?”

• That one thing that is a deep longing and often prayed for request

• You long for that promise you can hold on to

• Or maybe you received the promise and it has been a long time coming and doubts are creeping in and you are desperately trying to find a glimmer of faith that is can still happen for you!

• Deeds itself will not earn the favor, however, faith that produces deeds will!

• Keep the faith!

• Remember, we serve a God of the suddenly!

Hebrews 11:1-2 (NIV)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

In other words, “Found Favor”! (Found favor with)

Why are you laughing? (Will I really?)

True Faith doesn’t laugh at the impossible!

At 99 years of age and Sarah around 90, God at this encounter says that at this time next year, Sarah will have a son!

Genesis 18:11-13 (NIV)

Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?" Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?'

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