“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (Hebrews 6:15).
Abraham was tried over his entire life, none-the-less he was richly rewarded. Jehovah tried him by delaying to fulfill His promise. Satan tried him with temptation. Men tried him with jealousy, distrust, and opposition. Sarah, his dear wife, tried him with her peevishness. With and unyielding faith in God he patiently endured. Abraham was a man of faith and many great accomplishments, yet, there were things he would not do; Abraham did not question God’s truthfulness, limit His power, doubt His faithfulness, nor grieve His love; but he bowed to His will, submitted himself to Jehovah’s wisdom, and was silent under delays, waiting in the Lord’s time. What was his reward? Having so patiently endured, he obtained the promise, God keeps His promises.
“As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4). What has God promised you, told you recently, and do you believe Him? Every time a believer steps out on faith, there is some small thing in your common sense that outright resists your faith. Will you trust God with all your heart when your common sense cannot or will not trust Him? “Oh, yes I believe God can do it, But!” Anytime you allow your mind to develop a chain of thought that rationalizes your belief in God and what He has promised you, the same mind will at the same time develop a chain of thought to resist it.
Whatever your faith is up against, whether it your mind or someone else’s thoughts, delays, trials and-or temptations, will either strengthen your faith or weaken it. God’s promises cannot fail, they are His words and “it shall not return to Me void.” Meaning the patient believers will not be disappointed. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). When you hear these words, what chain of thought does your mind take? Does your mind turn to what God says or to what you fear? Human frailty is a common thing that gets between the promises of God and the space between your ears. Rarely, does common sense help us to realize how ill-prepared we are in facing life’s difficulties.
“And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee” (Genesis 17:6). When we rationalize our faith in the promises of God we run the risk of allowing life’s difficulties to become like elephants, and we become like blades of grass, and unfortunately God becomes non-existent. When we face the elephants in our lives, we can take heart from the Lord’s words to Abraham. Our elephants are not flesh and blood, they are spiritual and emotional, and we do not have to be trampled under their feet or deprived of the prosperity (fruitfulness) God has promised.
Your past does not have to be a composite video of your future with Satan trying to press the replay button. Fear not, God has the remote in His hand with a finger on the fast-forward button. When you want to see what fulfillment of the promise will be, it is important to remember what has been seen. “Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two [past] kings; so will the Lord do to all the kingdoms[trials] through which you pass” (Deuteronomy 3:21). All too often it is not difficulty or frailty that makes you think God has forsaken you, but boredom. There are no hills to climb, no vision to fulfill, nothing awe-inspiring, just the commonplace day in and day out of everyday life and we soon forget what God has done for us.
How often we wait for God to do something exceptional to awaken our faith in His promises? Dear friends, the fine example of Abraham’s conduct condemns an impatient spirit, reproves and rebukes a murmuring one, commends a patient one, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way. Remember, Abraham was tried, but he patiently waited and received the promise, moreover, he was satisfied. If we were to imitate his example, we will share the same blessings of God promises, His promises cannot fail His words shall carry out all He purposes. “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” (Genesis 18:18).
When we believe God and have His promises behind us, the most amazing thing happens, He comes and He changes us. We learn to sing His praise in the middle of the trial just as we sing them after He delivers us. The promises of God are the same yesterday, today, and forever, believing expectations shall be realized. God loves us, Jesus died for us, the Holy Spirit rest and abides with us and His grace is sufficient for us. Be blessed until the blessed call you blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ