We need stories of how faith is lived in our present lives.
The story of Sarah and Abraham
The obstacles in her life:
- The major complication: Sarah is childless.
Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.
- The compensation: Sarah’s inadequacy, she offers Hagar
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, ‘The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.’ Abram agreed to what Sarai said.
- The greater dilemma: Sarah is to old to conceive.
Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.
The focus on what God is going to do through her.
- Abraham thinks that his steward will be his heir.
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.’ But Abram said, ‘Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?’ And Abram said, ‘You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.’ Then the word of the Lord came to him: ‘This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.’ He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
- God tells Abraham that the heir will be born from Sarah.
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.
- When three visitors come and Sarah was listening, she laughs at God’s promise.
Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my lord 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?’
The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly as he promised. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. (Genesis 21:1-2)
- By faith, Sarah receives power for having the promised son. Despite the complication, and her compensations, and the dilemma, she considered that the one who had promised was faithful!
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Sarah overcomes all obstacles through her trust completely in God and faithfulness. Faith is powerful: Faith sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, touches the intangible and accomplishes the impossible. True faith becomes an evidence of the reality and faithfulness of God in our stories and lives.
Live It Out
What is your story? Is it a story of faith, despite the complications and obstacles?
- Name your complications, compensations and dilemmas.
- Exercise faith in the present
- Focus your faith on God, not on what he does!