Wednesday, February 22, 2023

            We often speak about God’s promises.  And even more often, we have to claim them and rely on them.  One aspect of faith is taking God at His Word and placing trust in His promises.  In Genesis 21:1-2, we find the fulfillment of one of His promises.  As you likely know, God had promised a son to Abraham and Sarah.  The idea that a married couple the age of these two would just be starting a family is hard to imagine.  And indeed, Sarah laughed at the thought that she could conceive and deliver a child.  But nothing is too hard for God.  Producing a child is less difficult for God to do than blinking our eyes is for us. 
            The Bible says, “Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him” (Genesis 21:1-2).  Imagine the joy that Abraham and Sarah must have experienced.  Imagine their awe over what God had done when they first saw their son.  As we marvel over this miracle, we find three lessons about God’s promises that we can consider. 
            First, God kept His Word.  He did what He had promised to do.  God is the original and greatest promise keeper.  And the fact that God acted graciously would suggest that He kept His promise to people who in no way deserved the wonderful act that He had performed for them.  Grace is always a gift and never earned or deserved.  If grace were earned, it would cease to be grace.  When we prove unfaithful, God remains faithful.  When we doubt His Word or promises, He keeps them and blesses us through them. We learn to trust God and to take His promises at face value.  You may recall how many times Charlie Brown failed to kick the football when Lucy was his holder.  Invariably, Lucy would convince Charlie Brown that she would hold the ball for him only to pull it away at the last possible second.  God does not tease us or break a promise just to see us flounder and fall.  He does not dangle a promise and then pull it away to see us fail.   
            Second, God did exactly what He promised to do.  He gave this couple a son whom they named Isaac.  There was no bait and switch.  God did not over promise and under deliver. God did not have to lower expectations.  God did not overcommit.  We can trust God’s promises to be with us, to forgive us, to keep us in His care and to work all things for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purposes.  God does not force us to settle for something second-rate or second-best.  He knows what we need and He supplies that need.  Or as Jesus put it, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11).   
            Third, God kept His promise at the right time.  Often, we struggle with matters of timing and when or where God is at work.  Our time is not His time any more than our thoughts are His thoughts.  God knew the right time to bring a son to Abraham and Sarah and He did so.  And God knows when the timing is right to work in your life or mine.  God knows just when to bless, to correct, to train, to act or to work.  God sees the past, present and future all at once and all at the same time.  We occasionally have to wait for God to work.  Waiting time is not wasted time.  Waiting time is not down time.  Waiting gives us a chance to seek the Lord, to draw near to Him and to lean on Him.  And frankly, waiting for God to work is an expression of faith.  When we wait, we acknowledge that God is going to bring His will and promises to completion.  So, we trust not only God’s promises; we trust His timing too. 
            The promise that God kept with Abraham and Sarah continues to bless even to this day.  From Isaac would come Jacob and eventually the tribes of Israel.  From Israel would come Jesus—our Savior and Lord.  God may keep a promise in your life today that impacts generations to follow or even your children and grandchildren.  Do not grow weary in waiting for God to work.  He sees you just as He saw an elderly and childless couple who relied on Him to send the son He had promised.  Have a great Wednesday!  As you see evidence and reports of revival and renewal springing up across American college campuses, pray that God would bring revival and renewal to you as well.  Get into His Word and pray, seek Him and confess your sins.  Join us tonight for a full slate of activities and studies.  And remember you can always share worship at           

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