Living through the events of 2020, we all have what feels like impossible situations to deal with in our everyday lives. We are living in a time that is full of trials, challenges, and overall change. And this change seems to be coming in an unprecedented way, at an unprecedented pace. How do we trust God with everything? How do we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in the midst of these storms? I believe a good place to start is by looking to scripture and seeing how Abraham trusted God and the promises he received from God.
In Romans chapter 4, we read that God’s promise to Abraham was - "I will make you the father of many nations." (verse 17). God was promising Abraham that he would have a biological son and Abraham will become "the father of many nations". He was 75 years old when he received this promise from God and the fulfillment of the promise would not come until almost 25 years later when Abraham was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was 90. At these ages, having a child was a true physical impossibility. However, we see in verse 18 that Abraham trusted God in spite of what he saw. "In hope he believed against hope…” He placed his hope in the words that God told him… "that he would become the Father of many nations," rather than hope in what he knew to be true about his and Sarah’s physical inability to have children.
Abraham’s response in 4:18-21 shows his great trust in God. He trusted God to do the impossible. Seeing Abraham’s response can cause us to ask ourselves: how do we respond to our challenges? Abraham knew God and trusted God to do the impossible. When you think about it, we have so many more reasons to trust God than Abraham did. We can read in the Bible so many more acts of God than Abraham even knew about! That should give us many more reasons to trust God. For example: the faithfulness of God to his promise to deliver Israel from bondage to Egypt - seen in the Exodus and culminating in the parting of the Red Sea. God being faithful to protect Daniel and the Lion’s Den, to protect Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego in the fiery furnace, God giving David success fighting Goliath, God saving a prophet named Jonah with a big fish, etc.
But the greatest demonstration of God being faithful to his promises was seen in the incarnation of Jesus - the fulfillment of the coming of the promised messiah through the miracle of the virgin birth. Through Jesus, the future offspring of Abraham, each and every believer has access to the many promises of God. We can look to the "precious and very great promises" (2Peter 1:3) that God has given to us because we are in Christ. Through knowing and believing the promises of God, we look to Him and trust him rather than being overwhelmed by our circumstances.
Here are [just a few!] examples of the promises that ALL Christians have in Christ:
- Wearied by all that is being asked of you? Look to the promise of power in Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
- Feeling alone? Look to the promise of his active presence with you from Matthew 28:20b - "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
- Fearful because you don’t see enough change happening? Look to the promise of His power at work found in Romans 8:28 - "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
- Fearful that you see too much change happening? Look to the promise that Jesus is in control of your life from John 16:33 - “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
- Unsure what to do with your growing fear of the future? Look to the promise of His care in 1 Peter 5:7 - "… casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."
- Feeling weak and that your trouble is becoming too great for you? Look to the promise of his strength from Psalm 46:1-2 - "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
- Concerned for the growing worldliness pressing in from the culture? Look to the promise of Christ in you as seen in 1 John 4:4 - "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
- Do you feel everyone is against you? Look to the promise of his support in Romans 8:31-32 - “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
- A hard day in front you, and you need help? Look to the promise of his ever-sufficient grace found in 2 Corinthians 12:9 - “…My grace is sufficient for you, and my power is perfected in weakness.”
Look to the words of God seen in his promises and let them bring hope into every life situation you encounter. Remember - God is trustworthy. God fulfills his promises! This is a promise for every believer and if you are in Christ, that includes you!
Trey Richardson is one of the Elders here at Center Church. His primary responsibilities include oversight of Small Groups and Counseling. He and his wife Charlotte have been married for 49 years and have 4 adult children and 14 grandchildren.