May 14, 2017
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance this race that is marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1
“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, ‘Oh 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 coming from your own body will be your heir.’ He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them’. Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be". Genesis 15:1-6
1. Father God will make us more like Himself, as we obey Him and follow Him.
2. This promise came 25 years before it actually happen.
A moment of patience can save you from a lifetime of regret.
Three things about trusting God:
1. Trust God... even if it takes a long time.
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, ‘The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her’. Abram agreed to what Sarai said.” Genesis 16:1-2
2. Trust God... even if it seems ridiculous.
“Then the Lord said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son’. Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 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?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son’.” Genesis 18:10-14
“Our God is in heaven and he does whatever He pleases.” Psalm 115:3
3. Trust God... even if those around you don’t.
“Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me’. And she added, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age’.” Genesis 21:6-7
Sarah spent most of her life doubting God and she still ended up in Hebrews Hall of Faith.
“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.” Hebrews 11:11
Don’t try to get ahead of God when He isn’t moving fast enough for you.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient . .” 2 Peter 3:9
The secret of patience is doing something else while you wait.
“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.” Psalm 37:7
Sometimes God has to slow us down in order to teach us what He needs to teach us.
When you must wait, focus on what’s happening in you, not what’s happening to you.
God is more concerned about your character than your comfort.
“He had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. His feet were hurt with fetters; his neck was put in a collar of iron; until what he had said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free; he made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions.” Psalms 105:17-21 ESV
“That is why waiting does not diminish us any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” Romans 8:24-25
Patience isn’t the ability to wait, but how you act while you’re waiting.
“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Even our very best cannot possibly compare to anything God has in mind.
“Since before time began no one has ever imagined, no ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4