25th April 2014

Facing The Facts With Faith 

“Without weakening his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead – since he was about a hundred years old.”
Romans 4:19 (NIV UK)

The other day one of my granddaughters floored me with a devastating question. “Papa”, she said (in my birth family there’s a tradition of calling the grandfather ‘Papa’), “Are you so old that you won’t have another birthday?” She had been talking already about my white hair as we walked along hand in hand to the coffee shop. What would be next? I thought of the scripture above, not that I am, as Paul wrote concerning Abraham, “about a hundred years old” or near it! 

Sometimes we need to face up to the obvious. In this passage Paul is discussing Abraham’s response to God’s promise. Even though Abraham and Sarah were well past the bringing-up-children stage of life, God said he would bless this childless couple with a child. It’s interesting that Paul describes how being honest with himself did not compromise Abraham’s faith. Abraham “did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20-21). 

Abraham saw that the positives of God’s promise far outweighed the negatives of his own current reality. That’s the wonderful thing about faith: it’s not dependent on the substance of our present personal circumstances. Rather, as the 1611 Authorised Version of the Bible puts it, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV). Sometimes we may have a long, good look at ourselves and see our shortcomings, and perhaps that is a healthy thing to do spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Our problems, however, do not diminish the grace and promises of God. Paul understood his own limitations. He saw them as opportunities for the power of Christ to strengthen him in faith: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). 

Let’s be like Abraham: face the facts and at the same time be strengthened in faith and give glory to God. 

Father, with the Spirit’s help I can sometimes see clearly my own problems, but thank you for the power of your son, Jesus, who sustains me and strengthens my faith in hope.  In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson


bible1About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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