JUMP: Having Faith in Hopeless Situations
Romans 4: 17-25 (The Message)
We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”
Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.
If there was a topic that I have taught on the most in my few years of teaching it would be faith. There's nothing like faith! Faith is what thing that pleases God according to Hebrews 11:6. Abraham's life is a faith story. It's something that has inspired so many teachings, posts, and books for centuries. I was reading this passage this morning and I had to write on it! I love The Message Version's translation of Romans 4. My favorite line is the very first one. So many times we believe that our faith is based on our perfection. However, our faith is built on our ability to trust in God knowing that we are weak ourselves and that we are incapable of doing everything on our own. It goes on to say that when everything was "hopeless", Abraham kept on believing. God made a promise to Abraham that He was going to do great and mighty things in his life. However, it required a certain amount of faith that went outside of "it may happen". No! Abraham had so many challenges facing this promise.
For some of you, you may be saying: Genesis, look at my circumstances. I believe in God but this is something I can handle on my own. I'll just call on God when it gets really bad.
Or maybe, it's the fact that you think that you're so far out of God's will that He can't come and fix everything on your behalf. No matter what you're facing, you need to have faith. Now having faith isn't just saying it. Faith is action! I wrote on Faith in Action a while back and it still holds as truth today. If I want what God promised, I must get my mind in position to see it as my truth and my reality even if it doesn't look like it. That's the hardest part for so many people. It doesn't look like it. You hear a good word one day and you're excited but then you wake up the next day and your problems start yelling at you. What do you do? Let's look at what Abraham did.
It says that Abraham "plunged" into the promises of God. How do you plunge into the promises of God? I looked up plunge and this is the definition that best fits this scenario.
Plunge: jump or dive quickly and energetically.
So I have to jump/dive into it without any hesitation? How do I do that? Do you ignore what you're facing? No. You simply do not allow those things to hinder your ability to trust in God. If I'm trusting in God what do I have to lose? Some of us are so nervous to lose in the natural that we forget that when we come to Christ, we are spirit FIRST. God has your back. Do you believe that? Do you REALLY believe that? Then JUMP!
What are you waiting on? You have problems knocking on your door. Things aren't lining up right. Look at Abraham. God promised him children. He was old. His wife was barren. What did he have to lose by trusting in God? He was already in a state that was against what was being promised. What's holding you back from jumping? Tell it goodbye! Do you believe that God will do what He said? We shout and praise God all day and night about so many scriptures but when the real battle comes, where is your faith? Stand strong! Faith in the middle of the storm is what makes us children of God. Who do you have faith in? Some of us have more faith in man being there for us than the almighty God. God is the only consistent thing that never changes.
So JUMP! God is waiting to take you somewhere great!