When he was 75 years old, Abraham was called by God to travel to the land of Canaan. There he would dispossess the Canaanites from this land that God owned, and promised would belong to Abraham and his descendants.
Over the next 24 years Abraham and his family encountered hostile enemies and family squabbling, they went hungry from famines, more than a once they pulled up stakes and moved the entire homestead, and they were threatened and imprisoned by kings.
Through it all Abraham’s hopelessness found its most intense despair in one, constant source of pain: he and his wife, Sarah, could have no children. Abraham and Sarah were as good as dead, they figured, because their family line would soon disappear.
Abraham, however, came to realize that his hope was found not in himself but in God, “who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). New life would come through God’s miraculous promise, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you” (Genesis 12:2).
The Bible describes Abraham’s firm faith in this promise in Romans 4:18-21. “Against all hope” and yet “fully persuaded.” That’s faith. “Faced the fact that his body was as good as dead” yet “believed he would become the father of many nations.” That’s faith.
The key words here are still to come, however, because Abraham’s faith didn’t make his faith great. Abraham’s positive thinking or always looking on the bright side or spirit of optimism didn’t make his faith great. It was this: “God had power to do what he had promised.”
There are no guarantees in this life except for one: God’s power and goodness. Abraham believed that.
After God had indeed blessed Abraham with descendants as numerous as the stars, it was in the womb of those descendants where God fulfilled his greater promise to Abraham, “All people on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).
Through Abraham’s line of Jewish descendants God blessed the world with a Savior. Jesus became the ultimate miracle son of Abraham, a son whom Abraham truly believed would save the world.
PRAYER: Help me, God my Father, to believe when I can’t see a solution, when I don’t hear encouraging news, or when I don’t feel fulfilled. Help me believe in your promises so strong and so good. Only you can make your promises come true and I trust you, Father. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Romans 4:18-21. Reflect on this: God has the power to do what he promises.