The moment they had anticipated for 25 years had finally come. God “was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised” (Gen. 21:1; NIV). Just as he said he would.
Devotional Scripture: Genesis 21:1-7
Key Verse: “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9
At the exact time appointed. At ninety years old – Sarah gave birth to Isaac. With her body as good as “dead”, far past the years of childbearing, God brought life out of death. A picture of the miraculous life God gives all who come to him through faith in Jesus Christ.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.” Eph. 2:4-5
Not because of anything we have done. Not because of who we are but in spite of who we are. He bestows his grace upon us, just as he did Sarah. Who did not deserve to be the focus of God’s loving affection. In fact neither Abraham nor Sarah are seen at their best in these passages. Yet God brought laughter into their home, literally in the form of a sweet baby whose name (Isaac) meant “Laughter.”
Because He who promised is faithful.
Even when hard, impossible, terrible things happen because of sin. God is still faithful. To be near those who seek him (James 4:8). To work all things together for good for those who love Him (Rom. 8;28). To comfort his children (2 Cor. 1:4). To sustain those who cast their burden upon him (Ps. 55:22). To guide those who trust him (Prov. 3:5-6).
In 2 Corinthians Paul wrote of his afflictions in Asia. “For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
Hard, unthinkable things happened to Paul. Ultimately he was tortured and beheaded in Rome. Yet he preached God as faithful (1 Cor. 1:9). Because he experienced God as faithful.
Neither fate or fortune define God’s faithfulness.
It’s simply who He is – “the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deut. 7:9). Faithful to make us children of Abraham; heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:29). Faithful to set us free from our bondage to sin through faith in Jesus (Rom. 6:18). Faithful to give all who trust in Christ everlasting life (John 6:47). And protect us from the wrath to come (1 Thess. 5:9).
But what about now you ask? What about the Pastor whose pregnant wife was murdered last week? What about the people in France? What about my precious friend who buried her husband next to her daughter? What about the hard things? Where is God’s faithfulness to those who suffer?
It’s there. It’s still there. My precious friend looked at me after her sweet baby girl went to be with Jesus and said “God is still the same good God today that he was yesterday.”
Yes. Yes he is. Because no matter what happens here and now all who come to God through faith in Jesus have an inheritance beyond any comparison (2 Cor. 4:17). A place in God’s eternal kingdom (Matt. 25:34). A living hope (2 Peter 1:3-4). Because God in his mercy has declared us his children. And if his children then heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:37).
And those moments. Those hard moments when life falls apart. When it shatters into a million tiny pieces. When it hurts too much. And seems unfair. Unthinkable. Impossible to move on. Those are the moments God gets to prove himself faithful to you and those watching. Those are the moments we get to say I can’t do this but God can.
And then we get to watch him do it. As we lean hard on him for strength to get up the next day. To persevere. To heal. To be our very present help in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1). Our shield. And our Savior.
Attaining a story of God’s faithfulness the world cannot deny. I don’t understand why things have to be the way they are. I don’t understand why some suffer and some don’t. But I know every trial and tribulation put in the path of a believer is an opportunity to prove God faithful to a hurting world.
So cling to Jesus. Hold tight and don’t let go. He will prove himself faithful because it’s who He is. And maybe you’ll even find that God brings laughter into your home. Just as he did for Sarah.
Because He who promised is faithful.
Contemplate and Evaluate:
Do you believe God is faithful, even in the hard things?
How has God proven himself faithful to you? Are you seeking and trusting God to be faithful?