Sunday, August 10, 2008
He Will Do It!
By Ramone - August 7, 2008
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief;Recently as a friend was encouraging me to trust God that He will do what He has promised, I remembered the words Paul wrote about Abraham in his letter to the Romans, chapter 4. Abraham didn't doubt, but trusted God that He would give to Abraham a son through whom He would fulfill His great promises.
but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
and being fully persuaded that, what He had promised,
He was able also to perform.
- Romans 4:20-21 (NKJV)
Later in the week as I looked up the verse online at Biblegateway.com, I was impressed to read it in the old Wycliffe New Testament:
Also, in the promise of God he doubted not with untrust;I love that, "He doubted not with untrust", and not only is God "able to perform" what He has promised, but in fact He is more than able! Whatever things He has promised, "He is mighty also to do"!
but he was comforted in belief, giving glory to God,
witting most fully that whatever things God hath promised,
He is mighty also to do.
- Romans 4:20-21 (Wycliffe)
This is encouraging to me. Thank You, Lord!
I always had some trouble with Paul saying that, because after all, didn't Abraham try to fulfill God's promise through having Ishmael by Sarah's maid, Hagar? I looked again at the story in Genesis, and for the first time I noticed that in God's first promises to Abraham, He didn't mention that the son would come through Sarah (then Sarai) at all. That came later after Ishmael had been born. (And actually, having a son by Hagar was Sarai's idea anyway).
Abraham didn't doubt or waver. But he did learn. Along the way as God clarified His promise more and more, Abraham got a wonderful education in how God fulfills His promises -- by His hand, not by ours. Often we think we have to give Him a little help, or that things may not be fulfilled without our actions. Sometimes this is true indeed. But at other times, God wants us to hang back and watch His fulfillment, watch His salvation, watch Him come through for us. This was certainly true with Abraham.
I think at times I kind of know how Abraham felt! I exert some energy, some strength, some devotion to doing what I thought He wanted me to, when in fact He wasn't finished clarifying His promise yet. And I think He let me do that stuff so that I could see how He works, how awesome, mighty and strong His arm is! Sometimes He just stops me from going any further, and that can be kind of painful at times. But it's so that I can see His awesomeness.
So that all men He has made may know His work,This is encouraging to me. Abraham, the "friend of God", had to learn not to get his hands in the way of God's hands when He wanted to fulfill His promise. Often we make an "Ishmael" when God wants to give us an "Issac". And somehow, God doesn't hold this against us! He only asks us to continue trusting Him, be willing to put away our "Ishmael's" when He calls us to, trust all things to Him, and bring us laughter ("Isaac" means "laughter") as we see Him powerfully fulfilling His promise above and beyond all we could have ever imagined.
He stops every man from his labor.
- Job 37:7 (NIV)
Thank You, Lord!
Take this as encouragement from the Lord!
"Yet do not waver through unbelief regarding My promise,
but be strengthened in your faith and give glory to God;
be fully persuaded that I have power to do what I have promised."
- Romans 4:20-21 (NIV, adapted)