(Hebrews 12:1 NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
These are ordinary people who trusted God to do extraordinary things.
What if you could spend time with one of these Heroes of the faith, what would they say to us? How would they encourage us?
(Genesis 15:1-6 NIV) After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (2) But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” (3) And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” (4) Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” (5) He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (6) Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
For when you can’t understand God and impatience threatens to overwhelm you…
“Don’t complicate God’s promise with your solution.”
A moment of patience will save you a lifetime of regret.
✓ Even if it takes a long time.
Because it just might take a long time. God often works that way because He is trying to accomplish something in us that may be just as important as the promise.
(Genesis 16:1-2 NIV) Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; (2) so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.
When you are being impatient, you often will mess up your theology, and make bad decisions.
✓ Even if it seems ridiculous.
Your relationship with God is very often not going to seem “normal”. Truth is, God is normal, our lives are not.
(Genesis 18:10-14 NIV) Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. (11) Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. (12) So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” (13) Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ (14) Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
✓ Even if those around you don’t.
The enemy is going to work to put naysayers in your life. They are there to make you doubt truth.
(Genesis 21:5-7 NIV) Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. (6) Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” (7) And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Sarah spends a great deal of time in her life doubting God, yet she ended up in the hall of fame of faith.
(Hebrews 11:11 NIV) And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Sarah’s Words of Encouragement
- “Don’t try to get ahead of God when He isn’t moving fast enough for you.
(2 Peter 3:9 NIV) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient…
The secret of patience is doing something else in the meantime.
(Psalms 37:7 NLT) Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
Worship and shut out the voices.
- “When you have to wait, focus on what’s happening in you, not what’s happening to you.”
(Romans 8:24-25 MSG) That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. (25) But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Patience is not the ability to wait – it is how you act while you are waiting!
(James 1:2-4 NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, (3) because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (4) Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
- “Even our very best cannot possibly compare to anything God has in mind for you..”
(Isaiah 64:4 MSG) Since before time began no one has ever imagined, No ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him.
God has a much better plan for your life than you have for yourself.