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Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Genesis 18:14 (NLT)

You can’t do it. You know you can’t. It’s impossible. You’ve tried before and failed and you’ll fail again. Why bother to try? You really need to be more realistic about your abilities. You’ve prayed about it. You’ve done everything right and it hasn’t happened. Why not just give it up now. Move on. That’s one dream that was never meant to be.

We’ve heard it all before. Those voices that remind us that we’ve failed. Those not-so-gentle reminders that we’ve fallen short of our potential or expectations. We’ve wasted yet another opportunity for success. We haven’t measured up, we don’t measure up, and since it seems to be a pattern, we probably don’t have much of a chance to measure up in the foreseeable future.

Words of gloom and doom can come from the expected sources; the people who seem to have as their goal in life to be our enemies regardless of how we try to live in peace with them. These remarks can come from those who are so-called friends but are really wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s especially painful when they preface their remarks with “I’m telling you this in Christian love”. (Yeah, right. I can feel the love oozing from your pores.) Even parents are guilty of the destructive tongue, those who are supposed to nurture us and care for us.

Some people should be given the benefit of the doubt I suppose. Their intentions may be noble; it’s just their method that has the diplomacy of a fox gone wild in the chicken coop. Well intentioned attacks are still attacks!

But the most painful voice we hear, the most destructive one that has the most impact on us is the voice that comes from within. We are often our worst critic. We are the ones that can do the most damage to our own possibilities. I can imagine Sarah’s frustration when God said she’d have a baby. She’d heard God promise this before but the promise had long been drowned out by the women at the well who constantly asked “So, you pregnant yet?” It wasn’t always a verbal question, but there was no denying it was there.

The words ricocheted from one side of her skull to the other. “Is nothing to hard for the Lord? No, of course not. But where’s my baby?” Then one day it happened. There were stirrings inside her that she’d never felt before but longed for since she was a young woman. A few months later the midwife handed her a little pink bundle of God’s fulfilled promise!

Never give up. Never listen to the voices of the nay Sayers and the speakers of gloom and doom. Your Heavenly Father, the God of the universe, Creator of the seen and the unseen, loves you. God’s promises may come in ways we don’t expect, but they will come. His promises may take longer than we’d like, but they always come in his perfect time.

Never stop believing in God’s ability to give you the victory you desire. Never give up on you. Losing faith in yourself will keep you from the blessings God so earnestly wants to give you.

PRAYER: Father God, all my life I’ve been running from the voices that tell me ‘I can’t’. Some of those words have come from people I loved and trusted the most. Their words have left a gaping wound in my soul. Some of those words have come from me. I ask that you would fill the wound in my soul with your love and forgiveness. Empower me to believe that your word is true and your promises will be fulfilled in your time. Grant me the patience to wait. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.


Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, Romans 4:20

It had been years since God promised Abraham and Sarah a son. Today that doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but in his society not having a son meant Abraham would have no one to pass on the family name and inheritance. For Sarah, a woman who couldn’t bear children was considered second-rate. In fact, among some circles, not being able to bear children was grounds for divorce and the woman was always to blame in those situations.

God always makes good on His promises, but He does it in His time, not ours. That makes life hard. When someone promises something to us we expect delivery in a reasonable amount of time and in a manner of our choosing. God doesn’t operate within our rules or our time frame.

When He is slow (by our standards) in fulfilling His promises we can respond in a variety of ways. We may get angry with God. We throw our temper tantrums, maybe even shake our fist at Him and demand answers. Usually our anger with God causes us to begin to doubt His promises and His ability to make good on them. “If He couldn’t do this, maybe the rest of the other things He promises are false too!”

When God doesn’t come through on promises for us we may also blame ourselves. We remind ourselves of past mistakes, poor choices or those rebellious times in our lives. We may conclude from this that ‘God must hate me. He’s just getting even with me for doubting Him and doing my own thing.’ We beat ourselves up emotionally for awhile and then, if we aren’t careful we give up on God altogether. “It’s no use. I can’t do this ‘God thing’. I give up. May as well have fun and do it on my own.” Taking matters into our own hands usually only makes matters worse.

A variation of the ‘self-blame game’ is the comparison game. We look at those around us who have the ‘God life’ all figured out. We see how spiritual they are and how they’ve been blessed. We hear them speak of God’s love and mercy and how He is doing such wonderful things in their lives. We naturally conclude that since we don’t have a squeaky-clean, spiritually blessed life like them we must have something wrong with us. The enemy may even chime in here and tell us ‘they are all a bunch of hypocrites’ and urge us to go life alone.

It’s a hard pill for us to swallow, but we need to realize that as followers of Jesus Christ we have many promises from God’s word. But those promises don’t necessarily include comfort, financial prosperity or good health. We weren’t put here on earth to live a country club lifestyle. We were put here to glorify God. During a time when life was at its worst for Abraham and Sarah, they did not waver in their faith in God. The Bible says that is was this unwavering faith that gave Abraham and Sarah the strength they needed to hold on until God’s promise came true.

We give glory to God by believing in Him when we can’t see his way in the darkness. We give glory to God by remaining faithful when life isn’t fair; when the doctor gives us a bad report; when a relationship goes south; when finances dwindle and our job ends; when the bank finally forecloses on our dream home.

Whatever you are going through at this time, remember that God can and will eventually come through on His promises. It may not be like you were hoping. There may be lots of pain and confusion along the way. There may be times you don’t think you can go on. These times are needed to strengthen you for the road ahead. God DOES love you. He WILL fulfill His promises. Hold fast to your faith. If you do this, with the help of the Holy Spirit, chances are, years from now, you will be stronger and look back to see how much better God’s ways were than your ways.

PRAYER: Holy God. You have given me many promises in your Word. Frankly, right now I don’t see them. I’m tired. I’m battling anger and doubt. I see other people who seem to have it together and wonder what’s wrong with me. Forgive me for my doubt. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to be able to believe like Abraham did. Let others see your glory in my strength as I battle what life has in store for me. May you be glorified in my trial. In Jesus name, Amen.


So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Genesis 18:12

God’s promise of a son was long overdue. During the time of Abraham and Sarah a man’s wealth was measured by the amount of livestock owned and children fathered. Many a wife was cast aside or socially alienated if children weren’t brought into the mix. Although it sounds harsh in our world today, sons were more highly honored than daughters as well.

It’s really no surprise then that Sarah was little bitter and skeptical when the visitors arrived that day. The Bible refers to the three as ‘the Lord’. Was this an earthly, temporary manifestation of the trinity? We aren’t sure. What we do know is that God was present and he had a special message of hope for Sarah. Finally, at long last, just one year from now she would bring the promised son into the world.

The promise was really a restatement of a promise given long ago without any sign that it would be fulfilled. Since then Sarah offered up her maid-servant to Abraham and a son was born to this couple. Among other things, the birth of this baby caused conflict in the family (a conflict that goes on today) and reminded Sarah once more that she was the problem. After all, if Abraham had no trouble fathering a son with Hagar, he obviously wasn’t the problem, right?

We may tend to look down on Sarah for scoffing at God. We can talk about how she is showing a lack of faith or trust. We can question her patience. But in reality each of us is guilty at times of laughing at God’s promises for us.

God’s promises DON’T ALWAYS FOLLOW NATURAL LOGIC. Sarah was well past childbearing age. It was a biological impossibility for her to bear children. If we believe God to be who we say He is we also must acknowledge that He is not bound to the laws of nature. He controls nature. Nature does not limit or control God. Sarah made the mistake of believing in the order of nature, rather than believing the promise of God.

God’s promises COME IN HIS TIME NOT OURS. We live in a microwave world. Everything is instant from our potatoes to the way we communicate. As Sovereign God our Father knows best the timeframe for the events of our lives to take place. Waiting for God’s timing is difficult now, but much better for the future.

God’s promises DO NOT ALWAYS RELY ON OUR ABILITY TO BELIEVE OR UNDERSTAND. God told Sarah she would have a son in one year. Sarah laughed in disbelief and later lied to try to cover up that laughter. Even so, one year later she was holding her very own son. Imagine the joy she must have felt just three months after the visit when she felt the stirrings of life inside of her. For the next nine months Sarah carried with her the realization that God is truly God and His promises do come true.

God’s promises ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON ANYTHING WE DO. Later in Genesis (Genesis 21:1) the Bible says that God extended Grace to Sarah. She didn’t deserve to have that baby. Imagine. She laughed in the face of almighty God. God’s promises are based on His ability to fulfill them, not on our worthiness to receive them.

Don’t let time and circumstances allow doubt to creep into your mind. God can do great and mighty things in your life! God’s promises are for you and you don’t have to do or be anything to receive His promises! It may take longer than you think or wish, but in time He will accomplish in you all that He desires as you grow in relationship to Him.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I have to admit to you that I am impatient at times with You. It seems like you have promised me things and it takes much longer for those things to come to pass than I’d like. Thank you for the things you have done in my life and for the fact that you will accomplish all you desire for me. Help me to learn to trust you more and wait for you to work as only you can do. Amen.

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