Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Guarantee of a Promise

Our church is currently going through the book of Romans on Sunday mornings.  I have read this book in the Bible, I don't know, countless times.  I love that I am learning each Sunday, that God is speaking to me on a personal level, applying truths to my life.  That's what is so wonderful about God's Word.  It is living.  It applies to your life where you are now.  You can read the same scripture a 1,000 times and you can get something from it 1,000 times.  I could have read a verse a few years ago, reread it now that I'm in a totally different place in life, and the passage can mean so much more.  I love how that works.

Last Sunday Jake spoke from the last part of Romans chapter 4.  He spoke on guarantees.  As a believer I have a guarantee of grace, I have a guarantee of a promise and I have a guarantee of justification through Christ.  I want to expound on the guarantee of a promise.  

Jake said something Sunday morning that really stuck out to me.  "Physical evidence doesn't always line up with God's promises." Romans 4:18-21 says, "18 He believed, hoping against hope, so that he became the father of many nations[a] according to what had been spoken: So will your descendants be.[b] 19 He considered[c] his own body to be already dead (since he was about 100 years old) and also considered the deadness of Sarah’s womb, without weakening in the faith. 20 He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform."

God had promised Abraham descendants too numerous to count.  The physical evidence seemed to prove otherwise.  Abraham was old-- about 100--and his wife Sarah was 90.  By all physical proof it would seem impossible for them to have children this late in the game.  God's promise outweighed the physical evidence.  

Look at Job.  Without quoting the entire book, let me give you a rundown.  Satan thinks that the only reason Job worships God is because God has blessed him so abundantly.  God grants Satan permission to attack all of Job's possessions, leaving him destitute.  He lost everything, including his children.  When this wasn't enough to cause him to stop worshiping God Satan asked to strike his health.  At this point Job is unrecognizable...and we're only into chapter 2!  The last verses of the chapter brings his friends into the picture.  It says, "12 When they looked from a distance, they could barely recognize him. They wept aloud, and each man tore his robe and threw dust into the air and on his head. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him seven days and nights, but no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very intense."

Saying that Job was at an all-time low would be the understatement of the year.  He lost everything, every physical possession, his children and now his health.  His body was so mangled with boils and disease his friends couldn't even recognize him.  They were so distraught none of them could even speak for a week!  Every inch of this physical evidence would point to a curse from God.  It would seem God had turned His back on Job.  We would ask, "How could a loving God allow this?"  Physical evidence isn't always accurate.  

Job is depressed, to say the least.  He is questioning why God even allowed him to be born. However, even through all this He won't curse God.  His wife even came to him and said, "Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!” He responded to her,“You speak as a foolish woman speaks. Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said.
However, he is bitter and quite frankly having himself a grand ol' pitty party.  (But who could blame him, though, right?)  The end of the book shows God speaking to Job and Job finally coming to his senses again, realizing how much God truly loved him and asking God to forgive his pettiness.  Chapter 43:10 says, "the Lord restored his prosperity and doubled his previous possessions."  

All physical evidence during that time of Job's life pointed towards God turning His back on him.  Physical evidence doesn't always line up with God's promises.

There may be something you are going through right now.  You may not understand why it is happening, how God could allow it.  You may question what the outcome will be, how you are going to get through it.  I promise you this, if you turn your face towards the Savior, He will get you through.  It may not turn out the way you had planned.  Your life may not look like what you expected, but you will end up exactly where He wants you.  You cannot do it on your own, however.  You need Jesus.  He will never leave you or forsake you, even if everyone and everything in your life does.  Call out to Him.  His promises are true.  

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