June 30, 2022
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 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. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
I am not seeing people in the age range of Abraham and Sarah trying to have kids anymore. We would have no interest even at our much younger ages of having kids again. Grandkids for a few days, even weeks. The image may seem very foreign to us. But the picture that we have is that Sarah believed even after her disbelief.
We will hear in the gospels a man asking Jesus to help him believe in the midst of his unbelief (Mark 9.24). We want to hold on to a faith that does not need to be left with our being in unbelief. We want that maturity of faith that never lacks in fully believing. And whether it is in the pain of being unable to conceive (Sarah), having a child in need of healing (Mark 9), or whatever other hardships come in our lives, we have times when believing is hard.
In the larger picture of the church today we hear people wondering about congregations being able to continue, even questioning the future of denominations. It is easy to be in that place of lacking faith in the future of the church. But we can look at God’s faithful actions over the history of the church and see that he keeps it going. God brought life to the church to begin it and will bring life to sustain it. It does not depend on our belief. Which is why we can believe as Sarah did after her unbelief and why we can ask for help to believe in the midst of our unbelief. God is the one who brings about the miracle of grace in and through the church. And we can believe, even when it is hard to believe.
Song – This I Believe
Defend, O Lord, your servants, with your heavenly grace, that we may continue to be yours forever and daily increase in your Holy Spirit more and more, until we come to your everlasting kingdom. Amen.