“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief — but was strong in faith — giving glory to God — and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform — and, therefore, it was imputed to him for righteousness.”

This wonderful text from Ro.4:20-22 is written in reference to the faith experience of Abraham concerning the birth of his promised son, Isaac, by Sarah. And, anyone who knows the circumstances surrounding this incident realizes the impossible odds that were naturally against such a thing ever even happening. Why?– simply because Abraham was 100 years old — and his wife, Sarah, was 90! In fact, the scripture says that Sarah was passed the age of being able to have children. So, when it says that Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief” — it is bearing testimony to a rather remarkable aspect in itself. For how could Abraham not doubt in the face of such obvious physical obstacles? After all — this is the same Abraham that just a few years earlier — when traveling with Sarah through Egypt — was so afraid that if Pharaoh knew that he was Sarah’s husband — that he would probably kill him so he could steal her for himself. So, what did this mighty man of faith do? He concocted a scheme to be disguised as his wife’s brother in order to have a better chance of staying out of harm’s way with the Pharaoh! Of course, our gracious and almighty God then intervened for Abraham and delivered him from the Egyptians. Nevertheless, there certainly was some serious “staggering” going on at this particular time in Abraham’s life!

Now — where our text is concerned — the physical aspects of the unlikelihood of being able to bear a firstborn son with his aged wife — were very much pronounced to say the least! But, as it says, even in the face of all the impossibilities he did not demonstrate any wavering unbelief. In fact, it says that he “(1) was strong in faith — (2) giving glory to God — (3) being fully persuaded — that what He had promised, He was able also to perform”. Oh, that we might exude these three Godly traits as well!

There were three miracles that occurred simultaneously around the birth of Isaac:
1. The actual birth of Isaac (which only God by His grace could have done)
2. The unshakable faith of Abraham that stood so strong through all the praying and waiting for the birth of Isaac to finally take place (again, performed by God)
3. Then there is the righteousness that through this whole faith experience that was, by God’s grace, imputed unto Abraham — making him totally acceptable with Him!

This is the miracle of the grace of faith, my friends! For it, alone, is this kind of faith — true saving faith — that is as un-natural to fallen human contrivance as it is for a barren, 90 year old woman to give birth to her first child! There can be no doubt about it — that the very faith that was so remarkably exercised from Abraham — in the face of such impossibilities — was the Col.2:12 kind of faith…“faith of the operation of God — who raised Him [I.e. Jesus] from the dead.

For Christ’s Glory Only,
John Carpenter

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