The seemingly impossible
Without faith it is impossible to please God. That’s from the New Testament book of Hebrews.
Among those listed in the heroes of faith hall of fame is Abraham. He and his wife Sarah were promised descendants when they were past childbearing years.
As the calendar advanced month after month, there was no Abraham junior. They took things into their own hands, the result being the birth of the boy Ishmael by another woman. Eventually, the promised son Isaac was born. From the beginning the whole thing seemed far fetched … crazy … impossible.
Why does God withhold answers to our prayers and his promises until it’s very late?
I ask that a lot.
One of my favorite Bible teachers, Derek Prince, offers the following answer in a synopsis on biblical promises, The Provision is in the Promise:
“Why does God often allow us to come to a place of seeming impossibility before He fulfills the promises we are claiming? I believe there are two practical reasons. First of all, we are emptied of self-confidence. We come to the point where we know that if it’s going to be done, God will be the one who does it. That’s the point Abraham reached. He knew there was no natural possibility for the promise to be fulfilled. Therefore, he had to focus exclusively on God.
“I believe the second reason is that when the promise happens, all the glory goes to God. When there is a possibility that we can do it by our own effort, then we may take some of the credit for it. But when we come to the place where we know we cannot do it by our own effort—and are exhausted of self-confidence—then all the glory truly goes to God.”
It’s 11:59 here. I’ve been waiting a long time for answers to prayers and have eagerly anticipated the fulfillment of God’s promises (Phillipians 4:19, 2 Corinthians 9:8-11, John 10:10 and 16:24, 3 John 1:2, Proverbs 3:9-10, Deuteronomy 8:18) for a dire situation.
Not only am I exhausted of self-confidence (there’s nothing I can do to save myself), I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. If I am to be spared from eviction and homelessness, it will be because God has done it. If God does not intervene, if I am to walk through the process of eviction and homelessness, then I trust that even in that, God will be gloried just as much as if he’d provide every dollar needed.
Seemingly impossible. Yet ….