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Second Chances

God, Your ways are perfect; Your timing exact. Help me to wait patiently upon You to complete Your perfect will in my life.

Focus of the Month: Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Hope

Growing impatient in the fulfillment of a desire, I decided to help God out a little and try a few things on my own to “make it happen.” Instead of enjoying the fulfillment of the promise in my life, I created a chaotic situation with disastrous results.

Can you relate? Have you ever decided God was dragging His feet, so to speak, and so you took matters into your own hands? Was the outcome without catastrophe and without additional cost? Probably not… There is such a woman in scripture who had done the very same thing.

We learn of Abram and Sarai in Genesis. God spoke to Abram and told him he would have a son of his own who will be his heir. God went on to encourage Abram in this truth by telling him to go outside and count the stars…that’s how many descendants Abram would have.

However, in the very next chapter, we learn that Sarai, who had not been able to bear children for Abram, convinced Abram to have a child with her servant, Hagar. Sarai had grown impatient in the fulfillment of God’s promise. Where was the heir? How would that happen, since to date, Sarai was not able to conceive?

Abram was 86-years-old when Ishmael was born to Hagar; Sarai was 76-years-old. But when Abram was 99-years-old, God again appeared to him, and instructed him to serve faithfully and live blamelessly. Then God would give Abram countless descendants and make Abram the father of nations. It was at this time God spoke of giving Sarai – now Sarah – a son, and that she would become the mother of many nations.

Sarah, at hearing the news, laughed to herself, for she was old and past child-bearing years. When confronted, she denied she had laughed. But then a year passes, and Sarah did indeed give birth to a son, Isaac.

It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep His promise. (Hebrews 11:11)

There is a gap in Genesis between Sarah hearing the Promise of a son, and enjoying the fulfillment of her pregnancy and delivery. Initially, Sarah took matters in to her own hands and figured out a “solution.” But the birth of Ishmael created discourse, jealousy, and hardship for Abraham and Sarah. Upon the restatement of the promise, Sarah laughs in unbelief, and when confronted, denies her laughter – and thus, her unbelief.

But the testimony of Sarah, as recorded in Hebrews, tells us Sarah must have had a change of heart – because it is said she believed God and believed He would keep His promise. Because of her faith, God was able to fulfill His promise in her life.

Sarah’s story confirms that even when we try to take matters into our own hands and mess things up, God allows repentance and second chances. It also proves God is faithful to perform His word and fulfill His promises when we choose to respond in faith.

Is there something in your life that you’ve grown impatient with – waiting for the fulfillment of the “promise” with seemingly no results? Be encouraged to NOT waver and do things your way – but to be strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, knowing He who promises is indeed faithful. Wait upon the Lord. He shall show you His glory – His goodness – His faithfulness. Trust Him to complete His promises in your life.

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Genesis 15-18, and 21; Hebrews 11:1; Romans 4; Psalm 27:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:24.


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