To Believe the Lord
“Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6 NIV)
Do you remember when God promised to make Abraham the father of many children even though he was an old man married to Sarah, who was herself old and barren? The Lord promised Abraham that his offspring would be so numerous that they couldn’t be counted, saying, “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted” (Genesis 13:16). On a later occasion, the Lord told Abraham to “look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them…. So shall your offspring be” (Genesis 15:5).
I wonder if that second comparison seemed like a bit of a comedown to Abraham. Even though he could see a sky full of stars—as many as 2,000—surely the grains of dust on the earth were of a far greater number. But God had in mind things Abraham couldn’t possibly see. Science has shown us that the number of stars in all the galaxies could be as great as the dust of the earth. What a tribute to the accuracy of the Bible and the greatness of God. Look up at night into the heavens and let every star inspire you to do what Abraham did that evening—he believed the Lord.
-Pastor Cymbala (excerpted from Breakthrough Prayer)
Why does God speak about what he is going to do in advance? He does it to build our faith. He wants us to believe and trust him and govern our lives by things that haven’t happened yet. According to the Bible, that is the very essence of faith: “the evidence of things hoped for.” We can’t very well hope for what has already taken place, can we? In essence, the Lord is saying to you and to me, “I’m faithful; and there were people before you who believed and received the promises made to them or who ‘welcomed them from afar’” (Hebrews 11:13).