The author of Hebrews has exhorted us to imitate the faith and perseverance of those who inherited God’s promises (Hebrews 6:12). Abraham is one such prototype that we can choose to follow. The author states, “And so by persevering, Abraham inherited the promise” (Hebrews 6:15). Paul records the example of Abraham’s faith, when he writes that “without being weak in faith, he considered his own body as dead (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waiver in unbelief about the promises of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. He was fully convinced that what God promised He was able to do” (Romans 4:19-21).
How did Abraham see the miracle of Isaac’s birth? By persevering! This word expresses the concept of persistence, or an unswerving willingness to await events rather than trying to force them. This is not so much a trait, as it is a way of life. All of us are called by God to demonstrate persistence in our lives, especially when the pressure to give up or give in is great. God wants to enable us, through Him, to possess a supernatural hang-in-there stamina and fortitude.
Remember Abraham was seventy-five when he received the promise from God and one hundred when the promise of a son through him and his wife Sarah was reality. That’s twenty-five years which to all of us seems like a lifetime. But God is never hurried or rushed. He always has the longer view in mind. God is not interested in just the temporal, but the eternal affects of His work in our lives. So instead of being discouraged or feeling stuck in your adversity right now, think of the eternity in glory to come. Consider what you are going through right now as part of God’s purpose for preparing you to be in His presence forever!
By the way, did you notice how favorable God is here in Hebrews six in His estimation of Abraham? Abraham had a lot of lapses over those twenty-five years including having a child of the flesh with Hagar. And yet God is so merciful and forgiving. He chooses not to focus on the negative. Praise the Lord! I hope this will encourage you today right where you are. None of us will handle our seasons of trial perfectly. We will all have our lapses and our failures. When we fail like Abraham let’s learn from our failure and grow from it but never allow our failures to stop us from continuing to grow and trust in Him. Overall, Abraham was a man of faith, not of failure. Some seasons of our life may feel like we’re taking three steps forward while taking two steps backward. But even in those seasons we’re still a step ahead of where we were. During difficult days don’t focus on your lapses of faith. Focus on your small victories that you are experiencing by faith.
For twenty-five years Abraham held fast to God’s promise of a seed, his precious Isaac! Don’t let go of the promises of God. Hold onto them tightly, but not with a “grit your teeth” human tenacity. No, surrender to God every day and let God’s Spirit live through you to do not what is natural but what is supernatural.