When You Can No Longer Envision the Promise

 

He is able

One night last week, as my husband and I were unloading our sleeping kids from the car, I looked up to see a completely clear sky. I’ve been studying the Old Testament for an upcoming speaking engagement, and so as soon as I saw those twinkling lights above me, I thought about a moment where God gives us a beautiful picture of promise.

Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

-Genesis 15:5

When I looked up at the sky on that clear night last week, I was in awe of what I saw. But, I was much more overwhelmed at what I couldn’t see. Do you know that as of April 1, 2014 Hubble revealed an estimation of 100 billion galaxies, and then predicted that number would increase as technology improves?  And guess what? According to the Atlantic Daily, as of October 2016, that number now stands at 2 trillion.  Look at the following quote from Atlantic Daily writer Marina Koren on October 14, 2016: “There’s only one way to count galaxies with existing technology: Point a telescope at a small chunk of sky, tally up the number you see, and then extrapolate that across the whole sky. But when the Nottingham researchers examined the masses of the galaxies in those patches of sky, they realized there must be missing galaxies that are ‘too faint and too far away’ to be imaged by modern technology, even the most powerful telescopes in the world.”

I can’t help but imagine myself being there on that very night God took Abram (Soon to be renamed Abraham) outside and showed him the stars. It appears to me that Abram probably gazed up at that sky and took it at face value. He was probably overcome by the great number of glowing stars above him mingled with the promise God made for his life. I’m not sure Abram ever thought about the stars he couldn’t see. How could he have known the great expanse of the universe? We look at stars in the year 2017 with all modern technology has to offer, and still, we cannot see everything there is in space.

I recently read there are 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone. Let me repeat that: In the Milky Way galaxy, one galaxy out of what now appears to be 2 trillion, there are 100 thousand million stars. Honestly, I didn’t even know that was a real number! Friend, I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around that number, and yet we serve a God who made a numeric promise based on the number of stars He created. And our God knows exactly how many there are. In fact, He even named each one. (See Psalm 147:4) He told Abram, “Look toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” He knew Abram couldn’t number them, and that is the whole point.

We serve a God who has spoken promises so great that it is beyond our human vision and comprehension to see the fullness of them. There is so much more for each life than we can begin to know. I need to say this to you today:

GOD IS ABLE!
GOD IS ABLE!
GOD IS ABLE!

The creator of the universe is God of the impossible, and there is more to His Word than we will ever grasp.

After Abram looked up at the sky on that clear night so long ago, he modeled something for each of us.

“And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”

-Genesis 15:6

Up to this point, Abram didn’t have one child. Not one.  And, yet, he was promised descendants matching the number of stars. Abraham made a choice to believe the promise, and because he believed, God counted him righteous.

Today, I want you to believe in a God who sees everything, not just what is within the line of human vision. I want you to believe there is power in His promises, and that He has promises for you. No matter what you see or how you feel, it does not change the power of God’s promises or the depth to which they reach.  This weekend, if you’re have difficulty holding tightly to a promise He’s made, walk outside and look up. Even if the sky isn’t clear, just think about what you cannot see, and what God calls by name.

He is able.

Love,

Jennifer

 

If You Need Some Encouragement…

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, _Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield. your exceedingly great reward._

Hi, Friend. I have a short word of encouragement for you. Tonight, as I was reading my Bible, I came across a portion of scripture I highlighted long ago…

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield. your exceedingly great reward.”

– Genesis 15:1

You know that I’m a big believer in context first and life application second. Meaning: learn the back story and then apply it to your own life. However, today, we aren’t going to look in detail about the story surrounding the above scripture, because I know that some of you are going through really hard times and you just need a small dose of encouragement.

I want to take a minute to remind you that God is your shield, even if it doesn’t feel that way. I understand that your worried about what tomorrow holds, because today was hard and you don’t want to wake up and do it all over again. I get it.

I’ve had some dark days. I know what it is to hurt and search desperately for the promised shield. As humans, we want evidence; we need proof. But as children of God we depend on faith and hope like we depend on air and water. So, take a drink of water and a deep breath. It might sound corny, but it’s a physical action to remind yourself that you choose to put your faith and hope in Jesus.

God’s never let you down and He won’t start now. He is your faithful reward, your shield of protection, and everything you’ll ever need to fight fear. The command do not fear is listed in the Bible approximately 365 times. Everyday of the year you can remind yourself that you don’t have to be afraid. God is for you. He. Is. For. You. And He is your shield.

Love,

Jennifer

Maybe This Time (Hope is Coming!)

Maybe This Time

So there was this guy named Abram who was later named Abraham. He was a man called of God to continue the line that would lead to the coming of a wondrous Savior. Life wasn’t particularly easy for him. His wife was barren, he had a nephew he was constantly bailing out of trouble, and what was promised seemed to take forever. The sin of control conspired amongst he and his wife, which only made matters more difficult.

However, before the tangled mess of sin and ultimate deliverance of mercy unraveled from heaven to earth, there was a hope-filled word given from God Himself accompanied by an action. The kind that causes worship to rise up within me. It’s a promise we can take to heart and live by.

And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him; “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are- northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth ; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”

-Genesis 13:14-17

First there was a word for Abram’s life, and then he was given an action to complete. God said, “I’ll give you descendants; this is your land, arise, go and walk it!”

How often do we feel deep down in our bones that God has whispered a promise for us? It’s something we’re supposed to do, a new purpose to fulfill while awaiting His arrival in this dark world.

And, how many times do we just wait and mope instead of acting on it?

Maybe we’re scared to fully trust Him with everything we have. Maybe we don’t want to help the stranger down the street or feed the poor. And maybe it’s not even that. Maybe He just wants us to commit to Him. wholeheartedly commit.

He wants every part of us, but perhaps we’ve held back. Maybe this time we feel Him pursuing us so hard that it seems He’s right at our heels as we’re running the opposite direction. He’s calling our names while waiting for us to turn around, drop to our knees, and tell Him that everything we have is His.

Do you need to stop running and walk the land?

As we await His arrival, let’s commit to “walk the land.” Let’s be brave and surrender. Maybe this time we can inhale hope and exhale the peace of a coming Savior to a mercy filled land He’s given with love.

Walk the land, friend, hope is coming!

Love,

Jennifer

To read other posts related to this series, click here.

 

 

Keep Walking

"Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

“Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Romans 4:19-21

And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (N.K.J.V.)

Abraham and Sarah were old. Sarah’s childbearing years had passed her by. Abraham’s body could have been considered nearly dead and Sarah’s womb was barren.  Yet, even in the midst of a circumstance which seemed lifeless, we learn that Abraham did not waver. He was strengthened by faith and through it all gave God the glory.

We serve a God who restores life. When the sun sets it doesn’t stay dark for long. God speaks and it rises again. New light shines. A new day begins. Hope rises and mercy follows.

If you are walking through a difficult season in your life, I want to encourage you to continue onward. Keep moving through it. Do not become trapped in one spot and refuse to move. Faith has the ability to provide strength in the most desperate of situations, but your faith is only as good as what or who you choose to place it in. If your faith is in God, truly in God, then the reason you are walking through the barren land rather than staying in the same spot is because God is providing strength through your faith.  I know there are days you might feel stuck. However, if you are putting your trust in Jesus, then you are moving even when you don’t feel like you are.

Give Him all the glory regardless of where you are or what your end result might be. Know that He makes your way and be fully convinced He is able. When we look through human eyes, it is very hard to see the good inside the bad. But when we look through spiritual eyes, our perspectives change and we see restoration of life from what seemed dead.

I’m here to tell you not to give up. Keep fighting, giving glory, and walking the road. Find life and live it well!

If you feel stuck and you need prayer I will be happy to pray for you. You can either leave a comment or send me an email.  Have a wonderful day!