Romans 4:20-21 - No unbelief made him (Abraham) waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.
In fulfilling His promises, God often lets us wait. When we become impatient and doubtful, let us not struggle in unbelief, but exult in the faith of the prophet: "For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay" (Habakkuk 2:3). God's time is always the right time.
You know that a mushroom grows overnight, while it takes years to produce a sturdy oak that can weather hurricanes. The firmer trust in God does not usually come from a passing emotion or pious feeling at a revival, but from long acquaintance with God who protects, ennobles, and strengthens our hearts. Lenses for eyeglasses are made in a quick process, but do you recall that it took the great lens of the Pacific Coast telescope two years to cool? And if we would look deep into our lives and high into God's mercies, this clarifying of our vision often requires years.
You can draw hasty, sketchy lines in a moment, but Ghiberti worked more than 40 years on two medallioned baptistery doors at Florence, doors that Michelangelo pronounced beautiful enough to be the gates of paradise. So if God would make masterpieces of our lives, why should we seek to ruin His artistry by demanding haste?
No modern violin can produce the rich tones of the Stradivarius, made of aged, seasoned wood and completed by painstaking craftsmanship. Similarly, the heart that best sings the new song of faith bears the stamp that the Savior's love has repeatedly placed upon him in long years of blessing faith.
No synthetic pearl made in the speedy processes of artificial culture has the luster of the natural gem that has been years in the making, and when you experience a postponement of the answer to your prayers, remember, Abraham, who during a delay of 25 years did not waver concerning the promise of God. Therefore, forget not the words of the psalmist: "I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope" (Psalm 130:5).
Finally, we recall that Abraham's faith was sustained, though his conscience accused him every time his weak, selfish, sinful human nature gained the upper hand. Still, even then he did not waver. We have a golden passage from his life, which I offer you as the evidence that your salvation is sealed in the love of Christ, without any contribution or compensation on your part. "And he (Abraham) believed the LORD, and He counted it to him as righteousness" (Genesis 15:6).
That faith which justified Abraham before God gave him the assurance of the cleansed soul, of sin removed and canceled, a pardon spoken by God and sealed by Christ. And it is this same Christ, who at the end of time will come in the clouds with His angels of glory, and will fulfill the last of His promises for this earth, taking His own, with all sins forgiven and all stains removed, and drawing them to Himself and the glories of heaven.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, send us Your Holy Spirit, so in triumphant faith we may believe the timeless promises of Your Word. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
From "Undaunted Faith in God's Promises," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Do you feel like you manage your time effectively? What are some strategies you use?
2. Trusting God can be difficult. How do you hold on to the promises of God in faith when the situation looks doubtful?
3. What can we do in a practical way to deepen our faith in the promises of God?
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