The first step of faith became the control point for all else:
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Abraham's second step of faith brought him into a relationship with God that transformed his life even more:
Genesis 15:5-6: And the LORD brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you are able to number them: and he said to him, So shall your seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Abraham's third step of faith was the promise of immediate fulfillment--even though the promise had been long in coming:
And God said, Sarah thy wife shall indeed bear you a son; and you shall call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him...My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
Faith is like a cup that receives the blessing of God. God calls us to exercise our faith--that is, to hold out our empty cups so that he may fill them. When we show Him that we really do want what He has to offer (sometimes by acting, sometimes by just listening and taking what He says to heart), our faith receives the blessing God is so willing to give.
And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, She is in the tent. And he said, I will certainly return to you according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah your wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I've grown old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? So the LORD said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh and say, Shall I bear a child, since I am old? Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied it, saying, No, I didn't laugh; for she was afraid. And he said, Yes, you did laugh.
And then, there was Sarah. She had to believe. Even though she laughed at the prospect, her faith HAD to grow strong, like Abraham's, as her body changed back to the way it was during her childbearing years.... Imagine her surprise when she woke up one morning, full of desire for her husband, aware that her body was renewed, ready for his love. However, more than that had to happen She had to, dare to hope and believe that the ONE thing she had always desired, and for which she had completely given up hope, her own child, would one day be hers to hold and love. And so it was, because Sarah opened her heart to what the LORD said, and to his gentle rebuke at her doubt. So many years of trying. So many years of ancient medicine, and even superstitious practices (Hagar, for example), all for nothing. And now God called her to believe, just in Him. And so she did. Sometimes the greatest challenge to faith is the failures of the past--but Sarah was equal to the call that God had given. Sometimes the thing that awakens faith is just the LORD saying, "Is anything too hard for Me?"
Always believe. Always trust. Always listen. Never give up hope. He has a great deal for you that you have not yet received. Remember the LORD's words: "Is anything too hard for the LORD?" It's a rhetorical question, of course. NOTHING is too hard for Him. What He has promised, He will do. All you have to do is hold out your empty cup and let Him fill it.
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