Galatians 3:6-9 (NLT)
In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God. What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
I believe I stand before you today in the middle of a miracle. I have the word. I have the faith. The Lord is working on my hope so that it will be confidently assured in the hope that I have in the Lord. It is tough out here. I feel as though I am in a drought. It seems that all I have is His Promise and nothing more. There is no comfort in reality. There is no confirmation in the natural. I believe God but I cannot see Him right now. I have faith in Jesus Christ although the blessing I am to receive seems somewhat distant. I am tired of walking so now I am crawling. I am weak in my flesh so my spirit drags me along. I feel my strength waning and my confidence shaking. My heart is trembling on the verge of falling apart. I look to the example of Abraham. God counted him as righteous because of his faith. I wonder if Abraham ever felt like this, too. He must have because he was only human just like you and I. Yet the Lord does not recount his weakness but continues to revel in one man’s ability to trust Him. The Word does not tell of all the times Abraham failed and faltered but glories in the times that his faith flourished and he lived in confident hope. In the midst of this miracle that God has prepared for our life, I must take His Word and believe it. I then must take the seed of faith that comes from His Word and plant it in my heart. I must cultivate the Word into faith that will die and give way to confident hope. Oh Lord, help me to survive this process so that I may be called righteous, too.
I Kings 17:1-7(NLT)
Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!” Then the LORD said to Elijah, “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.” So Elijah did as the LORD told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.
God told Elijah to declare a drought so the Man of God did just that to King Ahab and hence the land fell into a terrible trial of no rain. But the Lord had already provided what Elijah needed to survive this test, so the prophet obeyed the Lord and went to the brook as instructed and ravens brought him food as he drank from the flow of water. However, the brook dried up and I assume that the ravens stopped coming. It was time to move on. In that moment, do you think Elijah maybe thought what have I done? Now I am thirsty and hungry, too! God sent out His Word. At the time, the outcome was uncertain so now it was time to obey the Lord and see what happened next. A miracle would happen next. Are you in a season of drought? Have the ravens stopped feeding you as they once did? Could it be time to move on to the next season of your life? Yes, I do believe that it is. God is moving you into a miracle. Are you willing to go?
I Kings 17:8-16 (NLT)
Then the LORD said to Elijah, “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.” So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.” But she said, “I swear by the LORD your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.” But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the LORD sends rain and the crops grow again!”
So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah.
The oldest “trick” in God’s Book. Feed their hunger, quench their thirst and they will follow you just about anywhere. God doesn’t trick us but gives us the opportunity to live a life of undeserved privilege. The Lord sent Elijah to a widow in Zarephath who was preparing the last meal for her son. She was convinced that they would soon perish from hunger in the midst of the drought. She was not hostile to God in this moment or surely should have slammed the door in the face of His Prophet. Instead, she was more than willing to share all that she had with the Man of God. Elijah asked for all that she had. She gave it all by faith. He gave her a Word from God, “There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and crops grow again!” He did not tell the woman to stop what she was doing just to offer what she had to the Lord in the form of feeding the prophet first. She did just that. God’s Word became active in her life and just as the Lord had promised there was always enough flour and oil in her containers.
Matthew 13:158-23 (NLT)
“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
You have been given a seed of faith for such a time as this – it is called God’s Word. The Word will not return void and will do everything that He said that it would do. (Isaiah 55:10-12) You must decide what to do with God’s Word to determine what will be harvested in your life. The parable of the farmer planting seeds is a great illustration. Those who take the Word of God and plant it in good soil by faith will produce a great harvest called hope. It is in this place that miracles will happen. Note that I did not say that they might happen! They will happen but we must not allow God’s Word to be thrown away or put in shallow ground. It must be planted deep inside the human heart and even allowing our self-confidence, human rational and even pride to die in order to produce faith that becomes confident hope. (1 Corinthians 15:36-37) The trouble is nobody know what God is saying anymore. His Voice is drowned out by the world. His Word is ignored. Yet we wonder where signs and wonders called miraculous are? Today is the day that everything could change in your life simply by taking God’s Word and planting it deep inside your heart. God is not a man that He would lie or change His Mind so it is important that we do not allow the enemy or this world to cause doubt, fear and worry to consume our seed that is the Word of God.
Matthew 17:20 (NLT)
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
We take that little bitty seed called the Word of God and by faith plant it deep in our heart as the Promise of God for our life. We must not waver from our position that is looking for that Word to come to pass and this is how we demonstrate belief just as the farmer watches his field. The enemy wants to abort the harvest and devour our crops but if we stand firm in our faith without wavering – he can do nothing but standby and watch our harvest grow in the salvation that we have been promised. It doesn’t take much faith at all just about the size of a mustard seed which is tiny. Do you have enough faith? There is another story in the Bible much like the one in I Kings 17. It is about a large group of hungry people and a group of men who took a boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish to feed them. (Mark 6:37-44) The disciples wanted to naturally feed all these people, but Jesus knew that they had all that they needed except faith. Faith is the catalyst to supernatural prosperity in all forms. Without faith, what’s the point our life is ordinary and common. But with faith, anything that we ask in the Name of Jesus is ours just because we asked. (Matthew 21:21-22) They just didn’t get it. (Mark 6:47-52) I lack nothing in my life. God has provided everything that I need from my birth to the day that I meet Him face-to-face. I have an inheritance that is secure and well-protected from the enemy. I am in the middle of a miracle just waiting on my faith to grow to meet the level of blessing and promise God has in store for me. This should be a peaceful and joyous place. So why am I still struggling?
I Kings 17:17-24 (NLT)
Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?” But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed. Then Elijah cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”
And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” The LORD heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!” Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the LORD truly speaks through you.”
Yep, there I am! Standing right with the widow of Zarephath, her son grew sick and died. Now when the prophet came things were a little different. No hope is better than false hope. God gives us His Word to plant in our heart. Faith grows from the Word but now must become confident hope. Why? “And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” (Romans 4:19-21) and “ It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, ‘Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.’ Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.” I am in the middle of a miracle. The woman could believe God for sustenance. How many times do we pray for God to give us more resources and even money? But now her whole life was on the line as it would be with any parent facing the loss of what is most precious, her child. Her response to this miracle, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the LORD truly speaks through you.” The woman now had confident hope. We are called to be Children of God who says that we have the blessing of Abraham on our life. To be that person requires acceptance of God’s Word, production of faith, and a harvest of confident hope that keeps us faithful and not wavering in our commitment to God no matter what we are faced with even the unthinkable.
Hebrews 6:13-19 (NLT)
For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying: “I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.” Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised. Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.
It is impossible for God to lie, change His Mind, or go back on His Word. By faith, I receive that Word and choose to bury it in my heart. I will nurture it, protect it and hang on to it until it comes to pass. I will be patient to watch and wait for what the Lord has promised. When my faith dies and turns into confident hope (my ability to trust the Lord above and beyond what I know, see and think) then I will have real and genuine faith that keeps me righteous at all times. I have nothing to fear and everything to gain just as like the Blessing of Abraham. This is the real miracle that I am after to be able to trust God, put my faith in Him and have continual, confident and committed hope that is an anchor for my soul! This leads me into the Presence of God where by faith and hope I will have all I need and more than I could think or ask. Those who truly love God will never fail to have faith and hope in Him. (I Corinthians 13:7)
Romans 5:1-5 (NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Now that I understand the process, I will not lie and say that it is any easier to accept. But then again, when I am weak it is then that I am strong. I am in the middle of a miracle. Lord, thank you for your Word. Give me the faith to keep it safe in my heart until confident hope is ready for harvest. Hang in there friend! God’s Word will come to pass. Your faith will be tested and found to be genuine and you will have confident hope. His Love never fails!
I Peter 1:6-8 (NLT)
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.