Sarah: A woman of faith (Hebrews 11:11)
What if someone told you that you were meant to do something that was impossible? For example, have a baby at over 90 years old …
We can understand that when Sarah first heard the prophecy that she would give birth to a son in her old age, her first reaction was to laugh. (Genesis 18:10-12.)
But the promise God had given Abraham was, ”I will bless her and give her a son, and you will be the father. She will be the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will come from her." Genesis 17:16 (NCV).
And that is exactly what happened. “Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. Everything happened at the time God had said it would.” Genesis 21:2 (NCV).
In Hebrews 11 it says, “It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.” Hebrews 11:11 (NLT). So somewhere between hearing the prophecy and actually giving birth to the child, Sarah came to believe that God would keep His promise.
Trust in God
According to natural laws, it was impossible for Sarah to have a child, but she was able to overcome this. In another Bible translation it says that she received strength. The secret of her strength was that she believed God and His promises. If we trust God we get power to break through all “walls” and achieve what God has promised. It breaks through doubt, unbelief, discouragement, hopelessness, and whatever else stands in the way. The Lord Himself said to Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14.)
Faith means that we don’t give up! God will not give us a task to do unless He also gives us what we need, the wisdom, and the strength to do the task. This doesn’t only have to do with outward promises, such as the son that God had promised to Sarah and Abraham. It also applies when situations come up in our lives that really seem impossible according to our human understanding, whether these come as a result of our circumstances, or because of the sin we see within ourselves. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
We easily see our own natural, human weaknesses, just like Sarah did when she laughed. We see how weak we are as people to stand, to overcome, to endure in the situations. We see our failings, our feelings, our reasonings, our selfishness. Maybe we see how impatient we are when we need patience the most. We see our temper, that we are so easily discouraged, our sinful desires, whatever it may be. We should not look to ourselves for strength when we need it, then we will surely fail. But nothing is too hard for the Lord!
We need to believe with all our heart that God “is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of.” Ephesians 3:20 (GNT). When we put our faith in Him, then it is from Him that we get all the help we need, the strength, and power to free us from our own weaknesses, evil habits, and sins. When we believe that God will do what He has promised, then we get the strength to overcome the sin in our own nature. Sarah’s faith has become a powerful example for us to follow.
Do you believe?
The question is, do you believe Him who has promised to never leave you or forget you? (Joshua 1:5.) He who has promised that you will never be tempted more than what you are able to bear? (1 Corinthians 10:13.) Do you believe that He has given you everything that you need for living a godly life? (2 Peter 1:3.)
If you believe God, you can go forward even if things seem impossible. Faith in God gives us courage to keep going and to never give up. When He sees a faith like this, God gladly gives us the victory. We must simply go to Him and ask for whatever we need in order to overcome sin. This shows God that we believe that He will give us what we ask for, when we ask without doubting. (James 1:5-8.)
God said to Abraham “At the right time …” and it is also written that Sarah gave birth “… at the time God had said it would.” They believed God’s promise before it was fulfilled, and they received Isaac in God’s time, not their own. “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.” Hebrews 11:1 (NCV). We must trust in God’s timing. We must believe in Him and His promises and fully trust in His ways and His timing. That is faith. Then God will do what He has promised us.
“Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus called us by his glory and goodness. Through these he gave us the very great and precious promises. With these gifts you can share in God’s nature, and the world will not ruin you with its evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4 (NCV).