Responding in Impossible Situations

After starting full-time vocational ministry by faith, Mark’s wife realized they would be out of money in three months since their missionary income from supporters was only a third what he was making as an engineer before. But Mark was steadfast and put His hope in God to meet their needs. After twenty-four years in the ministry, God has proven faithful in providing needed finances for Mark’s family and ministry.

You may be currently facing a similar situation where your resources are exhausted and there seems to be no solution. Let’s examine what the Bible says about how we should respond to impossible situations.

In Genesis 12, God called Abram to leave his country, his people, and his father’s house to go to a lang that He should show him. God told him that He would bless him and make Abram into a great nation, and all the people on earth would be blessed through him. So, Abram obeyed God and he did indeed become blessed.

However, by Genesis 15, Abram now an old man, still did not have a son and was afraid that one of his servants would have to receive his inheritance. He was entering into a crisis of faith because his wife, Sarai, was beyond childbearing age. 

God again told Abram that he would have a multitude of descendants that were like the stars in the heavens. Scripture tells us in verse 6 that Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. This is one of the most important verses in Scripture.

Let look at the definitions of three words here in this verse:
1. Righteous means goodness or worth. Only God has this unchanging and perfect righteousness. The world only knows relative righteousness that sets up a comparison between two people.
2. Credited is accounting term defined by Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as “an entry on the right-hand side of an account constituting an addition to a revenue or net worth.”
3. Believe means to place confidence in, rely on or trust. Abram received God’s gift by faith, not by anything he did. Similarly, we aren’t able to earn or come to deserve God’s grace. It’s given to us as a free gift by faith in God’s promise. The content of Abram’s belief was descendants being born from his own body.

We learn in verses 9-21 how Abram be assured that God would keep His promise. To give a little background on these verses, we now know that most serious agreement in Abram’s culture was a blood covenant. Abram understood the significance of this ritual. An animal would be killed and split into two sections. The two sections were then used to form a “corridor” for the parties of the covenant to walk through together. Failure of either party to meet this obligation would result in being killed like the animal. Abram understood that both parties were obligated to keep the covenant.

With that background, we see in this Scripture that God (represented by a smoking firepot and burning torch), passed between the two sections of animals (verse 17). Abram, in contrast, fell into a deep sleep (verse 12). Since Abram did not walk between the two halves, he did not assume any responsibility. This is why it’s an unconditional covenant, not dependent on Abram’s obedience. All God requires from us is faith in His promise.

Although Abram was not always perfect and didn’t always do the right thing, he did put his hope in God and believed in Him. Abram was facing impossible odds, but God fulfilled His promise and gave Abram a son. Have you placed your faith in what God has done for you through Jesus Christ. He died for you so that you can have eternal life with Him. Just like Abram, God is calling you to put your trust in Him and believe in what He has done for you.

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