February 23, 2017

When You’re Anxious for God’s Promises

On January 4th of this year, I began a new teaching series on the life of Abraham from the Old Testament.

I am traditionally an expository preacher, preaching verse-by-verse expositions from a particular book of the bible, where last year I preached through Paul's letter to the Philippians and that took about 4-1/2 months to get through, too.

This study on Abraham began in Genesis 12 back in January and last night we came to Genesis 15 and I expounded verses 1-6.

The headline for this study is Abraham - A Model of Faith and it's through his example of how he lived, not perfectly at times either because he struggled in being obedient and walking by faith too, much like we do today.

There are a number of things that people are anxious about in their lives.  Some of those feelings of anxiousness revolve around thoughts of personal security given the unrest that we are experiencing around the country.  There are thoughts of financial security too - not having enough finances saved for retirement, will a person's current level of retirement living provide the security and comfort they expect to have until they die.  Some folks are even planning to move and there's definitely some anxiety there, especially when the house hasn't been finished yet to put on the market and they aren't sure yet where they'll live, even know they may know what city they are moving into.

There is no doubt the anxious feeling that parents have for their children, regardless of their age.  Christian parents want to see their children come to faith in the Lord, to live passionately for Jesus throughout their lives and do great things in service to Him.  

There are those parents who are praying that their children would return to the Lord again and serve Him because they've either been drawn away by the culture, or they've left because they've been hurt in some way by the church.

Abram though, his main concern was that he didn't have a son and God had made a promise to him that he would become a great nation and that his name would be great too (Genesis 12:2).

God had made a promise to Abram 3 separate times, but as we would read these verses, we tend to forget that it wasn't said over a matter of a few minutes as we read it, but it was spoken to Abram from God over a period of a few years.

  • Genesis 12:2, I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make  your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
  • Genesis 13:15, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever
  • Genesis 13:16, I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.
We struggle with waiting on God for a few days, let alone a few months or even several years to see the fulfillment, the realization of God's promise that's been made to us. Could you stand waiting on God for 10 years, as Abram did and still not see anything come to pass?

It wasn't until God took Abram outside and he looked toward heaven and God asked him to count the stars, if he could.  That's how numerous the number of children he would have in the future and it was not only a physical blessing that he would receive from God, but it was also a spiritual inheritance too because of the vast multitudes of people that would come to faith in Christ centuries ahead of his time.

As I read in Charles Spurgeon's Morning & Evening devotional for today, this emphasized so much of what I preached last night concerning a Christian's faith toward believing in the promises of God.  

Spurgeon said, "No promise is of private interpretation. Whatever God has said to any one saint, He has said to all. When He opens a well for one, it is that all may drink. When He openeth a granary-door to give out food, there may be some one starving man who is the occasion of its being opened, but all hungry saints may come and feed too. Whether He gave the word to Abraham or to Moses, matters not, O believer; He has given it to thee as one of the covenanted seed." (February 23, Morning Meditation)

Here is the outline for last night's sermon:

When You're Anxious for God's Promises (video 1:04:44)

  1. God addressed Abram's fear (v. 1-3)
  2. God addressed Abram's future (v. 4-5)
  3. God acknowledged Abram's faith (v. 6)


When You’re Anxious for God’s Promises

  1. Trust in the Divine assurance that God gives through His Word
  2. Trust in the timing of God’s promises 
  3. Study the passages of Scripture that recalls people who demonstrated faith
  4. Read stories about those who lived a life of great faith like George Mueller 

1 comment:

John Swet said...

Brother this message is perfect for me .it definitely, definitely helps. In the past I've never been a fan of God's timing. in the past several months when I submitted myself I just accept His timing.