Adversity strikes at the worst times in our life. Two weeks ago Pastor Rob recalled that it was during one of the most intense and stressful times of his life as a Senior Pastor that both his best friend and his wife were struck with cancer and died.
Abraham was a man whose life, like ours, was full of adversity. How did he respond? What can we learn from his example? Two weeks ago, Pastor Rob explored the first of two crucial episodes in Abraham’s life that demonstrated his faith (as recorded in Heb. 11:8-10). This week we’ll explore the second two (Heb. 11:11-19).
The devotionals this week were written by Jonathan Ziman, Community Life Pastor for Singles here at Wheaton Bible Church.
Today we are reading and meditating on Hebrews 11:11-12. The text below is taken from the New International Version, but feel free to read from the version of your choice.
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
We live in a culture that thrives on beating the odds. We love to root for the underdog. We’re convinced that mountains are made to be climbed. We can do anything, be anything, go anywhere…nothing can hold us back.
But then reality comes crashing in. The cancer doesn’t get better, but worse. The loneliness of being single for twenty years starts to weigh more and more heavily and we find ourselves wondering if God even hears our prayers anymore.
When prayer has gone on for years, seemingly without any effect, how does God expect us to respond? How have you responded in your life?
Now, look back at these verses from Hebrews. What seemed impossible to Abraham and Sarah?
Despite the incredible promise of God, after twenty-five years they were still without children. How would God provide so many descendants without even one child to get them started?
Pastor Rob, in his book, When the Bottom Drops Out, refers to this as “waiting in the middle.” It’s messy and difficult and even frustrating at times, but nonetheless a part of life that God has ordained for us to experience. The way through, Pastor Rob says, is to “By faith, stay confident in God, even when the situation seems impossible.”
What is the “messiness in the middle” that you are struggling through right now?
I praise you because you alone are holy. You alone are good. You alone can bring healing and hope. Please help me to remain confident in you, even as everything around me seems to be crumbling away. I need you Lord today—please let me feel your presence as we walk through this together.
In Jesus’ name,
 When the Bottom Drops Out, 97.