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Encouragement while you wait

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
January 15, 2022 12:00 pm

Encouragement while you wait

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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January 15, 2022 12:00 pm

James Banks and Robby Dilmore discuss the story of Abraham and power of waiting and trusting in God.

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This is Chris Hughes with the Christian Perspective Podcast with Chris Hughes, where we encourage our listeners to engage the culture with Jesus Christ. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds, so enjoy it, share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. So, waiting for an answer to prayer isn't easy.

I mean, sometimes it takes years, and when it does, you can get discouraged. If you're in that place right now, that place where you're wondering what God is up to, you'll want to keep listening to today's encouraging prayer, right, James? Well, today we have some help that comes from an unexpected play, The Life of Abraham. In Genesis 13, he says he'll make his descendants like the dust of the earth. There will be so many of them. And when Abraham doubts that, in Genesis 15, God tells him to count the stars if he can, and says his descendants will be innumerable, just like them.

Let's stop right there, because, you know, that's where it gets interesting. I mean, we don't think of Abraham doubting much of anything, right? We think of him as the example of faith, right? I mean, what does Romans 4-3 say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness?

That's just it. You know, Romans is quoting Genesis 15, which tells us Abraham's response when God told him that his descendants would be like the stars of the sky. But if you read in it just a little bit later, in Genesis 17 and 18, you see God telling Abraham again that he will have many children.

And what does he do? I mean, this is years later. He laughs. And actually, that's the meaning of the name that Abraham and Sarah gave their son Isaac. It means he laughs, because they both laughed when God told them that they would have a son, because they were so old at that point. Carl I think I see where you're going with this. I mean, what's so interesting is that even though Abraham believed God, he still had questions, right? He still had part of him that didn't think it was possible. And we don't tend to think about that too much, do we?

No, exactly. That's the very point we should think about that, because Abraham was only human, just like you and me. And the thing about having faith is that it is almost always a work in progress. So Abraham believed God, he really did. But as time went on, it became more and more difficult for him to accept that he and Sarah would actually have a son. And we know that because of the way he responded later in his life.

What I love about this is it's so human. We kind of put people like Abraham up on a pedestal, but he would tell us, don't do that. A great example of why is in that 15th chapter of Genesis right before God tells him that his descendants will be like the stars of the sky. God comes to him and says, do not be afraid, Abraham. I am your shield, your very great reward. And then Abraham immediately says, Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless? The thing I want you to notice here is that God comes to Abraham in this very personal way. You know, Abraham, I'm here for you. I'm here. I'm your shield. I'm your great reward.

And Abraham says, Well, what can you give me? Right? Really? I never saw it that way. I mean, if I were God, my feelings would be hurt. Exactly.

That's the point. The great I am says, I am your shield and your very great reward. And instead of looking to God in love for just who God is, it's like he's looking at God's hands.

What do you have there? You know, what can you give me? And I mean, don't we all do that, you know? Haven't we all done that before? But the beautiful thing is that God meets him really right where he is, because it's, it's right after that, that he tells him again, that he will have so many descendants.

Yeah. And that's the beautiful, tender thing about God's love, Robbie. I mean, that's, that's what I love here, because I think of the number of times that God has has given me a break, you know. And I think part of Abrams believing God was that he was real with him about his struggles and his questions. Because no matter what happened, Abraham never gave up on God, he never turned his back on him.

And God didn't turn his back on Abram either. And that really matters, especially when you and I are looking for answers to prayer that haven't come. And we're discouraged.

And we're thinking, Oh, you know, what's going to happen? I think part of the reminder of this, this whole picture of Abraham is that we don't want to just look at God's hands, you know, we, we want to seek his face, we want to, we want to go to him in love, you know, prayer isn't just this linear thing, this input question, output answer. And if we look at it that way, then I think we'll get discouraged so many times. Because we're just thinking, well, I prayed about this, and it didn't happen. But that's not I mean, that's only a small part of what prayer is, and it unfolds in relationship with God. And I know that's hard, especially when we're praying about something that is is so important to us, you know, and it could be a life or death matter, even but even greater than all of that is the truth that God is more than anything that happens to us. And he wants to be more he wants to be our everything. And we need to turn to him like that, you know, and the way that you pointed that out, James, I see in it that in his own way, God is saying, you know, Abram, my grace is sufficient for you, you know, when he says I'm your shield, and I'm your great, like, you got me.

And it's neat that they walk together in that even even to the point of putting Isaac up on the wood. So that's a beautiful thought. Well, could you wrap us up in a prayer along those lines that we'd be able to look to the sun? Let's do it, Lord, we do.

Just come to you. And we praise you that you really are our shield. And you really are our very great reward. And we want to love you more. And Lord, you know how much these prayers matter to us. And, and we by faith, like Abraham say, you've got this, but we trust you most of all. And we love you and we praise you for loving us in Jesus name. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website, jamesbanks.org, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-26 23:45:44 / 2023-06-26 23:49:09 / 3

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