January 29, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 21:1-7

God is a God who keeps his promises. If there’s anything you should take away from today, it is that truth!

Let me ask you: have you ever been in a situation that seems completely hopeless to you? Maybe outward circumstances made it seem like it would be impossible to trust that God could work anything out in your favor. Maybe it’s a loved one close to death, a marriage on the fritz, or a child who has turned and gone their own way.

A seemingly hopeless situation is what has been leading up to this passage today. God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child and from that child many more offspring would come (Genesis 17:16). The odds were against her: she was around 90 years old (Genesis 17:17) and had been barren all her life (Genesis 11:30). How many people do you know that are 90 years old, let alone women who give birth at that age? Many times, God’s will defies human logic and limitations. The reason that the 90 year old, formerly barren Sarah was able to give birth was not a rare coincidence or scientific anomaly, it was an act of God on a promise that he had made.

Let me be clear: we cannot apply every promise made in scripture to ourselves. Unfortunately, not everyone who is barren will one day be able to have a child of their own; not every person who is on the verge of death will be healed. But Romans 8:28 is clear: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

There is one promise that we can hold as absolutely true: everything in our lives is made right through the cross of Jesus Christ. For some, this truth can be extremely hard to accept given circumstances in your life. But the fact is that because of the cross, God’s promise in Romans 8:28 is true! The ultimate good came when Jesus died on the cross for our sins, allowing us to be redeemed and brought back to God.

Questions to Apply:

  • When dealing with hardship in your life, is your first response to remember the cross and have faith, or to be overwhelmed with the circumstance?
  • How can you be intentional with remembering the promises of God so that you can grow in trust and reliance on Him?

By: Graham Withers

Author: Center Point Church

A multi-campus church in central Kentucky. Our mission is to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

9 thoughts on “January 29, 2016”

  1. Today’s passage caused me to pause and reflect on the life of Sarah. My transition begins the passage saying “the Lord took note of Sarah.” Took note..what an interesting choice of words. Until this point, Sarah had a really tough life. Not only was she barren, but she had twice been given into the harem of foreign rulers by her husband, lived in constant struggle with Hagar, along with the normal song and dance of being a wife to Abraham. So the joy she felt when finally seeing the promise of God fulfilled… I don’t think we have words to express it.

  2. Nearly 20 years ago in the Spring of 1997, I attended a “Promise Keepers” event in Cincinnati at Riverfront/Cynergy Stadium. What an amazing sight it was to see 50,000 plus men singing praises to God and worshipping together. Over the years I’ve wondered how many of those men kept their promises to God, their wives, and their children. Considering the sinful, fallen world in which we live, no doubt many promises have been broken by the men who filled that stadium for 2 days. I am so glad we serve & worship a God who NEVER breaks His promises. He is ALWAYS faithful!

  3. Thanks for the commentary today! I am praying for our middle school youth this morning. Praying for the Ice invasion event that more than what we expected come. Also I pray for the ones that are already apart of CPC youth ministry really own their part in this ministry and take their relationship with Christ seriously and because of this kids would come to know Christ and change the whole dynamic of their families.

  4. “I have seen his ways — and will heal him. I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.” — Isaiah 57:18

    A son was born, and the 25 year suspense was finally over with the laughter of derision turning to rejoicing (v.6).

    Often times, I find myself waiting for the 5 o’clock hour. The desire to go home or simply to be free from the slave’s restraint can be so great.

    Other times, it’s the weekend. I’m looking forward to either a special event on the weekend, a family event, or simply a little bit of time to rest.

    Adoption of my children comes to mind. Such waiting. You’ll wait a long time for that promise to be fulfilled.

    Waiting is a test. Of who you are. Your character. Your Christian walk. It will plumb the depths of a man’s heart and when bottom is hit — for that will surely be the case — what will be discovered? Will it be like “a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value” esteemed it’s value above all else? I pray that this be the case when that hardship comes.

    Can my heart be in full agreement that this pearl, this Jesus, is the source of true joyous laughter, unhindered praise — despite my present circumstances? Lord help me today! He is my promise fulfilled.

    Thank you for Jumpstart today!

  5. Thanks Graham for your words they were encouraging. I know for me I am not patient when it comes to looking forward to things or waiting on God. However, I have seen time and time again how He reveals things to me a bit at a time. In the moment, I am anxious or have even become frustrated with God as I await His timing. Looking back over my life or seasons of my life God revealed things to me in perfect timing. To be honest, if He had revealed His plan to me all at once I wouldn’t have believed He could bring me to and through the things that He has. God knows us and knows what we can handle. I know in my own life He is guiding me through and to His plan and purpose with small commitments and changes to shape and mold me into a tool to be used by Him. This verse is a good reminder that God reveals and blesses us with His promises in His timing, “This happened at just the time God had said it would” (Genesis 21:2b)

  6. Thanks Graham for sharing, I have to admit through life struggles and circumstances it’s been hard to wait and trust the Lord, that He is in control and knows best for me. I am so thankful for such a patient God, that never, never gives up on me. Thanks CPC for jump start, it’s such a blessing.

  7. This week the resounding message I’ve been hearing is in regard to staying patient and faithful in times of waiting and struggle. I don’t feel like I’m in one of those times now so I’m starting to get paranoid that one’s coming…LOL. Just kidding with that last part but God is obviously telling me something lately!! Thanks for Jumpstart!

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