Sarah: She judged Him faithful who had promised
It would have been totally normal for Sarah not to believe that she’d have a son … after all, she was nearly 100.
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Sarah: A woman of faith (Hebrews 11:11)
What if someone told you that you were meant to do something that was impossible? For example, have a baby at nearly 100 years old …
When Sarah first heard the prophecy that she would conceive and bear a son in her old age, her initial reaction, perhaps understandably, was to laugh. (Genesis 18:10-12)
But the promise God had given Abraham was “… I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Genesis 17:16.
And that is exactly what happened. “For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.” Genesis 21:2.
In Hebrews 11 it says: “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11. So somewhere between hearing the prophecy and actually conceiving the child, Sarah came to faith.
Confidence in God
In spite of the very laws of nature being against her, she received strength to overcome them. The secret of her strength was that she judged Him faithful who had promised. Confidence in God is the power of faith that enables us to break through all barriers and establish and complete what God has promised. It breaks through doubt, unbelief, discouragement, hopelessness, and whatever else stands in the way of us overcoming obstacles. The Lord Himself said to Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14)
Faith inspires endurance! God will not give us a task to perform unless He also gives us the means, the wisdom, and the strength to do it. This doesn’t only apply to outward promises, such as the son that God had promised to Sarah and Abraham. This applies to remaining in faith when situations come up in our lives that really seem impossible according to our human understanding, whether these come as a result of our circumstances, or because of the sin we find within ourselves when we go to do the good. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
We automatically see our own natural, human weaknesses, just like Sarah did when she laughed. We see how incapable we are as people to stand, to overcome, to endure, to prosper through the situations. We see our failings, our feelings, our reasonings, our selfishness perhaps. Maybe we see our natural impatience when we need patience the most. Our temper, our inclination to be discouraged, our, whatever it may be. We are not to look to ourselves for strength when we need it, for then we will surely fail in courage and ability. But nothing is too hard for the Lord!
We need to believe with all of our heart that God “… is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20. When we put our faith in Him, then it is from Him that we receive the grace of Spirit, strength, and power to free us from our own weaknesses, inclinations, and sins. When we judge Him faithful who promised, then we receive the strength to overcome our own nature. Sarah’s faith has become a powerful example for us to follow.
Do you believe?
The question is, do you count Him faithful who has promised to never leave you or forsake you? (Joshua 1:5) He who has promised to never allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but to always make a way of escape so that you are able to bear it? (1 Corinthians 10:13) Do you believe that He has equipped you for all things that pertain to life and godliness? (2 Peter 1:3)
If you have confidence in God, you can go forward in spite of all kinds of obstacles – in spite of the “impossible.” Trusting God gives rise to a courageous determination which God always rewards in victory. Our part is to go before Him to seek what we need to overcome in all the circumstances of life; to show Him that we really believe that when we ask without doubting then what we ask from Him we will receive. (James 1:5-8)
It is worth mentioning that God said to Abraham “At the appointed time …” and it is also written that Sarah conceived “… at the set time of which God had spoken.” They believed God’s promise before it was fulfilled, and they received Isaac on God’s timeline, not their own. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. We have to have confidence and trust in God’s timeline. We have to believe in Him and His promises and fully trust in His ways and His timing. That is faith. That is confidence. That is what will lead us to the fulfillment of God’s precious promises for us.
“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:3-4.
Are you interested in reading more about faith?
Hebrews 11 mentions many examples of people of faith, and you can read more about some of them in our topic page about heroes of faith in the Bible.
You can also explore our topic page about faith, or have a look at these selected articles:
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.