Facing the Cold Hard Truth—Romans 4:19
"Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-since he was about a hundred years old-and that Sarah's womb was also dead..." (Romans 4:19)
A critical step in realizing a promise from God, especially when healing is concerned, is facing the cold hard truth of the problem. When something is wrong, when your body is sick, when you are dying of cancer, whatever this made be, we have to come to the realization that perhaps nobody can help us.
One thing I faced while clinging to the hope for children year after year and speaking in faith about it (Rom. 4:17) was this unmistakable look of pity in people’s eyes. It was as if they pitied me for not realizing that this wasn’t going to happen. But the truth is that I realized the gravity of the issue more than they did. I was the one at the doctor’s appointments when diagnoses were made. I was the one paying for failed treatments. My husband and I had to come to a place of understanding that the medical field could help us only so far.
Some people never get here and that is okay! I believe God heals in a variety of ways. He certainly does through doctors and in other creative ways. So, if you are reading this, don’t feel discouraged, as this is just the path we took and this is something to think about. But you must do what is right for you. God is so gracious and He honors all of it!
Abraham went through the same process. He faced the facts that he was impotent and that his wife Sarah had always been barren. But here’s the golden nugget of truth in this verse: he faced this reality without it affecting his faith. He believed God when he promised him a son. So, these things, although very real, didn’t dissuade him from his ability to believe that promise, even though he and Sarah endured an additional 25 years of waiting amid horrible circumstances.
That is incredible. The Book of Hebrews gives us insight into why these things didn’t weaken his faith. “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 made the promise” (Heb. 11:11). Abraham’s ability to trust in God’s promise was solely relying on the giver of the promise and not the circumstances.
Like Abraham, we cannot focus on the problem; instead, we need to focus on the promise and the giver of the promise!
The circumstances can weaken our faith but focusing on the One who is able to help us will strengthen our faith. Abraham knew God, so he was able to disregard what seemed impossible in light of that relationship.
This is the primer for what is coming next in realizing God’s promises as illustrated by Abraham (Rom. 4:20-21). But let’s take some time to consider our own situation:
Where do you need to face the reality of your circumstances?
What are the ways you are seeking help (or healing)?
What is hindering you from fully trusting a promise from God for help or healing?
Previous: Romans 4:18 Next: Romans 4:20-21
Original article published July 14, 2009.