Help thou mine unbelief!

Hebrews 11:11-12

11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 

The biblical account of God’s promise to Abram and Sara to give them a son is one of hope in the face of impossibility. The account also helps us when we find it hard to believe.

In Genesis 15 God makes this covenant with Abram: that his seed would be innumerable. In the Old Testament when a covenant was made, the sacrifice was divided in two and the parties in the agreement would walk between them signifying that if they did not keep their side, the same should happen to them. But God caused Abram to fall asleep so only God would walk between the sacrifices, showing him that this promise was completely dependent on Him to keep it.

As we read the next few chapters, we see why God did this. Their faith wavered soon after and
Sarai gave her handmaid, Hagar, to her husband to kind of “help” God keep His promise… and Ishmael was born! Then God reinforced this promise by changing Abram’s name to Abraham (meaning father of many nations) and Sarai’s name to Sarah (meaning princess). Abraham faltered again in his faith thinking they were too old and asked God to just accept Ishmael, thinking that maybe this promise was just too much for God to keep. Then when God comes to Abraham and Sarah on His was to Sodom, He tells them the time has come and Sarah would soon find herself pregnant and in 9 months the promise would be fulfilled, to which Sarah laughed in unbelief because physically she was no longer able to bear children.

This does not sound like an account that is filled with faith but instead it seems there is an awful lot of doubt in these chapters. So how is this an example of faith that we can follow? I think it is because even though their faith was weak and they had a hard time trusting in this promise, they never stopped following Him. Even with Hagar and Ishmael, I believe they did that because God had made a promise to make a great nation out of Abraham and they believed that…but the rest of it was a little much so perhaps they could help God along. They believed, while not believing. But God did fulfill his promise and Isaac was born to Sarah and the seed was planted for the nation of Israel to grow. He showed Himself faithful to keep His promises!

Do we ever have a hard time taking God at His word? Of course we do! Sometimes we even act like Sarah and Abraham and think we need to give a little assistance to God. But isn’t it an awesome thought to know that even when we have a hard time with our faith, our God remains faithful! He didn’t abandon Abraham and Sarah in their times of doubt, and He will not abandon us in ours. Sometimes we just have to cry out to God as the dad did in Mark 9:24 “Lord, I believe! Help thou mine unbelief!”

Today may we ReFocus our hearts and our minds on Christ as we consider His faithfulness in our lives, even when our faith falter.