“God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife… I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and… kings… shall come from her.’ Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety, bear a child?..’ God said, ‘Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish… with him an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him…’
“And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre… three men were standing in front of him… They said, ‘Where is Sarah your wife?’ And he said, ‘She is in the tent.’ The Lord said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.’ Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, ‘After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?’ The Lord said, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.’ Sarah denied it, saying, ‘I did not laugh…’ He said, ‘No, but you did laugh…’
“The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and did as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son at the time of which God had spoken to him.” Genesis 17:15-17,19; 18:1-2a,9-15; 21:1-2
“By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11
Sarah, who had longed for decades to bear a child, found it hard to believe that God would give a son at their age- it was humanly impossible. But when the visitor outside the tent knew she had laughed to herself inside the tent, she perceived He was indeed the omniscient LORD in the flesh, and yes, nothing was too hard or wonderful for Him. Faith sprang to life, and she appropriated His promise. Her laughter at Isaac’s birth was no longer unbelief that this could happen, but delight that it had.
Faith does not always start as such, but strengthens as we comprehend more and more of God’s nature and ways, and His word proves repeatedly true. It is not something we muster up from inner dreams and desires, but that springs from His Word. It is a narrow pathway within His promises, full of unexpected delights as we hear Him speak, recognize His divine power, stride ahead in trust, and experience gradual fortifying of our faith muscles.
If my ‘faith’ follows me, founded on self-motivated wants, it will prove anemic at best. What will I do to know better God’s revealed promises, and there tether my faith? If I trust and delight in Him with all my heart, He will shape, define, and align my desires with His, and bring them to pass according to His timing as I believe. I will follow truth spoken but unseen, and genuine faith will grow. (Psalm 37:4; Proverbs 3:5-6; Hebrews 11:1)
Lord, correct my thinking and believing to always be rooted in You and Your word. Fortify my faith to take hold of Your good promises, to Your glory.