“For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” Romans 4:13-18
Charlie Brown eyes the football as Lucy grips it tight. Why should he believe that this time will be different? All the times before she pulled the football back at the last second and he went flying. But he believed that he would kick the ball. This time it would be different.
The world looks at Christians and laughs. The world thinks of us as fools, religious nuts. The world thinks we are no different than Charlie Brown, holding on to our ridiculous faith when all of the evidence proves us wrong.
The Scriptures are full of people who believed when it seemed ridiculous. Abram was ninety-nine years old when God returned to him with the assurance that the means through which He would give him heirs as many as the stars in sky or the sand upon the shore was not from Ishmael, but the son to be born of Sarah. The idea was laughable. But Noah had built the ark before him and the adolescent David went out to meet the Philistine champion. We see such ridiculous faith during Jesus’ ministry also. Martha stood outside her brother’s tomb and said what must have seemed more said than funny, “Yes, Lord I believe that you are the Christ.” The two blind whom Jesus asked if they believed that He had the power to make them whole and said, “Yes.” The father, whose son was stricken by an unclean spirit, responded to Jesus’ query by saying, “I believe, help my unbelief.”
We also stand at gravesides and bedsides and speak what may seem to others as foolishness. But we face life in this fallen world with the sure and certain promises of God. Though it may seem ridiculous, we believe in the faithfulness of God so that the promise rests upon His grace. During the season of Advent, we wait in expectation for the coming of the Messiah. In hope, we believe against hope that the Lord Jesus, who came in humility in His first coming, will come again in glory at His second coming. May God give us faith to believe no matter what how much the world may laugh. Yes, Lord, we believe.
Prayer – Stir up our hearts, O Lord,
People: to make ready the way of Your only-begotten Son, that by His coming we may be enabled to serve You with pure minds;
Pastor: through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan