TEXT: Romans 4:19-21
If God says He will do something for you, He will do it! He always keeps his promises, but there are some things that you have to do in order to receive from Him. The best example of this is seen in the life of Abraham.
When God promised Abraham that Sarah would give birth to a son, Abraham had to ignore his natural circumstances, have faith in God’s promise, and believe that God was powerful enough to do what He said he would do.
Romans 4:19-21 reveals the steps that Abraham followed to receive the fulfillment of the promise God made to him.
This passage of Scripture makes one thing clear: If we’re going to receive from God, we’re going to have to do the same things Abraham did – consider not, stagger not, give glory to God, and be fully persuaded.
Abraham considered not. He didn’t take into account the natural circumstances that told him it was impossible for him and Sarah to have a child. He did not let those circumstances influence his faith.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not telling you to ignore the natural circumstances and do something crazy. But I am telling you that when you’re believing to receive the fulfillment of a promise from God, you can’t concentrate on your natural circumstances.
The word “not” doesn’t appear in some manuscripts – so Abraham looked at the circumstances of his and Sara’s body through the eyes of strong health faith.
It doesn’t matter what you’re believing God for—you don’t have to consider the circumstances that surround your particular situation. If you start thinking about all the natural conditions or what So-and-so said, you will become weak in faith.
Abraham’s faith was not weak. The word week means, “to be feeble to be diseased, impotent, sick, etc.” A lot of people have diseased faith. Abraham’s faith was not sick but well.
Abraham’s faith was so strong that he didn’t consider the fact that both he and Sarah were beyond the age of having children. God promised him that they would have a son, and Abraham didn’t even blink an eye!
He did not allow the obstacles that were in front of him stop him from believing God.
If you’ll go back and read the story in Genesis 18:1-15, you’ll see that Sarah laughed at the whole idea of bearing a child at her age. Think about it, common sense tells us that a 99-year-old man and a 90-year-old woman are not going to be able to have children. But Abraham didn’t say anything against it at all. In other words, he didn’t waver.
The Contemporary English Version says: “But Abraham never doubted or questioned God’s promise.”
A person who staggers or wavers in faith will not receive anything from God. James 1:6,7 – “(6) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. (7) For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”
I know people who have read a faith-inspiring book or listened to a powerful sermon and felt “sky high” spiritually – really strong in faith. They’d make all the right confessions and keep concentrating on the Word. But a few days later they would start to waver, so they never received the answer to their prayers. They did exactly what they weren’t supposed to do. They began to consider the situation. (Considering not and staggering not go hand in hand. You can’t separate them.)
The enemy will always try to get you to focus on your circumstances. When you make a statement of faith declaring what you’re believing God for, the first thing he’ll do is start asking you questions and sowing seeds of doubt, saying “Have you considered this? Have you thought about that? Do you know that what you’re believing for goes against what’s happening in the world?” The enemy may ask, “Why hasn’t God answered you yet? If God were going to answer you He would have already done it.”
Actually, the tactics of the enemy are no different today than they were in the Garden of Eden. The enemy came to Eve and said, “Well, God said such-and-such, but have you thought about this?”
You see, if the enemy can get you to consider everything around you, he can get you to stagger at and forfeit the promises of God. So don’t consider the situation or the circumstances!
Now that doesn’t mean the circumstances don’t exist. Some people think that when you don’t consider the circumstances, you’re denying that the situation exists. But this is not what we are saying, of course it exists. You would have to acknowledge that first before you could even do something about it.
You had to acknowledge you were a sinner in need of a Savior before you could ever be saved, didn’t you? Well, in the same way, you have to acknowledge that you need a Healer before you can ever be healed, and so forth. In other words, you have to acknowledge the facts—but you don’t have to dwell on them.
Abraham acknowledged the fact that he was almost a hundred years old. He knew the condition of his body. But he refused to consider those things and chose instead to consider what God said.
Give Glory to God
Now look at the second half of Romans 4:20 because is was also an important step that enabled Abraham to receive from God: “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, GIVING GLORY TO GOD.”
I want you to notice that Abraham gave glory to God for the blessing before it ever happened. That lines up with what the NT teaches. You have to believe God & thank Him for the answer when you pray.
Philippians 4:6 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
TLB – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.”
You can’t wait until you get the answer to praise God for it!
Today you may be facing obstacles or situations that have you in a box, so to speak. You need to recognize the facts that exist, but don’t consider them – only consider what God says.
Now it’s very difficult to consider what God says, if you don’t know His Word. Too many people are trying to receive from God, but they don’t know His Word for themselves. Someone told them what God said or they heard a testimony of how God’s Word delivered somebody else. But that’s not good enough.
If you know what God says you can begin to praise Him for it.
If you’re going to consider what God said, you’re going to have to know His Word for yourself. It’s one thing to say “I think so” or “I heard,” but it’s another thing to say, “I know!” When you say “I know,” that means you’re persuaded beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Be Fully Persuaded
Abraham was strong in faith, so he didn’t consider the circumstances or stagger at the promise of God through unbelief. He wavered not concerning what he believed. Why? Because he was fully persuaded.
You see, our position is to consider not, stagger not, give glory to God, & be fully persuaded—that’s our responsibility. It’s God’s responsibility to do. We don’t have to try to figure out how He’s going to do it either, because if God said it, He will do it!
Unfortunately, many people today are in a position of staggering or wavering. They’re wondering if the promises of God are really for them. Well, they’re not going to receive anything from God that way.
Remember when the Apostle Paul was on a ship bound for Rome? The wind & the waves tossed the boat back & forth so violently that the men on board the ship gave up all hope of being saved. After several days, Paul encouraged them with a message that the angel of God had given him. He said, “therefore take heart, men, for I BELIEVE God that it will be just as it was told me” (Acts 27:25). NIV – “So keep up you courage, men, for I HAVE FAITH in God that it will happen just as he told me.” Paul was full persuaded that God would do just what He said!
It’s not feasible that a ship would go down during a violent storm without someone dying. But that’s exactly what happened (vv. 41-44). I tell you, if God says He will do something for you, He will do it, if you’ll stay steady & not waver.
You may feel as if you’re in the middle of a violent storm & your ship is about to go under. But if you will keep believing God, He will deliver you. He may have to give you a new whip, but He will deliver you!
Some people think, “Well, if God was really in the situation, there wouldn’t be any problems or tests. There wouldn’t be any trouble.” No, the Bible never said that!
Paul, who wrote about Abraham in the Book of Romans, was beaten repeatedly & faced death many times. Yet he said, “I thank God, I am always victorious in Christ!”
According to the way some people teach faith, Paul was not very successful because he had all sorts of trials & tribulations. Yet we can take a lesson from the Apostle Paul. Yes, he went through those trials-—but he considered not the situations, staggered not at the promises of God, & was fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was also able to perform.
Often people say, “Well, I don’t understand why I’m having to go through this.” My answer would be, “I don’t know either. But keep believing God, because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world! Be fully persuaded that what God said to you will happen!”
I want to tell you how persuaded Abraham was. He was so fully persuaded that even after Isaac was born & God told him to offer Isaac, he obeyed. Abraham was so sure that God would keep His Word that he took his son Isaac up on top of the mountain to offer him (Genesis 22). By his faith, Abraham gave glory to God.
So instead of saying, “Why am I in such trouble?” we should be saying, “Glory to God. Thank God I am delivered. In all of my circumstances, trials, and tribulations, I shall come forth. In the midst of it all, I will be fully persuaded!”
When you believe something, you act like it. For example, if a father told his fifteen-year-old child “I’m going to buy you a car next month when you turn sixteen and pass the driver’s test,” his child would believe him. And I guarantee that young man would act as if what his father said was true. He’d tell everyone, “I’m getting a car next month” – even though he hasn’t seen any keys, he hasn’t seen the car, and he hasn’t even passed the test yet!
What evidence is that teenage child going on? He’s going on what his daddy said! I want you to know that child isn’t considering anything else. If somebody asked that child, “Yes, but what if such-and-such happens?” he’d answer, “Don’t worry about it. My dad said he would buy me a car, and he’s going to do it.”
Well, as Christians, we don’t have to worry about anything either. We don’t have to consider anything other than what our Heavenly Father has said!
Do you want to know why some Christians don’t talk about what God will do for them? Because they’re not really persuaded that He will do something for them. You can tell by listening to them talk. They have a little bit of doubt in their voices. There’s no certainty in it.
Look at the word “able” in verse 21. It means “powerful, mighty, having power for something.” Abraham believed that God had the strength to do what He promised. He was strong enough to do what He promised. He was capable enough to do what He promised.
I’m sorry to say there are too many Christians who don’t really believe the promises in the Bible—they’re just mouthing words. But if God said it, I believe it, & that settles it!
We have to be like Abraham—fully persuaded that what God has promised, He is also able to perform. We have to believe that whatever God has said, He is able to bring to pass!
What is it that you need from God? While you’re waiting for the promise of God to be fulfilled in your life, maintain your confident trust in Him. Refuse to consider the circumstances or anything else. Don’t stagger at the promises of God through unbelief but, instead, thank God in advance for causing you to triumph. Then stay fully persuaded that whatever God promised, He is able to do. And it will come to pass.