“He believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist. […] He considered his own body to be already dead (since he was about 100 years old) and also considered the deadness of Sarah’s womb, without weakening in the faith” (Rom. 4:18, 19).
God promised Abraham a son. Abraham faced facts: he was old, and his wife’s biological clock had stopped. Still, Abraham believed God. How? It’s common, I think, to imagine that Abraham believed in spite of the facts. That is, he saw the gray hair. He saw his skin slowly sliding into piles of wrinkles. But he dug down, and from somewhere deep within, from some reservoir of spiritual strength he was able to believe against what he saw. This is how I’ve imagined it many times, anyway.
But IS faith believing in spite of the facts? What did Abraham believe in? “He believed in God, who gives life to the dead….” Did he believe in the God who gives life in spite of the fact he considered himself dead or because he considered himself dead? Did Abraham’s faith contradict the facts or was it rooted in the facts?
What about Paul? Despite many weaknesses, sufferings, and overwhelming pressures, he had unflinching faith in God’s grace. Or was it despite the things he faced? Consider what the Lord said to him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul didn’t believe in spite of weakness and difficulty; he believed because of the things he faced. Without his weakness, God’s power could not have been perfected.
Are you overwhelmed by responsibilities? God’s grace is sufficient because you are out of your depth. Have you failed morally? Then where sin increased, grace will increase even more (Rom. 5:20). Your failure is now an occasion for God’s forgiving, transforming power. Do you have weaknesses and limitations? God will be glorified, not in spite of your weaknesses and limitations but because they are opportunities for His power. Are you experiencing circumstantial, psychological, or emotional death? These things are not preventing you from experiencing the life of Jesus. It is because of these things you can be SURE His life will manifest in you (2 Cor. 4:11). So do not fear your Achilles heel or those things that seem like obstacles. They are not threats. God is perfecting His power in them!