In Genesis 18, the Lord (in the form of 3 men) visits Abraham. The Lord restates His promise that Abraham will have a son by Sarah and says this will happen in a year (Gen. 18:10). When Sarah hears this, she laughs: “After I have become shriveled up and my lord is old, will I have delight?” (Gen. 18:11-12). How could she possibly bear a son, the image of her lord, Abraham? The Lord answers with His own question: “Is anything impossible for the LORD?” (Gen. 18:14).
God has promised that we will bear His Son and Image. Scripture says we are predestined to this end (Rom. 8:29). But there are days this promise seems like a joke. Like Abraham and Sarah, we are old–of the old man, Adam, that is. Because we share his old nature, we are prone to weakness and sin (Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:22). This being the case, we look at ourselves and think, Christ come out of this? Don’t make me laugh, God.
But God isn’t laughing. Is anything impossible for Him?
God raised Jesus from the dead. By the Spirit He now calls His Son to life from the grave of your soul and mine. Abraham “believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist” (Rom. 4:17). Our faith is grounded in a God who brings birth out of barrennes, life out of death, existence from nothingness. Causing us to bear His image can’t be too difficult for the Lord.
Abraham “considered his own body to be already dead (since he was about 100 years old) and also considered the deadness of Sarah’s womb” (Rom. 4:19). Abraham wasn’t in denial about his situation. Neither should we be. We can look honestly at our fallen selves, acknowledging we are old and dead. Why? The old man’s deadness is the opportunity for resurrection. God cannot raise what isn’t dead. Unless we are old and dead we can’t expect newness of life. When, and only when, there is no reason to hope in ourselves there is reason to hope in God. Through the power of resurrection life within us, He can do more than we could ask or think (Eph. 3:20).
God has the last laugh!