Over the last few weeks, while we have been housebound as a result of a national lockdown here in S. Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my husband, Gary, and I have been reading and declaring the promises of Psalm 91 every day over our home, neighbourhood and community. It has been a real blessing to me. Every day as Gary read this wonderful Psalm, a different verse or phrase has touched my heart and remained with me throughout the day.
When we read Psalm 91 the other day, I felt a strong witness in my spirit to this truth in verse 4: “His faithful promises are your armour and protection.” It got me thinking about what exactly the purpose of this armour and protection was?
Romans 4:17-22 speaks about Abraham, and the amazing faith he had in God. This portion of scripture is so profound in explaining the impossibilities Abraham was up against and his unshakable faith in what God had promised him: Romans 4:18-22 says the following: “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead – since he was about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.’”
God made a promise to Abraham: “I HAVE made you a father of many nations.” (Romans 4:17). But the fact was that Abraham and Sarah were old and beyond their childbearing years. There really was no hope of this promise becoming a reality! What really struck me in this passage of scripture was that Abraham “faced the fact”, but “without the weakening of his faith.” We read that he never allowed unbelief to cause him to doubt God’s promise to him, because He believed in the God ‘who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed” (Romans 4:17b, AMPC).
It is easy in a time such as this – a time where a horrible virus is keeping the whole world hostage – to be overwhelmed by the facts. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by it - either directly or as a consequence of the physical, emotional and economic pressures it has brought about. But I was so encouraged by the example of Abraham’s life. ‘Against all hope’ Abraham continued to put His hope in God, being absolutely convinced that God could do the impossible, and that He WOULD keep His promise. Never for a moment did Abraham allow that which he saw and experienced – his aging body with its inabilities – to weaken His faith in God. He knew God to be a Promise Keeper. He knew that He was faithful and trustworthy – his ‘shield and exceedingly great reward’ (Genesis 15:1).
Be encouraged. Against all hope, when facts and circumstances overwhelm us, let us be intentional about making the promises and faithfulness of God our armour and protection against unbelief, against fear and against hopelessness. ‘God is not a God that he should lie, or a son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfil?’ (Numbers 23:19).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You are a Promise Keeper and faithful in all Your ways. In this time of uncertainty with so much turmoil around me, I thank You that You are my hope and security and Your word is my anchor. Help me to remain steadfast and unwavering in my faith as I trust in You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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