(The LORD) took (Abram) outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Christian Faith Believes the Impossible
Imagine the headline: “One-hundred-year-old man and ninety-year-old wife have baby.” No self-respecting newspaper would consider printing it. Such an outlandish story would only be fodder for the tabloids. Readers would be more likely to believe that little green men had recently arrived from Mars.
So when curious readers discover the story of Abraham and his wife Sarah in the pages of Genesis, it’s not surprising that the account is often dismissed as a myth. After all, who would honestly believe that such a thing was possible?
Christians would, and the reason is simple: because that’s the whole point of Christian faith. Why should Christians have a faith that expects them to believe things that are possible? That’s no faith at all. That’s just observation.
But Christian faith believes the impossible, like when God took that worn out, childless man, pointed out the array of heavenly stars on a cloudless night, and said, “So shall your offspring be.” In other words, “That’s how many children will be in your family!”
Abraham was no fool. He understood how impossible it was. St. Paul later commented how Abraham “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” (Romans 4:19).
But did those facts destroy his faith? Hardly! They hardened his faith since he was “fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:21). Abraham and Sarah’s situation was so impossible, so desperate, that the only one who could create that child was the same powerful One who had brought the universe into being with a word. Why would Abraham want to place his trust in anyone less than the only One who can truly do the impossible?
And why would we? Believing possible things is nothing special. The Christian faith is. It believes the impossible, and our powerful Savior never disappoints.
Dear Jesus, grant me your Holy Spirit that I might confidently believe your impossible promises and put my trust in you alone. Amen.