3. God is powerful and nothing is too hard for Him
After 15 years of waiting God visits Abraham and confirms that the promise of a son will be fulfilled. It is striking how God reveals Himself to Abraham. “When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless”” (Genesis 17:1). In the original Hebrew language the word translated as “God Almighty” is El Shaddai. El is a word used for God and Shaddai highlights the attribute of God’s power. God is reminding Abraham of His character, the kind of God He is. He is a God who is powerful, for whom nothing is impossible.
Some time later God again reminds Abraham of His power, this time in the form of a question: “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14). That’s a question you and I also need to answer when we feel like things are very tough. Does your view of God line up with what the Bible tells us about God – that nothing is too hard for Him? Do you believe that God is who He says He is? Do you see how huge and powerful God is?
4. God wants us to have an ongoing relationship of intimacy with Him
When God reveals Himself to Abraham as God Almighty, He goes on to say, “…walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you” (Genesis 17:1-2). The Hebrew concept of walking before God conveys the idea of a continuing relationship of intimacy. Remember Abraham’s question: “O Lord GOD, how am I to know…?” (Genesis 15:8). God answers Abraham by making a covenant or agreement with Him. This covenant is an unbreakable commitment on God’s part to maintain their relationship. It is impossible for any human to be blameless, so later on God sends Jesus as the fulfilment of God’s covenant requirements. Jesus bears the punishment for our sins, so that we can stand blameless before God through faith in Jesus Christ (see Colossians 1:22).
God calls us to an ongoing relationship of intimacy with Him through faith in Jesus. Now let that sink in! Knowing that your sins are forgiven, you can be blameless before God and you can enjoy relying on God to do what He has promised. We can only stay intimate with God, however, if we daily confess our sins to Him and ask His help to live in a way that is pleasing to Him. No matter how hard things are, we can have the blessing of going through this life in a close relationship with our Heavenly Father. What an incredible privilege. Through the hard times God draws us closer to Himself (Job 42:5, Psalm 23:4, Psalm 34:18.)
God will see to it that He brings to us what He has promised, just as it was with Abraham. “For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him” (Genesis 18:19). Do you have an intimate growing relationship with God through Jesus? Is there any sin that you need to confess which is hindering your relationship with God? Have you thanked God for the amazing privilege of a close friendship with Him through all the ups and downs of life?
5. God wants us to put His honour first and let Him take care of our problems
God required Abraham “to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19). God’s kingdom and His righteousness ought to be our primary concern once we are in relationship with Him. We are to trust God in all things. Jesus said to His followers: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:33-34).
Do you see two things here? Firstly, Jesus promises to give us “all these things”, the things we need, when we make Him our first priority. That means we don’t need to be anxious or worried, even in hard times. Secondly, righteous and holy living is important to God. Yes, even in crisis. It puts God’s honour first, not our struggles. In the hard times we can learn more of what it means to trust God and to seek first His priorities rather than our own.
As someone once said, “If we will take care of God’s business, He promises to take care of ours.” Are you so caught up with your struggles that you have forgotten to consider God? How much attention do you give to God and the things of God? Have you got your priorities right so that you can trust God to take care of your problems?