He Heard That
We learn, from the time we are children, what is possible and what is impossible. In today’s sermon, I declare to you, my God does the impossible regularly and He will do the impossible for you if you believe!
But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!” – Genesis 18:15 NKJV
Laughing at the possibilities
Has God ever shown you something and you laughed at the notion of it coming to fruition? Have you ever had an idea, a thought, a vision, or a dream that you feel came from God, but because it was beyond anything you could have ever imagined, you laughed at the notion? This laughter is not a sign of mocking the Lord or scoffing at the idea, but more of a laugh in disbelief.
I am one of those people that really do believe dreams are either an insight into the future or a reflection on the past. I believe dreams to be messages from the Lord. There are some dreams where the very notion of what I believe the Lord has shown me has made me question, “how will ‘that’ happen?” I don’t believe I am the only one that has questioned God’s notions like that. We learn very early on in life what “is” possible and what is “not” possible.
I believe many of you probably participated in this exercise as children, but as a child, I can recall when teachers would ask each individual student in their class, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I always wanted to be a baseball player, but many of the other kids would always say, “I want to be the President of the United States”. I remember the first time a teacher told a student that there had never been a black president or even a woman president and all of us were amazed, at first, but also dumbfounded as to why not. Eventually, growing up in the 90s, I just remember coming to the conclusion that no black person, male or female, would ever become President; it was impossible but little did we know back then.
We, without realizing it, have all been trained in believing what is possible and what is not possible. Boys are told by their friends that they can never be with “that” girl because she is “out of his league”. Sadly some people grow up truly believing they cannot live out their dreams because what they wish to do is “impossible”. However, I tell you that there is nothing that is impossible to my God. My God is the God that makes the impossible possible! I also want to declare to you today that my God actually does the impossible regularly!
In our key verse today, we see Sarah, the wife of Abraham, laughing at the notion of conceiving a child. Sarah laughed at the very idea of having a child because she was an old woman (90 to be exact). Sarah could not see the “how” in how she would be able to have a baby at that age and I imagine that many women would react that same way today! This reminds me of another woman who had the same reaction when she was told that she would bear a child and that woman was Mary. Remember, Mary could not understand how she could bear a child as a virgin. Laughing at the notions of God is not something unique to these two women.
Abraham even laughed at the notion that he would become a dad in old age (Genesis 17:17). We are told that Abraham, at 100 years old, fell to his face in laughter at the very idea that his wife would become a mother and that he would become a father. Let’s remember this about Abraham: he is considered a patriarch of faith in the Lord. God told Abraham to leave the land of his people and go to Canaan, and Abraham did just that without questioning God. Abraham did this at a time when mankind was in constant rebellion against God after the Great Flood. In other words, Abraham was a man of great faith but even he had to laugh at the notion of becoming a parent at such an age.
Why do we, the faithful ones, laugh at the notions that come from the Lord? Those that have no faith are certainly going to laugh at the notion of God showing anybody something, but why do we laugh at the notion of what the Lord has in store for us? God, I believe, has promised us (or showed us) something and has a purpose for each and every last one of us in the world. Why do we find it so hard to believe in this notion, this idea?
I believe that many of us miss out on our greater blessings all because we cannot believe in the notion or the idea of what God has shown us. Many find it hard that the Lord speaks to them or show them anything, but I believe the Lord is in regular communication with us if we pay close attention. Again, many of us get messed up the notion stage before any action ever gets taken. You cannot accomplish anything in this life without the idea. What do I mean by this? Many people do not succeed because they cannot see themselves succeeding. We will say, “that’s impossible”, and at that very moment we fail all because we could not believe it was possible to succeed.
Everything should be easy
Again, focusing on our key verse (Genesis 18:15), Sarah thought it was impossible for her to bear a child solely based on what she thought she knew. I imagine that Sarah and Abraham had been trying to have a child for a long time very early on in their lives. You will recall that Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham so that he could have an heir through Hagar bearing a son (Genesis 16:1-2). Sarah felt that the Lord was restraining her from having a child (Genesis 16:2) which may have actually been true for the sole purpose of teaching us that He can make anything possible.
I believe having a child had become such a struggle for Sarah that the struggle had become upsetting for her. Sarah simply gave up and thought that it was impossible for her to have children after being so unsuccessful. Have you ever tried and struggled with something for so long that you threw your hands in the air and gave up?
My mom and dad, after school, would make me do either my homework or my “time-tables” when I was learning multiplication. I was the boy that wanted to go outside as soon as I got home from school so that I could play. Yet, my parents would not let me go outside and play without finishing my homework or my time-tables. Back then, I would think that doing all of that “homework stuff” would take forever. I thought it would be impossible to get outside and play before the sun went down, but my parents would always reassure me that “outside wasn’t going anywhere”.
Many of us cannot believe in the impossible solely because of what we think we know. We believe something is impossible solely based on what we believe we know and this is a great detriment to us in our faith. Again, we thought a black person could not become President; we thought we’d never see the day because it was impossible. Yet, we live in a world today where we know that it is possible for a black person to become President because that impossible has actually happened.
If we do make it beyond the notion stage, many of us will throw our hands in the air if we find the task is not easy. We don’t love when a struggle is required and the task gets hard; we want our blessings, our dreams, to come easily to us with absolutely no struggle. Frankly, that’s a fantasy my friends. We will pray to the Lord and expect that God is going to deliver to us a premade blessing that requires no work to put together on our end. God gives us the notion, but we give up because struggle and hard work might be required of us. We pray that the Lord delivers us our greatest dreams, the desires of our heart, but we give up because of the struggle and the hard work.
I have friends and acquaintances that have gone to college, graduated, and got their Masters that are now throwing their hands in the air because jobs aren’t easy to come by. There are many of us who have started a business, but the clients and the money is not so easy to come by and we have thrown our hands in the air. Many are in search of great love but are ready to throw their hands in the air because that great love has not been easy to find.
Let me say this to you today: do not give up on God! Don’t laugh at the notion, don’t give up on your dreams solely because it seems impossible right now. There is nothing that is impossible for our God! Trust in Him!
When you quit, when you give up, the impossible will stay impossible. The struggle is all part of the impossible becoming a possible! The struggle is all part of the Lord at work; that is not to say that the Lord is struggling to bless you. No, the struggle is a test of your faith and the very act of giving up will cause your faith in that dream to go dead. I tell you this, faith without works is dead, and so not having faith in the notion (the idea/dream) immediately leads to the death of a dream. So, I say again, do not quit!
We believe that there is a race to our blessings but the Lord is going to bless you at His time. Take a look at this:
13 And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
Genesis 18:13-14 NKJV
Sometimes we give up and quit before our appointed time. God is going to deliver our blessings on His schedule, not ours. My dad would always tell me that the Lord answers our prayers with three answers: yes, no, and wait. Over the years, I have learned that the Lord mostly tells us to wait and have faith in what He is doing. Patience, I believe, is the hardest thing for us to learn; especially having patience in the Lord. We believe that God should deliver the “impossible” to us in an instant but often times the Lord tells us that we must wait for His appointed time.
Can you remember what you used to believe was impossible or would never happen, for yourself, but is now something you’ve overcome and accomplished or know is now possible? You may not realize it but there are many things you thought you would never do, or overcome, but you have done or overcome and now you no longer think about it. God has already delivered something to you that you thought was impossible, why would you believe He won’t do it again for you?
Women, for example, in our society have always been told what they can and cannot do by, in my opinion, a certain group of men. I grew up knowing that girls could play ball with the boys and beat boys in foot races. I grew up in a family where you had to fight to sit my grandmother down from doing work, and I now have to do the same with my mother. The women in my family have always been strong women that I believe could do absolutely anything.
There was a point in time where women were seen only as child bearers. Even today, some women have to deal with the men who believe they only belong in the kitchen making sandwiches instead of watching sports. Yet, every time I turn on the news, I see a woman doing something she was told she could not do. Women, to me, are really great examples of faith in believing God can do the impossible.
Iesha Champs, the single mother of 5, was on the Steve Harvey show the other day and I stopped by the TV to watch her interview. This single mother of 5, over this past decade, has gotten her G.E.D and gone on to graduate college and law school! Steve couldn’t believe it was possible she accomplished such an impossible task so he asked her, “how?”. Her response: “it was God!”
God has never stopped doing the impossible, we simply stopped believing that the impossible could become possible. I want to tell you today to not laugh at the notion (the dream, vision, or idea) that the Lord gives to you. I believe God shows us what He already knows we can accomplish and what He has set for us to accomplish – we must keep our faith. Don’t ever let anybody tell you what you can’t do and what you can’t accomplish! We can do absolutely anything through our Lord.