As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake.  But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.  Romans 11:28

         Paul lived in a time when he saw absolutely no proof that what he was writing (regarding the Jews collectively embracing the gospel) would come to pass.  In fact, just the opposite.  They were vehemently rejecting Christ and persecuting all who became disciples.  Can you imagine telling the parents of a child who was murdered, “Right now, the killer is your enemy.  But one day he will be beloved by God, and by you.”  How offensive and potentially explosive unless it was absolutely true.

         God had once spoken.  Abraham would be blessed and Israel would be His people.  Nothing could shake that.  Paul’s certainty in his writing is due to His belief in the unchanging character of God.  Even though it appeared God’s promise was ludicrous, his faith didn’t waver.

         God has given each of us a promise that is specific to us and our story.  It comes to us in prayer, built upon our time in the Word, and we know – that we know – that God has promised it.  His word to us is life-saving but the fulfillment surely seems ludicrous.  All evidence is stacked against it.          For a time, our faith can remain strong but our enemy plants seeds of hopelessness in desperate circumstances.  “See, nothing is happening.  God might have changed His mind.  Maybe you’ve done something wrong and you’ve ruined things.”  Lies come in a barrage of arrows.  Without a fight on our part to stand on the Word and on the character of God, promises erode into dust.  More Christians than not have sunk into places of despair.

         Just as surely as Israel will experience a sweeping revival and embrace Christ as their Messiah, God will bring about that which He has promised to each of His children.  Circumstances, and what appears improbable, are immaterial.  Things change quickly when God decides it’s time to move.  One burning bush, one Damascus road experience, and an enemy is brought to His knees before an all-powerful God.

         What has God promised you?  Why are you fainting?  Not only is God powerful enough to deliver, He must do so because He spoke it and He is holy and true.  There is no such thing as a stray word.

And so, I review.  Who are you?  How have you kept your promises to your children down through the ages?  No one is exempt from your faithfulness.  I am standing in the cement of your character.  Amen

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