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God Restored Sarah’s Faith. He Can Do the Same for You

August 14, 2020

The first thing to say about Sarah is that she was a godly woman. Twice in the New Testament she is commended. First, she is praised as a woman of faith (Heb. 11:11), and then Peter holds her up as a model for all Christian women (1 Pet. 3:5-6).

In Sarah, we have womanhood at its very best. But even this godly woman struggled with doubt and engaged in manipulation that brought pain into the lives of the people God had placed around her.

Sarah—wife to Abraham, mother to Isaac, beautiful model of faith to us—needed the grace of God in her fractured life, just as you and I need it in our lives, too.

Sarah’s Unbelief

The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him… Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years.  The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah… So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” (Gen. 18:10-12).

Sarah believed in God, but she did not exercise faith, at this point, in regard to His promise of a son. It is possible to trust God in regard to eternal salvation, but not to trust Him in regard to the particular trial that is going on in your life.

Sarah struggled with unbelief, and more than that, she tried to cover it up before the Lord, saying, “‘I did not laugh,’ for she was afraid” (Gen. 18:15).  Afraid of what?  Afraid, perhaps, of what was going on in her heart. She talked to God, but she knew that her prayer was just a pretense.

And God knew her cover-up—He sees all things.

Behind Sarah’s unbelief lay an extraordinary story of manipulation. Sarah wanted a child and was prepared to go to any lengths to get what she wanted. Abraham listened to the voice of Sarah: “Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children from her” (Gen. 16:2). Abraham’s union with Hagar led to the birth of Ishmael, and this already fractured family was now plunged into a web of conflicting loyalties and hidden resentments.

There are multiple ways a woman can use her power to get what she wants in ways that dishonor God and bring pain to everyone around her. That’s what Sarah was doing, and the result was that unbelief crept up on this godly woman.

But God knew her unbelief—nothing is ever hidden from Him.

Sarah struggled with unbelief because her eyes were fixed on Abraham and on herself. Abraham was nearly 100 years old, and Sarah was just ten years behind him. So the promise of God seemed impossible.

As long as you look at the weakness of your own faith, the difficulties and pressures of your own life, the problems with your spouse and your children, you will find yourself sliding into unbelief because there isn’t an answer there.

When God spoke to Sarah, He lifted her gaze up from the discouraging horizons of her own life and said, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Gen. 18:14). And she bore a son in her old age.

By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised (Heb. 11:11).

Sarah received the power to conceive because she “considered him faithful who had promised.” Sarah’s faith was restored through an encounter with God.

How is faith restored? Look to who God is, and listen to what He says.

Faith grows as you get your eyes off yourself and your problems, your limitations and your failures, and onto the living God, the LORD, for whom nothing is impossible.

Everything God has planned for your life will be accomplished. There will be twistings and turnings, disappointments and failures, but God’s purposes for you will be fulfilled.

Everything God has planned for your life will be accomplished.

Here you are single and longing to be married.
Everything God has planned for your life will be accomplished.

Here you are married and longing to have children.
Everything God has planned for your life will be accomplished.

Here you are married and wishing that your marriage was more than it is.
Everything God has planned for your life will be accomplished.

Here you are anxious for your children, wondering what their path will be. Everything God has planned for your life will be accomplished.

I’m not saying that everything you have planned for your life will be accomplished. God does not say that every purpose will be accomplished if your husband shapes up. God does not say every purpose will be accomplished if a child is born to you, or if your children turn out as you hoped, or if you finally meet that person of your dreams, or if you get out of that dead-end job.

No! God says,

He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

God will accomplish all of His purposes for your life. Period! Look to who God is. Listen to what God says. And your faith will be restored.

God was very gentle with Sarah. He’ll be gentle with you. He knows all about you already, so don’t be afraid to draw near to him today.

This article is an adaptation of Pastor Colin’s sermon, “The Perplexed Wife”, from his series, Faith for Fractured Families.

Photo: Pixabay


The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the President and Teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.



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