“‘Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:5-6
Seeing a movie on the big screen is one of my enjoyable entertainment pleasures. I leave home early for the theater to ensure adequate time to secure my popcorn layered with butter and my cherry ICEE. I guarantee I am in my seat, reclined, relaxed, and ready for the previews. One of the best things about arriving before showtime is watching the trailers. It is incredible how filmmakers give us a short, powerful, captivating clip that causes our hearts to palpitate with excitement and to flutter with escalated anticipation only to hear the words, “Coming soon to a theater near you!” You feel assured that the movie is coming, but the cliff-hanging question is “When?”
God, interestingly, loves to work in previews. God, in His providential way, will often provide a preview of a soon-to-be-fulfilled promise, but with no time frame for its manifestation. However, He wants to know if we will hold on to the preview even when the premiere day has not yet come.
In Genesis 15:3–6, the Bible declares, “And Abram said, ‘Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.’ Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.’ And He took him outside and said, ‘Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
The preview of God’s coming attraction to Abraham is that he would have his very own son and that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. On another occasion, God promised Abraham that his descendants would be as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. What a preview!
According to Romans 4, Abraham considered his condition. He faced the fact that his body was as good as dead since he was about 100 years old, and he felt the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. Abraham considered the calendar that revealed the relentless passing of time. He was 75 years old when God gave him a preview of the promise of a son and a nation to come. Abraham considered his companion, his wife Sarah, who laughed at the promise. And yet, he had hope, grew strong in his faith, and was fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.
It would be 25 years before the premiere day, the birth of Isaac, which led to the tribe that became a great nation. The ultimate fulfillment of the promises culminated in the incarnation of God’s own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose human lineage came through Abraham’s family. God kept His promise. What do we do when we have to wait on the manifestation of a promise from God?
Like Abraham, we win in life when we understand:
- The wait is not a waste. God uses the time between the preview and the premiere of His promise to prepare us.
- The wait is worth it. God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or think.
- The wait strengthens our faith. God portrays His character and proves His faithfulness as we learn to trust Him.
Questions for Thought
- What preview of a promise has God given to you?
- How will you demonstrate confident faith as you wait for it?
I challenge us to affirm daily with unwavering faith that God will deliver His promise from a preview to a fully developed premiere in His orchestrated time.
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Director of Human Resources
Jackie considers herself graced by God to be called to serve in ministry and especially at First Baptist Dallas for nearly 30 years. Her desire is to “walk worthy” of the call. She finds great pleasure in spending quality time and traveling with her two adult children and close friends.