Lent is the 40-day period before Easter, and it is “a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal when Christians are invited to prepare themselves for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.” This Lent, we are doing a 40-day study from the American Bible Society to focus our time in God’s Word and prayer on His renewing power (click HERE for the reading plan). Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
|Lord God, by your Word fill me with a spirit of hope and trust…
13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Don’t Stop Believing | Marianne Toovey
Here, Paul is demonstrating to the Romans that it’s our faith, not our works, that puts us in a position to have a relationship with God. He uses Abraham as an example. He had every reason to doubt God’s promise – his age, his wife’s age, the fact that it was taking soooo long for His promise to come to fruition. But he never stopped believing it would happen. And sure enough, it did – on God’s time, not his.
Why does it have to be so hard? Why can’t God just give me the help I ask for, when I ask for it? Trusting would be so much easier then! I have no problem believing He can, it’s that I struggle with whether or not He will. But Abraham really is the perfect example to follow. Nothing about him suggests he should have been the father of a nation. He was too old. His wife was too old. They had no children. And God took so long to fulfill His promise – but He did fulfill it. Despite everything working against Him to make this story plausible, He came through. And when Abraham did try to take matters into his own hands, it didn’t turn out so well (Gen. 16). So I’ll let Abraham be my example. God will do what He promised, even if it doesn’t fit into my timeline. So I should just sit back and let Him work.
Lord God, by Your Word fill me with a spirit of hope and trust. Help me to be patient and sit back so You can do what You need to do in Your own time. Help me to trust. Don’t let me try to take matters into my own hands. Thank You for all Your promises. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.