by Rick Warren — December 4, 2022
From Building a Better Future
“It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.”
Hebrews 11:11 (NLT)
When God is growing your character, he sometimes will test you with what seems like an unsolvable problem. I call it the “How Test.” It’s when you ask, “How in the world am I going to solve this one?”
God gave Abraham what seemed like an unsolvable problem. God promised Abraham that he was going to move him to a new country, give him the land in that country, and make him the father of a great nation. He also promised that Abraham would have so many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, that they would populate the whole land.
In other words, he was going to give Abraham, as his heritage, a great nation.
But here’s the thing: Abraham was 75 years old and childless when God gave him this promise. He moved to the land of Canaan, which would eventually be called Israel. While he was there, he kept waiting for his wife to get pregnant. By age 99, he still didn’t have a son.
It was what you might call an unsolvable problem.
In fact, the Bible says that when God told Abraham and Sarah that they were going to have a baby, they laughed. How in the world were they going to have a baby?
This was their How Test. Hebrews 11:11 says, “It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise” (NLT). They named the baby Isaac, which means “laughter.”
“And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them” (Hebrews 11:12 NLT).
God had the last laugh!
There are going to be plenty of times in your life when God tells you to do something that seems impossible. But he doesn’t want you to understand everything or know how to do everything. He doesn’t even expect you to always know the next step to take.
Instead, God wants you to believe that he knows everything, and he will work things out in his own way and time. Faith is expecting a miracle without knowing how. When you show this kind of faith, you grow in character and become more like Jesus.