I am re-reading The Green Letters by Miles Stanford. In the first chapter, titled “Faith,” Stanford quotes George Muller on the subject. Muller said,
“Many people are willing to believe regarding those things that seem probable to them. Faith has nothing to do with probabilities. The province of faith begins where probabilities cease and sight and sense fail. Appearances are not to be taken into account. The question is – whether God has spoken it in His Word” (Stanford 10).
That quote has been floating around in my mind a lot. I believe we often pray and act based in probabilities and not in faith. I know I do.
In my daily Bible reading I came to Hebrews 11, which is commonly known as “the faith chapter.” In that chapter I have read so many times I found a statement about Sarah that I never remember reading. This statement really helped me in my understanding of faith.
Hebrews 11:11-12 says,
By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
Consider Sarah’s faith:
- Sarah’s faith had nothing to do with probabilities. Sarah was infertile during her prime years for childbearing and now she was past the years of having children – she was 90 (Genesis 17:17)! Here husband, Abraham, was 100 years old, and as the text says “…as good as dead.” All of the circumstances were stacked against her. It was absolutely improbable, even impossible, that she would have a child. She still trusted God.
- Her faith was based in God’s faithfulness to do what He had promised. “…she considered him faithful who had promised.” Rather than considering her unlikely circumstances, Sarah considered the faithfulness of God who made the promise that she would have a son.
Faith is not trusting in probabilities. Faith is dependence upon God, considering His faithfulness to do what He has promised.
Stanford, Miles J. The Green Letters. Zondervan Publishing House, 1975.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.