On the journey to seeing one’s destiny fulfilled, there are moments when the circumstances we face, the situations we are in, the obstacles we face seem to declare that what we are believing for will not and cannot happen. We are bombarded by the words, “hath God said?”. I want to look at a portion of scripture that reveals one of the keys to seeing promises God has given fulfilled in our lives.
“Through faith also Sarah herself received strength
to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when
she was past age, because she judged him faithful who
Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good
as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude
and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.”
Many have received tremendous encouragement to believe God from the life of Abraham. The passage in Romans 4:17-21,
is one of the most powerful portions of scripture on the life of faith. Given a promise of a child and then coming to 100 years old when it was impossible to father one, Abraham:
“considered not his own body now dead”
“nor the deadness of Sarah’s womb”
“staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief”
“was strong in faith, giving glory to God”
“being fully persuaded, that, what he had promised,
he was able to perform”
I have come to this passage countless times in my own life and in the secret history of my relationship with God, when no one is around, when the struggle is going on to believe once again and stagger not and tell God “you are able to perform your promise”. The words of the Virgin Mary at the incredible promise that she would give birth to the Messiah and it would happen by the Holy Spirit coming upon her(which had not happened to her before)
“Be it unto me according to thy word”
It was Elizabeth who proclaimed to her,
“Blessed is she that believed :
for there shall
be a performance of those things which were told
her from the Lord”
So we see in scripture, that God will perform what we believe, and as we are believing God is performing and as we continue to believe the Holy Spirit will come upon us and situations to bring them into alignment with what God has promised.
In the life of Sarah, there is something highlighted and we want to take a few minutes and look at that. In Genesis 17:10-15
we see that Sarah doubted the promise of God and the Lord declared that very fact to her:
“And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according
to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a
son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was
Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in
age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner
Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After
I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord, being
And the LORD said to Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah
laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which
Is there anything too hard for the LORD? At the time
appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time
of lif, and Sarah shall have a son.
Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was
afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.”
When Sarah tried to say that she did not doubt, God said, no, your laugh was the laugh of incredulous unbelief, you did not believe that you would have a child. It was not something she said but “within herself”. So it is with us. Deep within there comes that moment when we are not sure if we really believe that what God has said and promised will come to pass. The good news is that something happened to Sarah and it did come to pass. It was not just Abraham but Sarah who co-labored with God to birth a miracle that impacted all of history for the people of God.
There will always be a moment, when every possible way for the miracle will “cease”, just like in Sarah’s life. The words of the Lord will then come and the question, “Is there anything too hard for the LORD?” Is there? In your life and mine? Is there?
Just how great can God be?
Something happened to Sarah between the moment she doubted and the moment she conceived. It says in Hebrews 11, “Sarah herself”. The woman who laughed within herself also “received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child”. It says it happened “through faith”. But where did the faith come from?
“Because she judged him faithful who had promised”
It is like Sara weighed all the evidence about the character of God and stood as the jury after examining all the facts and her verdict was that God is faithful!!
The words “when she was past age”, have an interesting meaning. They mean, in the vicinity of, near, from beside, being close to. Not just past age as beyond but also somehow in the vicinity of. What seems to beyond can happen as we are in close proximity. The truth is, that as Sarah drew near to God, as she considered His words saying “Is there anything too hard for the LORD?”, she considered and allowed the reality that her God was faithful to bring her to a place of faith to believe that He would fulfill His promise to her and she would have a child.
“Because she judged him faithful who had promised”
We must believe the one who gave the promise. Every promise was purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. The barrenness of our circumstances must be confronted by the obedience of faith. Delighting ourselves in the Lord, being in close proximity to the reality of who He is and judging Him faithful is paramount in conceiving the promises in our lives. His promises are our desires and desire is de(from), sire(father), and the Father wanted Sarah to have a child. It was His heart. She “conceived seed” and the GK word for seed is sperma. God released the strength, the enablement, the sperma, the ability to have offspring as she said, God is faithful, it does not matter how old I am, or how old Abraham is, or what has never happened before in human history, there is nothing too hard for my God, He is faithful to do what He said, and faith came into her heart and the ability to have Isaac(laughter)became a reality.
I remember when the Lord told my wife after the death of our daughter Kellina at 3 days, that we were going to adopt a child. To tell the whole story would take quite a bit of time and it is one of many such instances in our lives when God gave promises that were impossible in the natural.
Not only was Jana nearly 47 years old, but she was extremely ill and would never pass a physical. We also did not have the finances nor the lifestyle that would allow us to adopt a child. On top of that, the only agency to adopt children in Hawaii was on the island of Oahu and we would have to move there as we lived on the island of Maui. It is an incredible story.
My wife totally believed what God had said and never looked at any of the circumstances that seemed to defy what God had promised. We daily believed and declared that it would happen and did not draw back or cast away our confidence in what the Lord had said. It is amazing when you study “draw back” and “cast away your confidence” and the meaning of those phrases.
They convey the idea of distancing yourself from the promise, to hesitate to speak with free and fearless confidence what God has said because of fear and doubt. It suggests that unbelief is an act of apostasy! WOW!
I remember morning and night, Jana asking me to hold her hand and declare in agreement that we would have a child. I remember her getting the name of the lawyer out of a phonebook, and he ended up being a man of God who did the whole process for free, and after the adoption, fight a two and a half year court battle and win. I remember the agency somehow just opened a branch on our island. I remember how the woman who came to interview us was touched by God through words of knowledge and did not charge us anything for that initial village and tremendous favor came upon us through her. I remember how God opened up a home that was furnished and a ministerial job that showed stability just before she came to interview us. I remember how Jana could hardly get out of bed, she had a huge growth on her neck, was going diarrhea(13 months), and the doctors thought she had cancer and how we somehow never had the physical until AFTER the baby was adopted. I remember Jana saying to me to go and wash the baby clothes, put up the crib, the child is coming soon and me asking should I was girls clothes or boys clothes(all had been given for birth of Kellina, who died) because all I had was $5 to my name and the washing machine was broke in the house. She said both. I remember within days receiving a phone call to come to Oahu to pick up a baby girl, and having no money to fly there or back and then going to a bible study and someone put an envelope of $300 in my back pocket.
I remember flying to Oahu, seeing the baby girl who the mother did not even look at and picking her up in my arms. I remember sitting down and having the agency representative look at me with shock and say, “Mr. Thurner, you have not paid one cent to adopt this child”. “You cannot take this child home until you pay the full amount”.
I remember saying to her, “I will put $75 down and make payments”. She was shocked and angered and said, “Mr. Thurner, this agency has been in existence since 1899 and no child has been adopted by anyone without full payment”. I said to her, “Well, there is always a first time, and this is it, so you can write out the terms or I will, but that is my child, God gave us this child, so I am going to put down $75 and make payments.” She stared at me and handed me the paper and pen and I wrote out the terms which ended up being cut in half in the end and we walked out of that hospital with Ilima Angelina Michelle Thurner, who is now 16 years old. My wife’s diarrhea stopped, she went to the physical and the doctor looked at the lump on her throat and somehow said it was nothing to worry about, she passed the physical and is in tremendous health today, at 63.
There is so much more to this story and others but we judged Him faithful as Sarah did and conceived the seed of promise, and truly He is faithful to perform what He said.
I mentioned the lawyer that the Lord supernaturally chose for us. It was a few years later that this same man introduced me to a government official and also a pastor, who opened the door to the nation of Fiji that launched our ministry to the nations in 1995 and ushered in a major outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When you live by the miraculous, there is a flow of a lifestyle of signs and wonders in every realm of life as God fulfills one promise after another through faith, because He is faithful.