When Sarah heard what God planned to do in her life, she couldn’t help but laugh. After all, she was nearly 90 years old, her husband was nearly 100, and God had said they were going to have a baby.

At this time, Sarah and her husband, Abraham, had been following God for almost 25 years. From the very beginning, God promised to make of them a great nation. Because they were unable to naturally have children, this seemed unlikely at the time. As the years passed, what was first doubtful now looked impossible, and so Sarah laughed to hide the unbelief in her heart. We can understand why she would have given up hope at this point.

We often make the same mistake. Instead of clinging with faith to the promises of God, we concentrate on the problems which stand in the way. Like Sarah, we forget that nothing is too hard for God. This causes us to respond with fear, worry, anger, bitterness, and impatience to the difficulties we face.

Whenever we feel hopeless about a situation, we need to rekindle the flame of hope in our hearts — this is a hope based on the power of an unlimited God, not on our limited understanding of our circumstances. When this hope is alive in our hearts, we can trust God’s purpose and His timing to bring His Word to pass.

Just as God had promised, Sarah had a child. And He will keep His promises to you — whether you are waiting for Him to provide a mate, a child, a job, or a positive outcome for your health concern. You can have confident expectation in His power. Let Sarah’s story in Genesis 18:9–15 encourage you to keep your hope alive today.

When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God. — Charles Allen

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder