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07
Nov
2021

Promise Is Greater Than Pain

by Michael Todd

Imagine with me for a moment that you are renting a nice house in the suburbs of your hometown where your favorite uncle and cousin live across the street, your parents live three blocks away, and your grandparents stay around the corner. One beautiful spring morning, you discover your landlady has taped a notice to your door. It politely informs you that she will be ending your lease in thirty days—but the good news is, she has another property already set up for you. She has even agreed to take care of all your moving expenses. It’s the least she could do! All you’re responsible for is packing up your family and your belongings.

The only problem is, the note doesn’t tell you the new address.

What would you do?

In Genesis 12, this guy named Abram faces a similar situation. God tells him, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you” (verse 1). God has not shown him the land yet, but He still wants Abram to go in faith. He doesn’t tell Abram the name of the country, much less give him an address! Abram trusts the Lord and all, but this is quite a step of faith. “Go to the land that I will show you.” The Lord is calling Abram away from his cushy comfort zone into the unknown so that He can unlock the greatness inside Abram.

No one has ever become great by staying comfortable. Like Abram, you might have to walk away from that town where you grew up. If you’re an introvert, it might be time to speak up. If you’re the life of the party, it might be time to shut up. You might have to let go of the corporate position with all the great benefits. You may have to sell or give away some material possessions. You might even have to say goodbye to some people who were, at some point, your best friends. Stepping out in faith will make you leave what’s familiar for what’s uncomfortable. It will force you to be vulnerable and learn to rely on God as your provider instead of leaning on your own strength and resources.

But let this be an encouragement to you: the pain of faith is real, but it never outweighs the promises of faith. God’s promises are always greater than the pain. If you keep reading Abram’s story, you’ll see that the very next thing God says after instructing him to leave his place of comfort is a promise to bless his socks off:

I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you [abundantly],
And make your name great (exalted, distinguished);
And you shall be a blessing [a source of great good to others];
And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you,
And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you.
And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed. (verses 2-3, AMP)

Guess what Abram does. He goes. And as he goes, God directs him and he is blessed, provided for, and protected every step of the way.

You’ll find that God many times works like the voice guidance on your GPS: you don’t get instructions until you start moving, and you get the next step just in time to obey it. God wants to meet you at the intersection of faith and obedience. You may have to sacrifice to step out on your faith and obey God. You may not be 100 percent sure it’s going to work. But one thing I can guarantee is that obedience will prove much greater than your sacrifice. You don’t know what you’re being saved from and what you’re being saved for—but God does. His plan for you far exceeds anything in your wildest dreams, but it depends on your willingness to trust Him and get going.

 

Michael Todd appears on LIFE TODAY this Tuesday and Thursday. This is an excerpt from Crazy Faith by Michael Todd. Copyright ©2021 by Michael Todd. Published by Waterbrook, an imprint of Random House. Used by permission.