trust

How To Give Thanks When Life Is A Mess

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In the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:18) we’re told, “In everything, give thanks.” Now stop right there. Let’s be honest and let’s not read that casually. That is a startling statement! We live in a world where a lot of nasty things happen. And God didn’t say “in all the good things give thanks,” He said “in everything give thanks.” Let’s notice what else He did not say. He did not say “for everything, give thanks.” There are a lot of things that come into my life that are not good. They come in a fallen world with devastation as their goal and it’s so wonderful that God does not call me to thank Him for the pain that comes into my life. He didn’t say “for everything,” He said “in everything.”

Now what does that mean? It means that I am going to choose to believe that God is going to fulfill His promise. I choose to believe that He is so powerful that all things will work together for good in my life as I trust Him. So what comes into my life as pain I can fight against it. It’s going to cause me emotional turmoil but I can bring it into harmony with what God says He will do and who God is. And when my life is hard I can say, “In this, I’m going to give thanks because this is not the end of the story.” Remember what the Bible says, “God will restore the years that the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). God will take the ashes and He’ll bring beauty out of them. He’s going to take the sorrow and the suffering and put it around your neck as a garland of praise.

I love what He says to the widow in the book of Isaiah, “You will not remember the bitterness of your widowhood” (54:4). Now, that’s so cool because it’s so honest. He doesn’t say “You’re going to forget your widowhood.” He says, “You won’t remember the bitterness of it. I’m going to bring good out of it.” So we don’t live in a fairytale world where bad things don’t happen. We don’t have to say “Oh, I’m doing great. My mother just died.” That’s stupidity! No, we can say “My mother just died and it broke my heart and the tears are streaming down my cheeks, but that’s not the end of the story.” That’s the key. It’s not the end of the story. We are the people of the good ending. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). It’s good! That’s why in everything we can give thanks and we can live a thankful life today.

Bring to God whatever comes into your life by faith and trust Him that even if it’s bad, it’s going to end good because of who He is. In the Psalms it says “He is good and does only good” (Psalm 119:68).That’s a God I can trust. That’s a God you can trust.

Walk in faith today, my friend, in Jesus’ name.


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When God Says Wait

When life is at its hardest, and we desperately need answers, it is hard to hear God say, “Wait.” In this short clip, Frank reveals the promise of God that every one of His children need to know as they wait. May you hold on tightly to Father today, knowing that He IS at work on your behalf.


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When God Says “Wait”

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Wait. Did you hear that word? I really don’t like that word. To me it’s kind of a four letter word in the Bible. When my heart gets set on something I’m going to bring into my life or maybe there’s news of a bad thing coming “wait” is a very difficult word. And that’s not only true for us, it was a difficult word for Ruth in the Bible too. In Ruth 3:18 she has expressed her desire to marry Prince Boaz and he has affirmed his desire to marry her. Romance is in the air. There’s only one problem, as so often happens with fairy tale romances, there’s somebody in the way. With Cinderella it was the wicked stepsisters and in the Princess Bride it was that deceitful Prince Humperdinck. Well here there is a kinsman redeemer who’s closer to Ruth than Boaz is and he has the right in the law of God to redeem her first.

So Naomi tells Ruth, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today” (Ruth 3:18). But here’s the other thing I want you to notice. She tells Ruth to wait because another is working to bring about an appointed end. Boaz, as you remember, was a mighty man of valor, a mighty man of influence. My friends, do you see where we’re going with this? I don’t know what you’re having to wait for—maybe it’s a job, maybe it’s a decision to move, maybe you’re single and you’re waiting for a spouse, or you’ve got a sick child and you’re waiting for a diagnosis. Waiting can be very, very difficult. But remember, there is One who is greater than we are who is not going to rest. He is going to settle this matter and as Jeremiah says, “bring us to an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). While you wait, my friends, rest in the knowledge that there’s a greater One who is working on your behalf.

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The Only Thing to do When You're Feeling Overwhelmed

When our eyes are on our circumstances we quickly lose sight of God. We become overwhelmed as we try to make sense of things, forgetting that there is only one thing God has called us to do. In today’s short video, Frank reminds us that it is our Father who will be our strength as He leads us through the darkness.  


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The Only Thing To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

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Adversity. I don’t like that word, nor any of its synonyms—distress, hardship, struggle, conflict. All those kinds of things can loom very large in our lives. Let’s be honest, when they do, it’s so easy for you and I to fix our eyes on them and not see God. Then God becomes very small in our lives. Sometimes I feel like the disciples when Jesus said to them “Oh you of little faith!” I’m not sharing with you something that I don’t struggle with. Those looming things that pop into our lives can seem so big. What can we do?

Well, I’m always looking for stories of how other people have trusted God. I think of Asaph in Psalm 73. He went horizontal in life and life seemed so harsh. He went vertical and he saw the true reality of life. He saw the world through heaven’s eyes.

Recently I came across the story of the Boxer Rebellion in China. Hudson Taylor was the founder of the China Inland Mission during the Boxer Rebellion and the saints were suffering very badly at this time. So Hudson Taylor, who was now in his late seventies, gathered them together and this is what he said,I cannot see. I cannot think, I cannot even pray.” Have you ever been there? When life seems so overwhelming, you can’t think straight. You can’t see the light in the midst of the darkness and you’re so overwhelmed that you cannot pray. But Hudson Taylor wasn’t done. Listen to all of what he said. “I cannot see. I cannot think, I cannot even pray, but I can trust.” My heart was warmed by those words.

You see, God doesn’t call us to understand why things are happening. God doesn’t call us to muster up our strength and tread through the darkness. He calls us to trust Him that He will be our strength and He will be our guide and He will lead us through the path of darkness into the light of His glorious grace and love.

I hope that encourages your day and bless you in Jesus’ name.


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Connecting the dots: How to trust God in this dark world

The book of Psalms tells us that we will dwell in Him, and He will be our home. Using incredible imagery from a recent movie, Frank reveals the breathtaking words of our Father who tells us “I will be your host, I will protect you, and am so much for you that I will lay down my life for you.” In all that you face today Beloved, may you find shelter in your God who loves you and gave Himself up for you.


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Connecting the Dots: How to Trust God in This Dark World

Are you struggling? Becoming overwhelmed? Connect the dots in your own life of how God has been faithful to you. Connect the dots and let your heart be encouraged, let your faith be strengthened. Let your walk be dramatically empowered as you look at His faithfulness. This is what Habakkuk did. 

Habakkuk looked upon the nation of Israel, and Israel was in trouble. He cried out to God and God said, “I see, and I'm going to wipe them out.” Habakkuk was thinking more along the lines of revival but God said no. He was going to wipe them out and use the wicked Chaldeans to do it. 

Habakkuk continued to ask God questions, but there was silence. He decided to go up into his prayer tower, and he told God that he wouldn’t come down until He answered him. Two weeks went by and God said, “Trust Me.” That's it, that was all Habakkuk got. The just shall live by faith. 

So, he comes down from his prayer tower and he begins connecting the dots: God, you parted the Red Sea, you made the sun stand still, you knocked down the walls of Jericho—Bring on the Chaldeans. Though the fig tree doesn't blossom, though there's not going to be any fruit on the vine, yet I will trust you. 

Father, Your Word is great, because it's the truth about You and all that You want to be to us. May every one of us put our faith in You, may our hearts be encouraged today, our faith strengthened, and our walk transformed, because of who You are. In the midst of this very dark world, we cling to you Father because we know You're going to cling back to us. In Jesus name. Amen.

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The Truth About What Faith Actually Looks Like

Has feeling sad or afraid while facing a difficult time ever caused others to question your faith? Has it ever made you ask yourself if you were really trusting God? In this freeing video, Frank shares the truth about what faith actually looks like.

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The Truth About What Faith Actually Looks Like

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Have you ever been there with God, the place where nothing in life makes sense? Where you just cry out, “This makes no sense!”

Oh, how hard it can be to remember that He is God, and His mind is bigger than ours. He knows what He's doing.

Habakkuk just couldn’t come to grips with that, have you been there? When you just can't come to grips with what God is allowing? So, he gets tenacious, and he goes up in his prayer tower and he tells God, “I'm not coming down until you answer me!” Two weeks go by, and God finally answers. Hallelujah, God answers! Now, are you ready for what God said? He told Habakkuk to trust Him. Wait, that's it? Now he has a whole new problem; he's cried out to God, and God has said, “No.”

I don't like it when God says no, do you? So what does Habakkuk do? He starts recalling to his mind, all that God is, and all that God has done. He remembers how God parted the Red Sea and made the sun stand still for Joshua, and he says, “Bring on the Chaldeans.” He makes the choice to rejoice, a choice we all have.

In chapter 3, he makes this famous statement, “There was trembling on my lips and decay in my bones.” I love that statement because faith isn’t always a huge smile on our faces, faith is trembling, faith is decay, faith is “I'm dying and I don't understand, but I believe you because you are good and all that you do is good. This doesn't look good, but somehow by faith, it's going to be good, and I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”

David says, “Though the fig tree does not blossom and there be no fruit on the vine, my soul is going to cling to you.” And what tense does David use there? He uses the present tense. You see friends, you can cling all you want in the past, it's not going to deliver you in the present. You can say that you will cling in the future, it's not going to deliver you in the present. His name is I AM, and your faith must be present tense to connect to the I AM. Take a look at what David adds, “Your right hand is going to uphold me.” That's what God does beloved, our part is to believe and trust, and God's part is to deliver or sustain.


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The Encouragement You Need to Run the Race

The race can be long, and the heartaches we face cause us to cry out for Christ's return. In this short video, Frank tells us to get excited! The Lamb who laid down His life is coming back as a Lion with a mighty roar, to slay His enemies and make this place right.

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God Commends the Weak

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Did you know that in the book of Revelation, the church in Philadelphia was commended because it had “little strength"?

In our modern world that is a very strange basis for being commended. Modern society values strength. Our media driven culture beckons us to be men of steel and women of iron. The city in which I live heralds, for example, that we are “Baton Rouge Strong” and “Baton Rouge Proud.” God, however, says that it is the weak, those that have recognized their minimal strength who are to be commended. Why is that?

Let’s ponder Moses for example; he was a man of great strength. Raised in the court of Pharaoh to be a leader in the nation, he was trained to be a warrior. When he thought the time had come for him to deliver his people, he mustered all the strength he could and killed an Egyptian, but failed to rally the people around him and ran like a scared rabbit into the desert.

There, he spent the next 40 years tending sheep and growing weak. How do we know that? Because when God appeared to Him, to call Him to lead Israel into freedom, he bemoaned that he was not the kind of man God was looking for. Early in his life, Moses thought he was that man because he was strong, but now that he was weak he could not dream of being a leader. He thought himself a nothing and informed God that he could not speak very well. Ironically, the book of Acts tells us that Moses was the most eloquent man in all the earth!

So how are we to explain that? Some say that after spending 40 years with a bunch of sheep, any of us would speak b-a-a-a-a-d too! I don’t buy that. I believe that after his failure, Moses no longer trusted in his natural resources, he recognized that he was not up to the demand, which forced him to depend on God in a way he would never have without his failure. His failure opened his eyes to his true state of weakness so that he could then see the greatness of God that would be exercised by God on his behalf; transforming him into a man who received the strength of God!

Though this is a hard lesson for most of us to learn, it is one that we desperately need to understand. The Holy Spirit told Paul that when he was weak, then he would truly be strong because he would no longer be trusting in himself, but in God. This is why God would offer that “not so strange” commendation for those who have little strength. I want to hear that commendation, and I hope you do too, for it is the true path to the strength we desperately need to secure to live victoriously in this fallen world.

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The Pearl of Great Price

What is it my friends, that God is calling you to surrender in your life? In this short video, Frank sites a beautiful parable from his good friend, Juan Carlos Ortiz, which reminds us that our Father wants to give us all of Himself. May we ask ourselves today if there is anything that we’re holding on to instead of the hand of Jesus?

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The Labor of Rest

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One of the charges frequently brought against me and others who teach the message of grace is that we teach "easy believe-ism” or “cheap grace.” I would like to address those thoughts.

First, let's talk about the thought of "easy believe-ism." When we teach the grace of God, we are heralding to humanity that there is a new economy of living made available through the finished work of Jesus. Yes, it is an "easy" economy to enter. I do not shy away from proclaiming that. If God wants people saved, and He does, why would He make it difficult?

I love that in the third chapter of John when Jesus heralds that eternal life is available through Him, He refers to the little brass serpent that was recorded in the book of Numbers. Remember the story? God sent serpents to deal with the rebellious children of Israel, but He also instructed Moses to make a little brass serpent and put it up on a pole as a remedy for anyone who got bit by the serpents. All they had to do if they got bit, was take a glance of faith to the serpent and they would be healed. Isn’t that glorious?! All it took was a glance of faith, and that is indeed all that God requires for someone to enter life. Glorious!

Living that life, however, is a different story; it requires saying a loud and resounding “No!” to our resources, so that we can instead trust the resources of God and that is no EASY thing to do! It requires hard work, as the writer of Hebrews says, to enter into rest. It is hard work to trust God’s resources instead of our own, especially since all of us were birthed into the lie that we shall be as God and therefore inherently think that we can do just fine apart from Him. So yes, it is easy to believe and find life with God, but it is hard work to experience life with God. We must labor to enter into the rest that Jesus has secured for us.

Oh, and by the way, how did He secure that rest for us? He laid down His life on our behalf. He died so that we could be set free from the law and restored to God instead, and there is nothing cheap about the grace that He secured for us. In fact, if you really understand the economy of grace, how dare anyone call it cheap! It cost Jesus His life, and it requires on our part the laying down of our lives in order for us to find His life.

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Never Alone

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The worst test I ever went through was when Avery was born, and she fought for life for three and a half months. When we finally got her home, she went right back into ICU and fought for another couple of months until they finally found out what was wrong. They were able to treat it but it depleted things in her body, and some of the meds they were giving her had to be replaced. They gave me her medicine at 6:00 PM on Tuesday night. We were bringing her home the next day. Finally, she was coming home! I gave her the medicine, and instantly she was nauseousness and crying; something was wrong. I complained three times to the nurse saying, "Something’s wrong, something's wrong, something wrong!” They said, “Oh no, everything's fine just the way it's written.” But we knew something was wrong. They said they would give her the next dose and if anything was wrong, they would call us.

We drove home, and I'll never forget my bride; her head hit the pillow, and she said, “I've got a really bad feeling.” It had been a gruesome couple of months it was just raw emotion. We fell asleep.

We woke up an hour later with a call from the hospital. “Mr. Friedmann, get here as fast as you can.” There was no time to talk as they quickly informed us that we might not make it in time. As we're driving, I'll never forget, Janet reached her hand over to mine, and she said, “Is this all the time we get?”

We walk in, and Avery's out, her heart has stopped, and they’re working on her. The doctor came in, and he said, “What's wrong?” I said, “The medicine you gave her, that’s what's wrong!” 

He came back twenty minutes later and let me tell you again, to his credit, this was a man. He walked up to me and said, “It's my fault. I was in a hurry, and I miscalculated the dose, and I gave her five times what she was supposed to have.”

You’ve got to understand that at that moment, everything in me wanted to take this guy and put his head through the wall. But... “No test has overtaken you. Every test is common to man. It is showing that you're not up to the demand, but there's Someone who is. Lay hold of that Someone, and you will overcome.” 

Trusting Jesus, I reached out, and I grabbed that man, and I said, “I love you. I forgive you. Forget about us and go do whatever you need to do to make her better.”

She was out for twenty-two minutes in a coma. Five days later she woke up. And this summer, this child, is going to go work in the burn ward in South Africa at the Red Cross hospital and add more gray hair to my head and for that too, He is sufficient. 

I don't know what you're going through, but I know the world we live in, and that means you're either going through it, coming out of going through it, or you're going into it. But you don't have to go into it alone, and that is such good news because you're not up to the demand, but there's Someone who is, and all it takes is faith to say, "Lord, I'm not up to the demand, I need you." And He's there. Isn’t that wonderful friends?!

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The Way of Escape: His Life Inside Us

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But God is faithful! Did you see the words, “But God”? “We were dead in our trespasses and sins, but God who is rich in His mercy and grace.” It's all over the New Testament. Whenever you have this horrible negative reality, there’s a “But God,” and this great opportunity on the other side of that available at the moment of faith, praise God!

"He will not permit you to be tested or tempted beyond that which you are able, but with the test or temptation will make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it." And the way of escape my friends is His own life inside you! God will provide, God will provide.

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The One Who Brings Us Through This World

We live in a very dark world, and perhaps you’re hurting today. May Frank’s words in this short video remind you that there is One who can bring you through this world victoriously and He is reliable, and He is trustworthy. Will you put your hand in God’s and journey with Him today?

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How Far Will You Go With Your God?

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Nick was just your average ordinary guy in Communist Romania, and then he found the Gospel, and this is what he said to the guy who led him to Christ, “I will serve God, but I can't go into the ministry. God don't push me that far.”

It took only a couple of years, and Nick answered the call to go into the ministry. Nick thought, “Well God, I'll do the ministry, but don't lead me away from my kids. Don't push me that far.” Pretty soon he's travelling around the country. How many of you know that it was dangerous to be a Christian in a communist country? Nick thought, “Oh God, don't let me get arrested. Don't push me that far.” Can you guess what happened? He got arrested, and they said to him, “Stop preaching in Christ or you don't know what we can do to you!” 

“Oh God, don't push me that far,” Nick thought. He continued to travel all over the country and teach Christ. So they arrest him again, and this time they tell him, “Don't you know where you are? Don't you know who we are? We have the power to kill you!” And out of Nick's mouth came these words, “Even if you kill me, my messages are on tapes all over this country. My blood will be sprinkled over those messages, and the power of Christ to transforms lives will magnify!” The Communist officer said, “We are not so stupid as to give you your wish.” Later, one of Nick's friends spoke to him and said, “What happened to “God don't push me that far?” Nick replied with these words, “We need to go all the way with our God.”

My friends, how far will you go with your God? May we all go all the way!

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God Will Provide

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In my own faith journey, my greatest spiritual weakness is: my God is too small, and I am too big. When we see ourselves as too big and God as too small, we'll trust ourselves instead of Him. So this is what I try to put into my brain, “God will provide, God will provide, God will provide.” And when something new comes into my life, I try to remember that God will provide, and He has provided so wonderfully. 

Abraham had obviously concealed from Isaac what God had told him to do. You know, sometimes we need to do that as human beings. Sometimes to share things will wound another person and in this case that would have caused undue stress for the three-day journey Abraham and his son were embarking on. So finally, in verse nine, they come to the place. Abraham built the altar, laid down the wood, and bound Isaac. 

What happened there? What was the conversation? I wish we knew! 

Did Isaac ask, “Well, where's the lamb father?” 

Did Abraham respond, “I don't have one, YOU ARE the lamb.”

He had to have told him! I want you to see here that it is not just Abraham who was full of faith; look at Isaac! Can you imagine how much faith it took to trust his father? To say, “Go ahead and bind me and put me on the altar?” Where did that boy get that faith? You know, sometimes I think we've spent so much time on Abraham that we miss Isaac. I'll tell you where he got that faith from; he got it from watching his dad. Here's a whale of a challenge for us today, it is not our lips that will teach our kids; it is our lives! And we need to live so they see a living God in us. 

Words surely reverberated in Isaac's mind; “God will provide. God will provide.” Abraham's faith has been so tested over the years it could stretch beyond what we can imagine. Do you realize that at thirty to thirty-five years of age with a one-hundred and twenty-year-old father, Isaac could have easily overpowered his dad and said no? 

Which one had the greatest faith? I don't know that we can answer that. Is it the father who offers his son or the son who lays down his life at the wishes of his father? It was tested faith on both their parts.

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God is Good and Does Only Good

What do you do when the path that God has you on doesn't line up with what you know of God?

What do you do when the path that God has you on doesn't line up with what you know of God?

“And Abraham rose up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, took two of his young men and Isaac, his son, cut the wood for the burnt offering and rose up and went to the place which God had told him.” These are the most puzzling verses in the Word of God. Why are they so puzzling? Because there's absolute silence in these verses in terms of what was going on inside of Abraham. Notice there's no argument from him?

I've gone through near-death experiences with two of my children already. The first words out of my mouth were, “God. No!” Would they be the first words out of your mouth?

But that’s not what the Bible says; “God, you told Noah not to kill. We can't do this. God, you promised posterity for this boy. You can't kill the son of the Prophet.” We don't see any of that. Oh, he must have wrestled. How could a father's heart not wrestle with that kind of command; “Take your boy up on an altar and kill him.” Was Abraham thinking, “This is the one I waited for so long to have, the one I loved through so much. You said through this one would be prosperity. He has to live! He has to live!”?

What do you do, my friends, when the path that God has you on doesn't line up with what you know of God? What do you do? There's only one thing to do. You go back into your history, and you connect the dots of how God has proven faithful to you over the years, right? And then what kind of conclusion do you end up with, that God is wavering and erratic; He promised a son, and now he wants him back. No!  The conclusion you end up with is that God has provided in the past and He will provide in three days. Abraham doesn't know how, but he knows that God is good and big and wise and powerful and holy and he makes a decision based on what he knows about God.

As he connects the dots of the past, reason gives way to faith. Why do I say that? Because everything in a human mind would say, “No,” to what God was asking. Reason gives way to faith, and he makes the decision of a child. It took God one-hundred and twenty years to get that man to childlike faith. I look at my own life, and I think I'm going to have to live to five-hundred to get there! 

He saddles the donkey and cuts the wood. It will be a burnt offering, a worship sacrifice. God is saying, “Offer your boy in worship to me.”

Notice that Abraham didn't tell Sarah? That would not have gone over well! By the way friends, there's a very important lesson in that. Sometimes even though we're married and we are one, God still works with you individually, and there are some things that God is doing in your life that are just for you and not your spouse. It's a hard thing for a spouse to watch the other one go through something like that because we want to fix them, but you can't fix them. Only God is the fixer.

So, Abraham makes a three-day journey. Man, that must have felt like an eternity, and you’ve got to believe he's pondering the whole way. Now, I don't believe he was wrestling with what to do; he's already made the decision to do it. What I think he's wrestling with is how. He’s thinking, “I know God's going to do something, but what is He going to do? How's He going to do it?” I believe with all my heart that he concluded that although his son must die because God had spoken it, his son must live. Therefore, I believe he concluded that God was going to resurrect Isaac from the dead. I think we can confirm that if we look at Hebrews 11:19; “By faith, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac as a sacrifice. He that had received the promise, offered up his only begotten son of whom it was said, 'In Isaac shall thy seed be called,' accounting that God was able to raise him from the dead."

Accounting is a keyword in the verse. It’s a math term; mathematics is the science that deals with the measurement properties and relationships of quantities. Mathematics is all about proven theory. Mathematics is all about figuring something out. Mathematics is about always getting an answer, and this is the term Abraham chose to use when it comes to God. When he looked at how God had proven himself in his life over the years, he knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, it was proven, God would do something, and Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead. What does Psalm 119 say? “God is good and does only good.” In Abraham's mind, he'd concluded; the only possible solution that was in harmony with the God he had come to know was God could not and would not let this boy die without fulfilling his promise concerning this boy. So in verse five, What does he do? He tells his servants, “Stay here.” This blows my mind, Look at the words, “Stay here, the boy and I will go worship (meaning a burnt offering,) and then we will return again to you. Oh my goodness!

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