We have all heard stories or been invited to participate in things that just have sounded too good to be true. There is a lot of truth in the old adage that “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is (too good to be true).” Throughout the ages there have been many “get rich quick” schemes that sounded enticing but instead of leading to increased wealth have ended up being financial disasters. Last year a “chocolate diet” surfaced, promising that eating chocolate every day would lead to weight loss. Now that sounds like a diet worth looking into, right? Who wouldn’t like to eat chocolate every day! It turned out to simply be an elaborate hoax concocted by John Bohannon, a Harvard PhD, to see just how easy it would be to turn bad science into big headlines. (A clinical trial was actually done using a very small sample size and a large number of variables, thus producing no real meaningful results.)
We do need to be weary of those things that sound too good to be true. We hope for them to be true, but in reality, they are often claims made, or promises given, without any supporting evidence. They simply are often just not true.
On the contrary, promises made by God, while they might sometimes sound far-fetched or too good to be true, are always true. God is not only a promise maker, He is also a promise keeper. A story found in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, gives us a glimpse into God’s character. In this story, God called an ordinary man named Abram to leave behind everything comfortable and familiar to him. God promised to make Abram into a great nation. Sounds a little too good to be true, right? Abram took God at His word and at age 75 he set out to this new land God called him to. Eleven years later, this “great nation” deal hadn’t happened yet so Abram took matters into his own hands and he had an illegitimate son out of wedlock. Fast forward another thirteen years, and God, true to His original promise, again told Abram that he would be the father of many nations. To show He was serious, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “father of many.”
By now, Abraham was probably began to have serious questions about whether this promise that sounded real good, made 24 years earlier, was in fact too good to be true. But, despite his likely doubts, he continued to trust God. And when Abraham was 100 years old, and 25 years after the initial promise, God, in keeping with His word, gave Abraham and his wife Sarah (herself about 90 years old) the promised Son, Isaac. And we know that it is from the lineage of Isaac that Jesus would be born many years later.
(To read this amazing testament to God’s faithfulness, read Genesis chapters 12-21.)
In Romans 4:18 we read this – “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
So today, you can trust that whatever it is God calls you to do, no matter how far-fetched it seems, that He always keeps His promise. And against all hope, you can take Him at His word.
New Bern, North Carolina