Have you, or anyone you know, ever encountered an incredible promise from God?
Over the years, I've met dozens of men and women who, by the Spirit of God, were given a glimpse of an astounding future. When unbridled hope arises, it often enables wonderful things to transpire.
Within the opening chapters of the Bible, God uttered a beautiful promise to Adam and Eve. He assured them a child would emerge through their bloodline (Gen. 3:15). Through this beloved son, ugliness would be dispelled and virtue restored.
With mounting hope, "Adam had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived [and] gave birth to Cain" (Gen. 4:1a). Eve boldly declared, "I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord" (Genesis 4:1b).
Adam and Eve later faced unimaginable horror as their eldest son murdered his younger brother. The one who supposedly carried the promise was somehow overcome with violence and destruction.
To make matters worse, it was actually Abel, the second-born, who effectively embodied the promise. He was a worshipper and lover of God.
As Adam and Eve peered upon Abel's lifeless body, it caused them to question everything God had spoken.
What do you do when the promise seems dead?
In personal conversations, many men and women have recounted similar stories. They felt as though God revealed something wonderful. Yet unexpected challenges arose, and everything collapsed.
What do you do in circumstances like these? How do you move forward when your world falls apart?
I think there's much to be learned from the experiences of Adam and Eve. As they faced bitter disappointment, they found a way to navigate out of the mess. They understood that life, and all God has, emerges out of intimacy: "Adam had relations with his wife again, and she had another son and called his name Seth, for she said, "God has granted me another offspring instead of Abel because Cain killed him'" (Gen. 4:25).
With the death of the promise, this aging couple was willing to regroup and open their lives to a whole new reality. Rather than mourning the past, they embraced a new beginning.
In the end, it was Seth, their unexpected new baby, who advanced the righteous bloodline and embodied the promise: "Adam lived a hundred and thirty years and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his own image, and called his name Seth" (Gen. 5:3).
Sooner or later, each of us will face unimaginable circumstances and be forced to make difficult choices. What will you do when the promise seems dead?
J.D. King, director of the World Revival Network and co-pastor at World Revival Church, is writing Regeneration: Healing in the History of Christianity. King is a sought-after speaker, writer and author.
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