Face the Facts
"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.” Without weakening in his faith, he FACED THE FACT that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." - Romans 4:18-25 (NIV)
In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul gives us some commentary on the great "justification by faith" chapter in Genesis 15. It was a chapter in which Abraham experienced a breakthrough in his walk with God. In Genesis 12, despite Abraham and Sarah being in their nineties, God had promised Abraham that He would grow his offspring into a nation. By Genesis 15, God had promised that a saving seed (the Messiah) would come from his offspring. God's promises were something Abraham believed, but he struggled with them. He heard and knew God's promises personally, but all he saw with his eyes everyday was their age and physical limitations. So in Genesis 15, we see Abraham facing the facts. Normally when we "face the facts", we're submitting to a defeat or a loss. But for Abraham, facing the facts of his and Sarah's age and physical limitations didn't defeat him. Facing the facts allowed him to break through. It wasn't a defeat, it was the beginning of a victory in His walk with God. If you notice in the scripture, facing the facts led to the strengthening of his faith and he gave glory to God. Abraham surrendered to the facts of the situation, but it led to an empowerment of his faith, not a weakening of his faith (v19). It's as if facing the facts opened the door to the next level in His walk with God. It was a breakthrough.
If you notice in the scripture, there are other facts besides Abraham and Sarah's limitations. One of them is the promise from God that He would give them a child (v20) - that's a fact. Another is that God had the power to do what He promised (v21) - that's a fact. Another is that God raised Jesus from the dead (v24) - that's a fact. Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification (v25) - that's a fact. The facts of our sin and limitations are one thing, but the facts of God's capabilities and his promises are a whole other thing. The facts of God rendered null and void the facts of Abraham and Sarah's limitations, and it can for us. In Jesus Christ (the saving seed of Abraham), God has promises waiting for us on a platter - the promises of true hope, a future, true comfort, true assurance, true security, and true joy.
Where are you not facing the facts in your life? Maybe you refuse to face the fact that your family is falling apart and it is out of your control to fix it. Maybe you refuse to face the fact that your marriage is far less than stellar. Maybe you're not facing the fact that you just aren't the man or woman you thought you would become or the man or woman God calls you to be. Maybe you're not facing the fact that you just don't know what to do in a particular situation but in your own special insanity, you keep trying the same thing over and over again and it drives you deeper and deeper into despair. Maybe you're not facing the facts about your sin. Maybe you're not facing the fact that without Jesus, like Abraham’s body and Sarah's womb, you're as good as dead. Maybe you haven't put your faith and trust in Christ because you're not facing the fact that your unforgiven sin is separating you from God. Maybe you refuse to face the fact that you are pursuing justification by works, not by faith, and works for salvation will get you nowhere with God.
Facing the facts isn't defeat, it's the beginning of a breakthrough. Without facing the facts, we'll never break through and make that next (or first) step in our walk with God. Facing the facts is not a one time thing in our lives, we’ll have to do it over and over again. But the beauty is that in Christ, God’s promises and power last a lifetime too. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is a bottomless well of joy, comfort, assurance, and power. Like Abraham, facing the facts requires us to take a brutally honest look at ourselves but it also requires us to take a refreshing and honest look at who God is. Facing the facts comes from a surrendered heart that says, "God, I don't know where else to go or what else to do, I need a breakthrough, it's a fact that I have sin and limitations and my life is a complete mess, but I've also heard of the facts of Jesus and your promises and power, and I want them. Like Abraham, against all hope, in hope I believe, make things right, rescue me".