2024_01_10 Insight Post- Rusty Coram


This week’s reading- Genesis 16, Genesis 21:8-17, Genesis 25:12, Galatians 4:24-25

The story of Hagar carries important lessons for us today. In Kim Feld’s post earlier in the week, we see how obedience to God, regardless of the immediate cost, is a characteristic of genuine faith. Another lesson is THAT faith means pursuing God’s will, God’s way. We are called to do the things God wants done, and to do them in a manner that shows devotion to His values and character. Abraham was promised by God (Genesis 15) that Abraham would have many, many descendants but because he and his wife were old, they didn’t see how that could happen. Instead of pursuing and trusting God, they came up with their own plan to have Hagar be a surrogate (this type of arrangement was not uncommon in that time). As we see the story play out, this creates a mess. Knowing God’s will is important, and so is operating with utter trust and dependence on Him. For example, a few weeks after New Hope moved into our current facility, we were informed that our bank was failing and could not provide the last of the promised financing that we owed our contractors (to the tune of several million dollars). We were in a major predicament. After exhausting all avenues for finding financing, we had nothing. Then a bank told us that if we would settle with our contractor by only giving half of what we owed, they would refinance our loan and make us whole. We believed that God wanted us to build our facility, but we also believed we needed to pay our contractors what we owed them. Some suggested that since the bank’s failure wasn’t our fault, it was ok to pressure our contractor to settle for less than what we originally agreed to – and this is an often-used business practice. But to go back on our word would not have honored our God. I am so grateful that our leadership agreed to hold firm to our commitment, even if it meant giving up our building and it being sold to pay our contractors. Later, in a completely surprising turn of circumstances, we found a bank that believed in us and was able to get not only solid financing but enough to pay off all our creditors in full AND with interest!

As we see in Hagar’s story (Genesis chapters 16 and 21), God will be present with us in the messes we create, but He doesn’t eliminate the consequences of our choices. He understands our fear, impatience, weakness, and insecurity and He invites us to come to Him with them instead of being guided by them. When we hoose to trust Him and behave as if He is in charge, we will see Him work in amazing ways, just like Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar did.

Rusty Coram
Senior Pastor