After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (Genesis 15:1)
Abram must have been a little frazzled after "these things". He had just returned from rescuing Lot from the likes of four kings who had taken the cities and the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah captive (see Genesis 14). The king of Sodom wanted to reward Abram with material possessions but Abram refused, not wishing to be made rich by an earthly king.
I wonder if Abram was troubled when the LORD came to meet him that day in the vision. There is no indication from the text that Abram needed encouragement, yet God showed up to do just that as He says "Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." (Ge 15:1). But God knew without Abram having to say a word what was in his heart. God knew that Abram was doing the best he could in believing God would provide the impossible. God also knew of Abram's secret doubts.
After God's initial words in the vision, Abram verbalized his doubts to God regarding his still not having an heir. God listened, answered and acted.
And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said unto him, "So shall your descendants be." (Genesis 15:4-5 NKJV)
When I picture this scene I imagine a parent standing outside with one arm around their child and the other pointing to the sky to show the child the promise. What a sight. What warm encouragement. Like God encouraged Abram that He was still with him, He wants to do that to us. I think God still encourages us. We just need to stop and listen for His voice. We may even feel His strong arm around our shoulders. After all, He is our real reward.
May you sense His presence today,
For further thought:
1) What doubts do you have regarding God and His promises to you? Give them to Him.
2) Can you think of someone in your life who might need a dose of encouragement? Give it to them.
Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.