Each day I’ll read and S.O.A.P. one chapter of Romans. S.O.A.P. is a simple way to focus on what God is speaking to you through what you read. It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, & Prayer.
Every time I read a chapter God always focuses my heart and mind around a specific part of that chapter. Sometimes it’s just a verse. Sometimes it’s more than that. That verse or group of verses becomes the focus of my devo.
There’s one other practice that helps me know, understand and follow scripture – memorization. Consider memorizing the verse or verses you S.O.A.P.
Romans 4:20-21, “Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises (NLT)”
As I read this passage I was reminded of other verses in the Bible.
- Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen.”
- 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.”
- Philippians 1:6, “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Abraham’s story is remarkable. God made Abraham a promise that Abraham wouldn’t begin to see answered until he was 100 years old. It’s a promise God later tested by asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son. It’s a promise that Abraham, in his lifetime, would never see fully filled. Yet Abraham’s confidence in God continued to grow. He was fully convinced that God was able, that God was trustworthy, that God would keep His Word.
Faith is the confidence that God can be trusted.
I am blessed because of the faith of others. Their confidence in God has shown me the value of patience and challenged me to hold on, to remain faithful, even when things are at their worst. Their stories have taught me that God’s promises are personal. When He made these promises He was thinking of me. He will keep His word to me. Their stories have also taught me that God’s promises are bigger than me. In His time and for His purpose He will complete every promise. I may live to see it or the conclusion may come after my life is over. Either way, God will keep His promises and I will experience the benefit here or in eternity.
It causes me to ask questions – How’s my confidence in God? Do I trust Him? Can I learn to trust Him more? If He’s kept or is in the process of keeping all of His BIG promises – like salvation, forgiveness, and abundant life – what personal, ‘small’, promises is He keeping for me right now?
In those moments of doubt I need to remember that God isn’t finished yet. Building a house takes time. Plans are drawn up. Loans are made. Contractors hired and scheduled. Skilled craftsmen work to transform a rough outline on paper into the rooms and art that will contain our lives. One day it will be the perfect home for me and my family but right now it’s in process. It’s a home that’s being built.
Some of God’s promises are like this. He is the skilled craftsmen working to transform us by building the rough outline of His Word into the practical reality of our lives. And that takes time…
Thank You for keeping Your promises. Thank you for the examples of faith we see in Scripture. More specifically, thank you for the people in my life right now who display an uncommon confidence in you. Their example challenges and encourages me. Bless them today with Your favor and allow them to see Your promises come true! Help me understand where I am in Your process of ‘faith’-building in my life. Grow my faith. Let my story be one that inspires faith in others.
I love you, in Jesus name –
There’s so much more in this chapter…what did God speak to you?