How God Makes a Somebody Out of a Nobody

Posted by Bible Bliss on


By Rayna Wright

"God Who Gives Life to the Dead and Calls Things That Are Not As Though They Were." Romans 4:17


The world is full of them. Just last night I sat down to eat a meal of jumbo shrimp and bittersweet chocolate - using plastic silverware and paper towels. I also find it challenging to understand or appreciate the notion of a working vacation that produces a negative income. Those are lighthearted examples but there are also deeper contradictions that confuse me.

For instance, when I am reading the Bible and come across a portion of scripture that just doesn't seem to make sense. I'm not a Bible scholar which means there are many things in scripture that are beyond my level of knowledge. Realizing that I have so much to learn about Jesus is exciting and makes me want to study more. Except that's not what I am talking about here. The contradiction that really bothers me is when I read something in the Bible that on the surface level doesn't seem to make sense.


"God Who Gives Life to the Dead and Calls Things That Are Not As Though They Were." Romans 4:17

An example is today's verse from the Book of Romans- at first glance this seems to be a contradiction. Calling things that are not as if they are seems to be a fancy way of lying. If you are anything like me, sometimes when I get to a part of scripture that I don't understand, I minimize it's importance. When I want to dig a little deeper, one of my favorite ways to add color to a verse is by reading it in various versions and translations. The Message version is a favorite of mine because of its use of American slang. It keeps the language of The Gospel fresh and understandable for my simple mind.

(See Bible Scholar Disclaimer Above)

So that's where I found myself filtering today's verse through multiple Bible versions. The Message connected the real meaning of the words and its relevance into my own life. It turns out that God often speaks to us as if we were more spiritual or understanding than we actually are.


"God often speaks to us as if we were more spiritual or understanding than we actually are."

He does this on purpose. He is still actively speaking to His children today and He did it all the way back in the beginning. In the Book of Genesis with Abraham, Abraham is credited as being the Father of Our Faith. God called Abraham to leave his family and travel to an unknown land. He traveled with his wife Sarah, encamped in the new land and received a promise from God. God's promise basically said that Abraham and all of his descendants would inherit the land.

The only problem was that Abraham had no heir. Since they were each about 100 years old, Abraham and Sarah were too old to conceive. So when God made the promise that Abraham's descendants would inherit the land, He was calling things that were not YET as if they were.

Abraham was caught between two truths. Who God says He is and What Abraham believes about himself. It's the gap we all realize during our walk with God. God speaks truth and promises to us through His Word about who we are, but the reflection we see in the mirror is often a contradiction. God says we are free from sin

yet we are trapped in addiction. God says we are chosen, set apart and belong,

yet isolation and loneliness are our only friends. God says we are accepted and complete but we've believed the lie that we are not enough.


"For we walk by Faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

Why does God speak to us like we are already more then we see or relate to us as if we can understand? We may feel and only be able to physically see one thing but still be in the process of becoming what and who God says we are. Beyond what we can see with our limited physical eyes is a reality seen by our creator. He calls us what He sees and thankfully, He sees us through the finished work of the cross. Abraham isn't credited as the Father of our Faith because of anything He did. He didn't get God's attention by living like a saint. We call him 'father' because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody.

Abraham trusted the promise from God about who He said he was and against all hope, he believed. His faith did not waiver, but instead, it grew as he walked by faith and not by sight. You see, God named Abraham a father before He made him one. Abraham trusted God to do what only He could, simply because He said that He would. With a word, God Can make something out of nothing.


With a word, God Can make something out of nothing.

God's promise came long before Abraham could see it. Abraham and Sarah made many mistakes that did not alter the promise God made. He didn't change His mind or take back the promise after they blew it. That's because God's promises are always rooted in Him and His Goodness, not us and our imperfection. All of this is God's story. Not Abraham's. Not mine. Not yours. Our part in the story is to believe. Believe that God has the power to do what He says He will do.

Walking by faith and not by sight frees us to be the characters in God's story, not the author. Abraham didn't focus on his own shortcomings, Sarah's limitations or his previous experience. He did not survey the scene and declare it hopeless. He trusted that His God could do the impossible. The size of the gap- the one where God says you are one thing but you can't see it yet - doesn't make a difference. Don't give up hope.

What I once thought was a fancy way of lying - calling things that are not as if they were- turns out to be a plain way of declaring hope. Conditions could not have been more hopeless two thousand years ago when God raised Jesus from the dead. He has the power to breathe life into you as well. My prayer is that, like Abraham, we do not tiptoe around God's Word. Instead, let's firmly stand on who He says we are and get ready to see God do what only He can.


Who God Sees
You are loved.  John 3:16
You are chosen.  1Thessalonians 1:4, Colossians 3:12, Ephesians 1:4
You are no longer a slave to sin.  Romans 6:6
You are free.  Romans 8:2
You are complete.  Colossians 2:10
You belong.  Galatians 3:28
You are a fellow heir.  Romans 8:17
You are saved.  Matthew 7:21
Your body is a temple.  1 Corinthians 6:19
You are God's friend.  John 5:15
You are a new creature.  2 Corinthians 5:17
You are created to do good works.  Ephesians 2:10
God has a plan for your life.  Jeremiah 29:11


Guest Blogger Rayna Wright

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