stagger not

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God…” – Romans 4:20 KJV 

On April 11th, 1970 the Apollo 13 mission took off from the Kennedy Space Center. Two days later, after one of the engineers in the Houston control room noticed a low-pressure signal, Jack Swigert executed a “cryo stir” designed to stir the tanks, in hopes of resolving the poor pressure reading. 

Immediately, the oxygen tanks in the command module caught fire and the spacecraft began to shake. Jack Swigert made his famous comment, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Gene Kranz, the flight director for Apollo 13, pulled engineers and astronauts together to solve several insurmountable problems which should have led to NASA losing 3 astronauts. 


Kranz’s belief challenged those on the ground to do whatever was necessary to get the astronauts home. Ed Harris played Gene Kranz, in motion picture “Apollo 13.” The film portrayed a scene where one engineer speaking to another lists the problems they’re facing: suspect parachute system, questionable heat shield, poor angle of trajectory and to top it all off, a potential typhoon in the landing zone. 

As he relays this bad news to the other engineer, the other engineer agrees this could be the worst disaster in the history of NASA. Gene Kranz overhears them, and says, “With all due respect sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.” 

It was his belief that drove the mission control team to succeed.


Stanford recently completed a study which suggests negative thoughts and complaining raises our level of cortisol, causing higher blood pressure and stress, which adversely affect our body. Conversely, gratitude is noted to reduce the level of cortisol, and lower our blood pressure, along with several other health benefits. 

It does not surprise me that God made our bodies to function better when we believe. Well, what can we positively believe in that will hold up to the crushing pressure of our times? 

Abram, who God renamed Abraham, is the spiritual father of those who have faith. God promised He would make Abram the father of many nations. Abram was 75 with a wife just as old and no child, when God made this promise. He asked Abram to leave his family home and go to a land He would show him. Abram and Sarai went.

He trusted the Lord to deliver on all He had promised. Abram did not look to his circumstances, but to the One who promised. Abram made mistakes. Eleven years later, he and Sarai wondered if God had forgotten His promise to them, since she had not had a child. She suggested Abram sleep with her servant Hagar, so they could have a child, and he did.  

While Ishmael was not God’s plan to fulfill His promise, God still remained faithful to Abram. The Lord again confirmed His covenant. When Abram was 100, God provided Isaac, 25 years after He made His promise. Through Isaac, the Lord began to deliver on His promise.

Isn’t it incredible that though Abram made mistakes, Romans 4:20 (NLT) describes him as man who “never wavered in believing God’s promise?” He and Sarai were not perfect, but they followed God; they were obedient, and continued to trust God to do what they could not see. And God took Abram’s faith and made him the father of all who believe (Romans 4:16).

“But his unstaggering faith arose from his great thoughts of Him who had promised. He kept saying to himself, He is able, He is able. …For every look at your difficulties, take ten at what thy God is.” – F. B. Meyer 

So, in our super busy world, against overwhelming circumstances, we can always look to our Heavenly Father, and believe He will deliver on all of His promises. Here are a few of those promises: 

-      His Presence – Psalm 16:8 & Matthew 28:20

-      His Peace – Philippians 4:6-7 & John 14:27

-      His Provision – Psalm 23:1 & Matthew 6:33

-      Our Right Standing with Him – 2 Corinthians 5:21

-      Our Future with Him: - John 14:3  

Do you believe? He is able; stagger not.


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