Sarah’s Struggle With Faith

Mothers Need to Laugh Again!

Assorted Scriptures

March 19, 2023   Mother’s Day

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.     Mother’s Day Humour – HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!


A.   Son: Dad, do you know the difference between a pack of buscuits and a pack of elephants?

B.   Dad: No.

C.   Son: Then it’s a good thing Mom does the grocery shopping!


D.   A police recruit was asked during the entrance exam, “What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?” He said, “Call for backup.”




Q. A woman asked her doctor, Should I have a baby after 35?

A. No, 35 children is more than enough.


Q. I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?

A. Probably right after he finishes college.


Q. How will I know if my vomiting is morning sickness or the flu?

A. If it's the flu, you'll get better.


Q. What is the most common pregnancy craving?

A.. For men to be the ones who get pregnant.


Q. Does pregnancy cause headaches?

A. Pregnancy causes anything you want to blame it for.


F.    How many of you are Moms or are going to be moms soon? We have a special gift!


II.   Introduction (Genesis 21:6)


A.   Modern science and the media has lied to us

B.   Motherhood is hard, and always will be


1.    It has NOT gotten easier with technology, and with so-called better education

2.    There is so much against being a Mom

3.    So much of the joy has been stolen, and twisted, and smashed – earlier and earlier than the generation before

4.    John 16:21  A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

5.    Some moms experience such pain and loss being a Mom – think of Eve and her first born son, Cain being found out to have murdered his own brother Abel!

6.    Others just constantly try and hold things together all day long!

7.    Have you ever heard someone say in the midst of troubles… “You just have to laugh”?

8.    Well, God can cause you to laugh again - to enjoy motherhood, and life itself!


C.   So, God took the time to tell Moms about having a good belly-laugh! Being able to just sit back and enjoy being a Mom! Even though nothing is perfect, and almost everything hurts!

D.   He tells us in the Scriptures about the struggle Sarah had with her motherhood, and how God made her laugh!


1.    Genesis 21:6  And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. [NOT AT ME]

2.    Only a born again Christian can actually laugh in times of sorrow and hurt, otherwise, none of this is going to make any sense!


III.         Message


A.   Follow Your Husband (Genesis 11:27-29; 12:1-5)


1.    A Bit of Background on Abraham (Genesis 11:27-29)


a.     Genesis 11:27-29  Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.


b.    Abram lived and worked in Ur of Chaldea – modern Iraq, near the bottom of the country

c.     The religion of Ur worshipped the Moon god called, Nanna Sin (a male god)

d.    Abram and Sarai were husband and wife – a package-deal (remember this)

e.     The Bible says that at around the age of 75, Abram learned that there was only one God (not many gods), but one almighty God who created everything, and influences everything, and will judge everything one day! He discovered that it was this God who had destroyed the entire world with a flood just 500 years earlier.

f.     So, Abram stepped away from the culture and religion of Ur, and chose to worship and love El Shaddai, God Almighty!

g.    And that was when God spoke to Abram…


1)    Genesis 12:1-3  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

2)    Told him to actually leave his homeland, his birthplace of Ur

3)    And to just follow God’s voice, until he arrived at a land that would become his new home – a promised land

4)    A distance of almost 600 miles by foot!


2.    Abraham had great faith, to be able to trust God enough to do that!

3.    But remember, he was not single – he was married, to Sarah

4.    So, in reality, Sarah had to have great faith too to trust her husband was trusting God


a.     Genesis 12:4,5 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.


5.    Abram was not perfect – had  many flaws, failures, and made some stupid decisions

6.    Yet Sarah followed her husband, and stayed with him


a.     When times were good (Genesis 13:1,2)  And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

b.    And when times were tough


1)    Sarah followed her husband into Egypt during a famine (Genesis 12:10-13) And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

2)    He asked her to lie about not being his wife to protect his life!

3)    He even did it AGAIN in Genesis chapter 20:1-3


c.     She didn’t complain when others were more successful (13:5-11) like Lot was


B.   What is the Point? (1Corinthians 2:9; 1Peter 3:5,6)


1.    Sarah was not a mother yet – she was just a wife, of a guy named Abram

2.    She was happy in Ur – where she also had grown up

3.    She could have found plenty of flaws in Abram’s faith and calling

4.    She could have feared such a decision to leave HER family and face the unknown

5.    She could have put her foot down and said she was NOT going

6.    And where would WE be?

7.    Sarah’s decision, to follow her husband was a BIG step towards a greater joy than she could have ever imagined

8.    The same is true for everyone here - if we would just follow by faith! 1Corinthians 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

9.    The point is… She let her husband lead (1Peter 3:5,6)  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

10. Ladies, young or old, if you are married, or intend on getting married, be prepared to follow your husband!


a.     Not as some slave like the media and Hollywood tries to portray

b.    But like a woman of God

c.     Fllowing him, Simply because YOU love the Lord yourself! And you trust God

d.    I wish you ALL believed that!


C.   #2 Accept Some Problems Are From God (Genesis 11:30; 15:1-6)


1.    Most of our troubles and problems, WE create

2.    And if WE are not creating problems, then the devil is

3.    But SOME problems actually are from the hand of God!


a.     Sarah is 65 years old at this time, and Abraham is 75

b.    She has been married to Abram for a long time, and obviously tried to get pregnant, and nothing had happened – she was barren, empty, had not become a mother like she had so wanted!

c.     She WANTED to be a Mom – not every woman wants that, but SHE did!

d.    Genesis 11:30  But Sarai was barren; she had no child.


4.    Sarah struggled with the disappointment of NOT being a mother


a.     Several women struggled with this problem in the Bible

b.    Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother

c.     Hannah, Samuel’s mother

d.    Both started off barren, and without any children

e.     Mother’s day would have been very painful for them!


5.    Then God shows up and makes a promise to her and her husband…


a.     Genesis 12:2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

b.    Children are coming! WHAT?

c.     Children, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren

d.    Entire NATIONS full of her children were going to come from her!

e.     Genesis 15:1-6  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. And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heirAnd he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.


6.    Another bit of humour: What makes more noise than a child jumping on mommy’s bed? TWO CHILDREN jumping on mommy’s bed!


D.   #3 Believe God Yourself - Sarah Believed God Too (Hebrews 11:11)


1.    Abraham’s faith is spoken of throughout the Bible – it was great faith!

2.    But Sarah had great faith too!

3.    Two things to ponder and understand…


a.     God was not going to give Abraham children without Sarah being a part – they were a package deal

b.    And, Sarah is not getting any younger, and her body doesn’t seem to get pregnant

c.     Getting pregnant was getting more and more impossible for her

d.    What should she do?


4.    Sarah believed what God promised anyway!


a.     Just like Abram believed God! Don’t forget this! BOTH believed God!

b.    She believed God…

c.     Not her empty womb, or her impotent husband

d.    Not what she felt, or what she could understand or even imagine

e.     She decided to not believe in past experiences, and failures

f.     Nor in her fears of being disappointed


5.    She just decided to believe what God promised!


a.     As many children as there are stars in the night sky!

b.    Genesis 15:5  And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

c.     Hebrews 11:11  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

d.    You will go wrong trusting everything and everyone else, but not God’s promises!


E.    #4 Don’t be Impatient! Impatience Creates Havoc (Genesis 16:1-5,15)


1.    Sarah’s faith is now going to be tested. Everything has to be tested!

2.    Nothing happens for 10 years more years


a.     Genesis 16:1  Now Sarai Abram's wife [STILL] bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

b.    Abraham is now 85, and Sarah is 75


3.    One of the root sins of life is IMPATIENCE – it is related to PRIDE (as if we know better what God should be doing)


a.     Remember, this is not a perfect couple – with perfect faith, and perfect patience

b.    Sarah is upset


1)    She now hated the fact that she had ever believed God, because nothing ever happened

2)    This is people’s problem with god and faith TODAY

3)    It created bitterness against God, against her husband

4)    Sarah become secretly angry at God

5)    “You seem to be okay Abraham, but God has restrained me – seems to be against me – He is not letting me get pregnant”


4.    So Sarah of all people comes up with a way to bypass God, and have a child

5.    A Surrogate birth – use a slave named Hagar – WHAT?


a.     Genesis 16:2  And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

b.    Genesis 16:3  And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

c.     Genesis 16:4  And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.


6.    Can you imagine how this could go wrong?


a.     Genesis 16:5  And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

b.    Impatience will ruin most people, and especially Christians!

c.     Many a born again child of God has become angry, bitter, and backslidden simply because God did not do for them what they wanted Him to! God didn’t answer prayers, or meet needs, or seem to keep His promises!

d.    And that is exactly how Sarah felt AFTER she hastily made this decision!

e.     And no one seems to think that the consequences are ALWAYS worse than just trusting God and waiting on Him! This is the start of the Arab nations!

f.     Psalm 27:14  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.


F.    They Gave Up - No More Faith (Genesis 17, 18)


1.    God again reminds Abraham and Sarah of His promise


a.     Genesis 17:1  And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

b.    Genesis 17:2  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

c.     Genesis 17:3  And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

d.    Genesis 17:4  As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

e.     Genesis 17:5  Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

f.     Genesis 17:6  And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.


2.    But nothing God says helps – they have given up

3.    So, they both just laugh, at God’s promise (Genesis 17:15-18; 18:9-15)


a.     But it was the wrong kind of laughter – derisive, sarcastic, cynical, kind of mocking

b.    They had every right to laugh – it was now totally impossible what God was promising… Abraham was now 99, and Sarah was 89 (who wants to try and get pregnant and deliver a baby at 89 years old?)

c.     Abraham first laughed (Genesis 17:15-19) – he finds it hard to believe it!


1)    Genesis 17:15-19  And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

2)    Did you notice the name God wants the promised baby called?

3)    ISAAC

4)    It means LAUGHTER! God says the promise you laughed at, will make you laugh for the rest of your life!

5)    They didn’t catch that! Not at first


d.    Then Sarah laughed (Genesis 18:9-15) – SHE thinks it is impossible now!!!


1)    Genesis 18:9  And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

2)    Genesis 18:10  And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

3)    Genesis 18:11  Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. [PASSED MENOPAUSE]

4)    Genesis 18:12  Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

5)    Genesis 18:13  And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore [WHY] did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

6)    Genesis 18:14  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

7)    Genesis 18:15  Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.


4.    But truth is, God doesn’t change His mind, or His promises. God cannot lie!

5.    Just trust and obey! Keep going, no matter what!

6.    A little faith is always enough! Because it is not the size of our faith that moves mountians, or receives promises… but the size of our GOD!


7.    Another joke: Cleaning with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth with Oreos.


G.   God’s Timing – The Fulness of Time (Genesis 21:1,2,5)


1.    Genesis 18:14  At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

2.    Right on time – His time. THAT is when God visits Sarah


a.     Genesis 21:1,2  And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

b.    Abraham is 100, and Sarah is now 90! (Genesis 21:5)  And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

c.     God says THAT was the perfect time for a baby!

d.    Ecclessiates 3:11  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time


3.    God helps Sarah so she can get pregnant. What a gentle way to describe God personally helping Sarah – not leaving it to an angel, or a doctor, or a pill, but God Himself making an impossibility, possible!


H.   God Makes Us Laugh! (Genesis 21:3,6)


1.    Genesis 21:3  And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

2.    Genesis 21:6  And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.


3.    Every time they called Isaac… for lunch, or to clean his room, or to go do his chores, they chuckled, and laughed a bit! It reminded to laugh and rejoice!

4.    God loves to laugh!


a.     Psalm 16:11  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

b.    Zephaniah 3:17  The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.


5.    God wants us to laugh with joy, not sarcasm and bitterness


a.     Psalm 5:11  But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

b.    Psalm 51:12  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

c.     Psalm 126:2,3  Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

d.    Psalm 126:5,6  They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.


6.    Especially MOM’s


a.     God rewards motherhood – honours it

b.    Psalm 113:9  He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.

c.     And you CAN laugh again Mom’s, ladies, gentlemen!


d.    Final joke: “I hate it when I’m waiting for mom to cook the dinner, and then I remember I am the mom, and ‘I’ have to cook dinner.”


I.     God Rewards Just Believing His Promises! (Hebrews 11:8-12)


1.    That is what FAITH is… not DOING, but believing God can and will do what He has promised! There was absolutely NOTHING Abraham or sarah could DO! But believe!

2.    Abraham discovered this to be true (Hebrews 11:8-10)  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

3.    And so did Sarah (Hebrews 11:11,12)  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.




A.   Men (especially husbands), if ALL you have heard today is for wives to let their husbands lead, then you have missed the whole point of this message.


1.    You need to be a man who believes God and loves God more than you love yourself!

2.    YOU and I need to be a man who walks with God ourself

3.    You and I need to lead our homes, first by example, and then by wisdom!

4.    And finally, you and I need to be worthy of being followed.


B.   Ladies, if all you heard today is that you need to follow your husband, then you have missed the whole point!

C.   But, If you want God to restore YOUR joy…

D.   If you want God Fill YOUR mouth with laughter


1.    Accept the problems you have may actually be GOD at work and have a purpose

2.    Love God and Believe God first – before everything else!

3.    Love who God gave you – starting with your husband, ladies

4.    And YES, Let God lead through your husband – pray for him to listen to God, and when he is not, follow him anyways – it is proof of YOUR faith

5.    Count your blessings!  Stop doing like everyone else and complaining!


a.     God HAS been good to you, even though it may not feel like it

b.    Enjoy where you are at, who you are with – the greatest attitude is contentment – enjoying what you HAVE


6.    Go ahead and Rejoice and Worship the Lord now, by faith, not by sight – before He fulfils what he has promised you


E.    THAT is when you will find a joy bubbling up in you…


1.    And you will start to laugh at life, and even at problems

2.    And will enjoy believing God as much as you will enjoy the fulfilment of God’s promises!

3.    In other words, You will enjoy WAITING for God to keep His promises just as much as when He does what He promises!


F.    That works for Mothers, and for everybody here today! That is living by faith!

G.   And it works for getting saved too! God brought you here today, even though you may be very hurt, and struggling just to breathe…


1.    Just believe that what Jesus did on the cross is enough to bring you to God, forgiven and perfect in His sight!

2.    Just come to Christ as you are! Ask Him to keep His promise and save you!

3.    You will never be the same!