December 1, 2021
Thank you for praying for our prodigals and for revival each Wednesday.
True faith is not stagnant. It is active, dynamic, and it grows. This is what characterized the faith of Abraham.
First, his faith enabled him to start on a journey with God. He was called by God to leave his home for a new land. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).
Pulling up roots and moving your family to a distant place without much more detail than that is a gigantic step of faith. But Abraham had heard the voice of God and he responded in faith.
“The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham” (Acts 7:2). This made all the difference. He got a glimpse of God’s glory. Imagine, after living in a land that was full of false gods that came from the imagination of heathen hearts, getting a sight of the God of glory!
And he obeyed the call of this awesome God, despite the fact that he had only limited information.
Paul says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Our walk with God begins in the same place as did Abraham’s. It is the Word of God, the Word of Christ that reveals who He is in His greatness and glory.
It is faith that enables us to take that first step, but that’s just the beginning.
Second, Abraham’s faith embraced the promises of God. “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son” (Hebrews 11:17).
This momentous event occurred when Abraham was well along the pathway of faith. He was 75 years old when God called him (Genesis 12:4). He was 100 years old when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). Whatever his age when the request came to offer up his son, he had come to trust in his God very deeply.
This was not the cruel, senseless, pagan ritual of human sacrifice. This was God testing the faith of a man He loved. It was the ultimate test, if you will. God’s promises were bound up in Isaac and now He was testing the depth, the growth of Abraham’s faith.
Either way, Isaac would live. If Abraham could not believe God and chose not to bring Isaac to the altar of sacrifice, he would not die. If Abraham believed God and chose to obey God’s Word (which he did), Isaac still would not die because God would provide the sacrifice.
Is your faith growing as you walk with God? Maybe you are being tested in a way that is stretching your faith beyond what seems reasonable or possible? If so, keep in mind a few things about your God.
He is faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). Consider His dealings in your past. Remember how He has proved Himself true to you at critical times in your life. The same God who preserved Abraham every step of his journey from Mesopotamia to Haran to Canaan to Egypt and back to Canaan will faithfully take care of you.
He is committed to your growth and will always do what is best for you. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). This doesn’t mean everything in our lives will be good, but God is able to work things out for good.
He is present. God has promised to be with you every step of the way. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2).
The last consideration of Abraham’s life is that his faith endured to the very end. “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised” (Hebrews 11:13).
While God had called Abraham to a new land, and he lived there as a foreigner dwelling in a tent, he had his sights set on another land that was not visible to the naked eye. “For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).
Abraham enjoyed many of the blessings of faith while he lived, but many of the promises of God did not happen during his lifetime. Was God untrue? Of course not! God’s promises are not limited to time and space, but reach into the eternal realm.
As we grasp the reality of God’s eternal plan it will give us the endurance we need to keep going when life is bleak.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel