Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Romans 4:18

Romans 4:18
Genesis 15:5
Hebrews 11:1
What reason did Abraham (or rather, still Abram at this point) have to believe God's promise? He was living in a foreign country, well past middle age, with no children and no reason to hope for the fulfillment of God's fantastic promises. Yet he hoped anyway and believed God when He promised to give him more descendants than the stars of the sky, to give them all the land of Canaan, and to make Abraham the father of many nations.

Was Abraham foolish to believe? He would have been if it had been any human giving the promise. He had real faith in God, faith that allowed him to believe that God can make anything happen even without seeing the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise.

How did Abraham know it was God speaking to him and not a figment of his imagination? Genesis only records a few incidents of their conversations, all of them separated from one another by years or even decades. I imagine that they weren't the only times that Abraham prayed. You can't maintain a relationship or an active faith by only communicating once every several years. Perhaps these weren't the only times that God spoke to Abraham or that Abraham experienced a revelation of God's goodness toward him. Perhaps he recognized God's blessing through his increasing wealth or difficult situations resolving themselves in his favor and realized that even though he didn't own the land he walked on nor have even one child, God was abundantly blessing him in other ways. Maybe he thought that God was delaying the fulfillment of His promise but saw life with Him much better than life without Him. Maybe he looked around at the other gods and had the same reaction as Peter so many years later: "Where else would I go?" (John 6:68).

Hope in God and His promises is sometimes very difficult. He doesn't pave the way for us to have a shallow faith based on an easy life. He challenges us by making promises and waiting until the situation seems impossible before He fulfills them. Yet which one would you rather believe: the world which seems to have everything in place but which we know will fail in the end or God who seems to leave us in difficult situations but always can and will bring us through to something much greater than we could have ever dreamed of?

No comments:

Post a Comment