Abraham is one of the central figures in the Old Testament. Against all odds he trusted God to fulfill a promise that was impossible from a human standpoint. I call this faith in God that goes the distance.
God wanted a people that would love and serve only Him, a people on whom He could pour out His goodness. He wanted this people to be a light to the rest of the world. Abraham was chosen to spawn this race, the Children of Israel, who would later be called Jews. You can read God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3.
God told Abraham that his descendents would become a great nation. At that time, Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were in their seventies, long past child bearing years. Even as a young woman, Sarah had been barren. So you can imagine what it took for Abraham to accept God’s promise. Still, Abraham reached out to have faith in God. Sarah was 90 and Abraham 100 years of age when they welcomed Isaac into the world. Years later, Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, would bear twins named Esau and Jacob. Jacob, who would continue Abraham’s lineage, would have 12 sons who would also have sons and daughters. Of course, those sons and daughters would have children of their own.
When God speaks and gives you specific understanding about your life it’s a powerful moment. It’s easy to have faith in God. It feels as if the blessing will come crashing through the ceiling any minute. Perhaps that is how Abraham felt. He may have expected Sarah to become pregnant right away. But years passed and nothing happened. The couple became worried. So, they decided to help God out.
At Sarah’s suggestion, Abraham slept with Hagar, Sarah’s maid. Hagar gave birth to Ishmael. But this was not the promised son. When you are praying for God to move in a certain situation, be careful about getting impatient. Impatience will cause you to make bad decisions that have lasting negative effects. Many believe that the tension in the Middle East started here. Ishmael’s seed and Isaac’s seed are at war with each other.
God does not need our help. He is God all by Himself! We need to get that fact deep inside our spirit and learn to look to a powerful God who knows our hopes and dreams and HOW to bring them to pass. In fact, He already has the plan laid out. All we need to do is have faith in God, get out of His way and let Him do what He does best. It’s our responsibility to believe and only do those things God is leading us to do. God is responsible for the results.
Romans 4:20 tells us that Abraham’s body was just about dead when Isaac was born. When all natural circumstances said “Abraham, there is no way you are going to have children” his faith in God did not weaken. He was FULLY PERSUADED that God was able to do exactly what He promised.
In order for our faith in God to go the distance, we too will have to be fully persuaded in God’s promises. To become fully persuaded, we will have to give the Word of God our constant attention.
God came through with flying colors for Abraham. That’s good news for you and me. That means that no matter how hopeless things seem, if we hang on and continue to believe in what God has spoken to our hearts, we will see God come through.
Did you know you can have Abraham’s faith? We look up to those great Old Testament characters but we need to remember they were human like us. We also need to keep in mind that we have a BETTER covenant. We are Born Again. God’s presence lives inside us. A measure of faith was deposited in our spirits when we made Jesus our Lord and Savior. That measure of faith will grow as we speak out the Word of God over our lives. That measure can grow into faith in God that goes the distance.