In our life, our faith is sometimes tested. How do we respond?
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspringbe.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
8 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”
9 So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking fire pot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates — 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites,Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”
Abraham is one of the heavy weights in the Bible. He is often referred to one of the great heroes, a friend of God and the father of faith. This is a rich Bible passage. We are at a point in the Bible where God makes a promise to bless his people through Abraham. Rather ‘impossible’ promises if we look at it from Abraham’s perspective. He still believed in the promises, and his faith was credited to him as righteousness.
I look at my own faith, and often find myself feeling quite small next to the heavy weights of the Bible. I find myself doubting God and holding on to fear. I have gone through moments in my life where I doubt that God even exists. There have been doubts in regards to decisions I need to make in life and more recently I have been convicted of some serious doubt. It is in regards to giving. I have been giving carefully to make sure that I have the means to last until the next pay. I have the God of the Universe as my King. He has told me to give generously, promised He will look after me, not to worry about what I am going to eat and what to wear. He has told me not to fear. And here I am, still trying to rely on myself.
Abraham may seem like a superhuman, but a closer look at Abraham’s life will show that he doubted and made bad choices out of fear. He took matters into his own hands in regards to the promise to have an heir. Abraham certainly wasn’t a perfect man, he made mistakes but the comforting thing was that didn’t cut him off from God. This just shows how merciful, compassionate, and patient God is while we learn to trust him. Do not be afraid.
Head: Reflect on Abraham’s story on how his faith was tested and try putting yourself in his shoes. If you are not familiar with his story, go ahead and read it in Genesis.
Heart: Think about how parents are patient and encouraging when their toddlers are learning to walk. How much more patient is our perfect Heavenly Father as we stumble and learn to put our trust in Him. Take a minute to thank and praise God for this.
Hands: How can you grow in your faith today? In what area of your life are you still relying on yourself?
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, forgive me for the times that I try to rely on myself and do not put my trust in You. You are such a perfect loving Father. Thank you for being patient with me and merciful as I’m learning to trust in you. Thank you for sacrificing your son on the cross to pay for my sins so that I can have a relationship with You. Please give me the faith that I need for today.
A song to listen to: How Deep The Fathers Love
Petrina Rangiawha – Living Church Creek Road
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the Bible in 10 series in 2017. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.