Monday, April 29, 2024

A Radical Faith

Monday, April 22, 2024

 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6

A Radical Faith

Abraham was a man whose life displayed great faith in God. He was called by God in Genesis chapter 12. God asked Abraham to leave his home with all his servants, animals, and family and go to a place that God would tell him in the future. So Abraham was to pick up literally everything he owned and all his family and start out on a journey with an undisclosed destination. He had no idea where he was going – how far, how long, etc. What great faith he must have had in God to uproot everyone he cared about and and go because God asked him to go. How hard would that be and how many won’t understand? But Abraham was obedient and did what God asked him to do. When God called Abraham, he made him three promises:1) The promise of a land of his own; 2) the promise to be made into a great nation; and 3) the promise of blessing. 

At the beginning of chapter 15, God speaks to Abraham in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield; your reward will be very great
. Abram has some doubts about what God says and he asks him: But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”  Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a slave born in my house will be my heir.” Abraham heard God say that he would bless him and was trying to figure out how that was going to happen. He was looking for a human solution to a God promise, and he couldn’t find one, so he made one up. God responded:  Now the word of the Lord came to him: “This one will not be your heir; instead, one who comes from your own body will be your heir.”  He took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “Your offspring will be that numerous.” God promised him that he would give him his own offspring and they would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Abraham tried to comprehend and give an explanation to everything God promised him. Even though he couldn’t figure out how it was all  going to happen, he believed what God said and stepped out in obedience.

A great lesson for us to draw from Abraham’s life is that we are to live a life of faith. Abraham’s faith wasn’t a blind faith; his faith was a settled assurance and trust in the One who had proved Himself faithful and true. He believed the promises of God and God fulfilled every one of those promises in his perfect timing – which is way different than our timing.  It takes faith and patience to believe and receive God’s promises. 

When we have radical faith like Abraham, we do sometimes suffer the opinions of others. People won’t understand even if they are believers and think they have faith. Real faith happens when we take the step, and it may look like a crazy thing to do to those around us. Sometimes radical faith looks like building an ark, and sometimes radical faith looks like stepping into a raging river or a red sea. And sometimes radical faith looks like staying where you are. What radical step of faith do you need to take today? 

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