“He (Abraham) did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness.” – Romans 4:20
Abraham was an incredible model of faith. Though not without missteps, he demonstrated his faith repeatedly. God blessed him and accounted it for righteousness. Abraham was not righteous because of his obedience to the law. Instead, he trusted in and obeyed the Lord unconditionally. His obedience to the law was a byproduct of his love and relationship with God.
As an example for us, the Apostle Paul lays out several ways in which Abraham was faithful and strengthened:
- In faith he was obedient. When he was 75 years old God commanded Abram to leave UR (southern Iraq today), for an undisclosed location, a significant challenge. He was established in UR, his family was there, his friends were there, his income was there, his support system was there. God did not tell him where was going, only to get up and head out. God doesn’t tell us where we’re going, only to get up, go and trust that he will meet us there. That’s what Abram did. When we get up and go at God’s command, He is faithful and will meet us there every time.
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
…To a land that I will show you.
So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. – Gen 12”1-4
- His faith was rooted in the fact that he knew God would deliver. In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.” – Rom 4:18. Despite Abraham’s concerns, hope against hope, he still believed. God didn’t show him the end of journey, just the next step. In confidence, hope against hope, he responded. Learning to respond strengthened him for future endeavors.
- Abraham did not become weak in faith. He had been walking with and trusting God for over 25 years when he was called on to sacrifice his son, a foreshadowing of the future of Jesus on the cross. Abraham had not witnessed any miraculous resurrections that we know of, yet he was so confident God would resurrect Isaac that he convinced Isaac (Abraham was over 100, and Isaac was at least a teenager) to be bound on top of a pile of wood, raised his blade, and started to thrust through him. An angel stopped him just in time…
- Abraham always gave glory to God. “Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him” – Gen 12:7. Faith in God, because it affirms His trustworthy character, is the supreme way that we glorify Him. Abraham always took the time to praise God, in the good times and the bad.
As inspired by the Holy Spirit and recorded by man, the examples of Abraham teach us much about grace and faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship” – Eph. 2: 8–10.
The world is perishing. People need our prayers, our support and our example of what it means to be obedient, glorifying, children of God. Let us step out to do what we were called to do, in complete faith and strength.