Abraham is often referred to as a man of mighty, strong faith. How did he come to this position?….Through the trial of his faith, (James 1:2-3), just as we have to. Abraham was not such a mighty man of faith that he never failed. Genesis records his failings: in fear he lied to a king, calling his wife his sister. He listened to the voice of his wife and slept with Hagar, the maid, producing Ishmael, instead of waiting for God to fulfil His promise in Isaac, birthed by his wife Sarah.
Strong faith does not mean the absence of doubt. Doubt is part of the process in the trial of our faith that we have to deal with. In the darkness of the trial, we have to learn to cast it out and believe what God said to us in the light. Because we are human, there is always a moment when we question. Let us see how the Lord regards unbelief. Hebrews 3:12 “Take heed brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” God calls it evil because He knows it takes us away from Him, resulting in problems that are detrimental to our walk, if not nipped in the bud. He wants the best for us.
God gives His word to us and then the process begins, the trial of our faith. There are moments when I question and doubt, just as Abraham did, but when I choose to declare and believe what God has said, He strengthens and enables me to hold fast in the waiting period, and the doubts are dispelled and have no control of my emotions. Here I learn that delay is not denial while waiting for God’s appointed time. In the process my relationship is deepened with the Lord as I learn to trust Him. In return He gifts me with His peace and strength. There is no greater joy than to walk through life with Him. What God demands, He supplies, and the glory all goes to Him. We so often try to produce by our own efforts, that which only God can produce. God says, “Cast it out!” He requires strong faith, and only He can work it in me, as I submit to His Holy Spirit’s guidance.
When I enthrone Jesus in my heart, His love transforms me and weans me from this world’s passing shows. I am a pilgrim journeying this earth, yet bound for an eternal kingdom. A surrendered life produces a joyous journey with Jesus. Our lives should demonstrate the JESUS SHOW.
As our faith is tried in the fires of life, we too, like Abraham, can come to the place of strong faith as recorded in Romans 4: 17-22, speaking of Abraham, “…even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were. ……He considered not his own body…..he staggered not at the promise of God……and being fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”
Some trials can be very painful emotionally. A young wife, suffering the pain of an unfaithful husband, questioned her Pastor how could she be joyous whilst suffering such betrayal? She was encouraged by the wisdom of his reply. He told her that although she could not rejoice in the nature of the circumstances, he observed in her the Lord’s deep assurance of His love for her, His strength to take her through the trial and the deep trust in the Lord that God was working in her to carry her through, and seat her above, with Him, over the circumstances. That was the gold the Lord was depositing in her, in spite of the trial. Only God can bring forth gold, to His glory, from dung. All for His glory!