We’re all familiar with the story of Abraham’s life. Abraham and his wife Sarah believed. They held on to the promise that they would have a son, even though Sarah was well into her eighties and Abraham a full century old. Yes, when they were younger they also made mistakes. They were normal people and sometimes their faith was weak. Especially when God took so long to keep his promises. And therefore Abraham agreed with Sarah’s plans and had a child with Sarah’s slave, Hagar. This was a mistake. The results were catastrophic. Hagar and Abraham’s son, Ishmael, had to flee.
Abraham acknowledged his mistake and confessed his sin. And in a way he kept on believing. Even when he was 100 years old, he did not lose faith. Not even when others said that it was impossible for such an old man and woman to have children and even less because of guilt about making their own plans and sinning against God. How easily we tell ourselves that things aren’t working out because we did this or that wrong. No, the Lord doesn’t even look at me, I’m simply too sinful. And before we know it, our faith has disappeared.
Abraham made a mistake. But he also knew his God. He knew that God is merciful and that is why he could keep on believing despite his mistake. 6Don’t these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of faith was turned into a life that was right with God. It didn’t matter what the circumstances were; it didn’t matter how unfavourable the winds of life blew for Abraham and Sarah – they kept on believing.
And the result? A good relationship with God. O, God longs to have a relationship with us! God waits full of expectation, every moment of the day, for us to give some of our time to Him, but we are simply too busy. Life rushes by and before we know it, we feel guilty again. Feeling guilty robs us of our faith and so our relationship with God remains poor.
What should we do?
Like Abraham, we must keep on believing despite the circumstances. With everything in us we must keep on believing that God will come through for us. Despite the reality surrounding us. Even though science screams against us, we must keep on believing. Even if we went against God’s will a couple of times, we must keep on believing. We must believe in a loving God. We must believe that God will turn everything around and come through for us at the right time – as He did for Abraham and Sarah.
The effect of Abraham’s faith resulted in millions of people benefiting. 8It was all laid out beforehand in the Scripture that God would set things right with non-Jews by faith. Scripture anticipated this in the promise to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed in you.” 9So those now who live by faith are blessed along with Abraham, who lived by faith—this is no new doctrine!
We are part of that blessing. You and I now live the benefit of Abraham’s faith – thousands of years after he had lived here on earth. The question is: What do we do with that blessing? Is our faith a blessing for others as well? Do the people around us benefit because we believe?
Not an easy question to answer.
But it is not difficult to make this happen. Believe in God and hold onto that with everything you have. Ensure that you have a good, healthy relationship with God. God will shower blessings on you and when God blesses, He does so generously, so that some of those blessings will land on the people around you too.
Do you believe?
Do you believe that God’s blessing is meant for you too?
Are others blessed because you believe?
Father, I really, really needed this message now. Sometimes my faith trembles, especially when reality hits me in the face. I confess my lack of faith and call out again: I believe! I believe in an almighty God who is always ready to be in a relationship with me. Thank you Lord, for continuing to love me in spite of what I do. Yes, I believe. I cannot do otherwise. Amen