We’re continuing to look at the example of Abraham. He’s Paul’s illustration of how we should walk in faith.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
This is one of those amazing verses in the Scripture. To fully grasp it, we need to understand what the meaning of hope is in the Bible.
When we use the word, hope, it usually means that we’re wishing for something good to happen. “I hope I win the lottery.”
That’s not what this word means in the context of Scripture. It actually means to look forward to with expectation. “I place my hope in the fact that the sun will come up tomorrow.”
With this knowledge, we can see how Abraham operated. He was in a situation where, logically, there was nothing to expect. Yet, by placing his faith in God’s Word, he fully expected to have a multitude of offspring.
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
This is the tough part. I talked about not walking in denial in my last post. That’s the key to this kind of faith.
The verse literally says that Abraham fully observed the facts of his situation. He was almost 100 years old and considered himself already dead. He understood that under no circumstances could his wife, Sarah, have any children.
As a matter of fact, he had already picked out an heir for his estate. He chose one of his most trusted servants (Genesis 15:2-3).
What amazes me is that even though he had all of these facts before him, he didn’t weaken his faith. But that brings up an interesting question. He already had an heir picked out that was not in his family. How can you say that he didn’t weaken his faith?
We need to understand exactly what is meant by weak faith. There’s a clear verse about it.
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
What is weak faith? It means that you don’t trust God to complete His work in you. You feel that you have to establish rules to follow so that you won’t accidentally sin. Weak faith has the idea that if I follow these rules, then I’ll please God and receive His blessing.
Abraham picked out an heir without weakening his faith. That tells me that I do what I need to do as if nothing special will happen. But, at the same time, I fully expect the Lord to intervene on my behalf.
I can see my doctor, take my pills, and pay my bills. At the same time I trust God for my health and provision.
Some people think that they’re operating in faith by never seeing a doctor. It’s actually a sign of weak faith because they can’t trust God to manage what the doctor might tell them.
Weak faith has to set rules and boundaries so that we can deny any problems. Strong faith can look straight at the problems and trust God for the solution.
Question: What are you facing right now that requires faith in God?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi