How much faith do we have? How long can we believe God, take Him at His Word, believe what He has promised us before we take matters into our own hands? I think faith must be the most difficult part of being a Christian. Faith is not just believing for a while, faith is using blind trust, regardless of the circumstances, until whatever it is you’re believing, happens.
The dictionary definition of faith is :
- complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
- strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.
Romans 10:17, So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
God spoke to Abraham and told him that his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky. God gave Abraham some really amazing promises of blessings to his descendants. God made this promise when Abraham did not have any children. Because he and Sarah were getting old it was a bit hard to believe. Sarah told Abraham that he should have a child by her Egyptian servant, Hagar in order to continue his name. Ishmael was born when Abraham was 86 years old, which means Sarah was already 76. Slightly beyond child bearing age. The birth of Ishmael did not solve any problems, in fact it made everything much worse. Then when Abraham was 99 years old the Lord appeared to Abraham again and told him that he and Sarah would have a child within a year. He and Sarah reacted by laughing. I think anyone of that age will think that such a thing would be laughable. Yet, Sarah bore a son and called him Isaac, which means He laughs.
Even though Abraham laughed, he never stopped believing that God would do what He said. He did misjudge the methods slightly, and tried to make his own plans, but he kept believing.
I’ve heard people give new believers the advice of resigning from their jobs, and then praying for provision so that God can prove that He will take care of them. Please don’t do that!
2 Thessalonians 3:10, For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
We are supposed to work. We are not supposed to be beggars who rely on the goodness of people who feel sorry for us. We have to do our best to look after ourselves. There are situations where people genuinely cannot find jobs and I believe God will take care of people if they don’t have a choice and if they rely on His provision. I have also seen many people who profess to be relying on God but are in fact subtle, and sometimes not so subtle beggars. God does provide and I can testify of that, but I do not think we ought to stop working because we are lazy and say that God is going to provide.
God provided well for Abraham because he trusted God and the blessing that God gave Abraham was not just for the Jews but also for us. God gave Abraham the promise that he and his descendants would be blessed before he was circumcised.
Romans 4:13,16 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Therefore it is of faith that is might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us.
The promises of blessings and prosperity which were given to Abraham are applicable to us if we stick to our faith in God. We have to start practicing to take God at His word and believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that He is who He says He is and that He is going to do what He says He is going to do. Then we can claim the blessings of Abraham.