One of the things we were discussing with the children last night at church is how God is trustworthy. The emphasis for that was the following verse:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5, ESV
We talked about how God may ask us to do some crazy things that may seem impossible. The thing of it is that if God is the One doing the asking, He’ll make it happen. Sometimes our faith calls on us to take God at His word, even when we don’t see anything that gives us any reassurance that God is going to deliver. Such was the case with Abram. God had made a huge promise to Abram. Abram had faithfully started out, depending on God to fulfill his promises, but thus far he hadn’t see delivery. He hadn’t seen the fulfillment of the promise. And maybe it was a taste of death because he had come face-to-face with war, but Abram has some questions in his heart. This happens to all of us. Despite our best efforts, we will have questions of God. The catch is to be honest with Him, to admit our own frailness, and to remember that He doesn’t owe us any answers. What knowledge and wisdom He provides is by His providence. With that said, our God is a loving Father and does what is best for His children. We see that in action right here with Abram:
But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. – Genesis 15:2-6, ESV
God started this conversation by saying He was Abram’s shield and that Abram’s reward was very great. Needless to say, this hit Abram hard. I think it would hit all of us similarly. Abram heard God’s words but he didn’t see any evidence of the promise being delivered. So at this moment Abram had a crisis of faith. Rather than lie about it or accuse God of not fulfilling His end of the bargain, Abram questioned how the reward would be given. And in it Abram revealed that which was troubling him the most. Note how God responds. God doesn’t bite Abram’s head off. God doesn’t say anything about Abram being ungrateful or chastise Abram for his questions. Rather, God takes Abram outside and He reassures His faithful servant. He gives Abram a visible reminder of what He will do for Abram. This is a loving God in action, reassuring one of His children when trouble comes upon His child’s heart. What a beautiful picture and reminder of God’s nature!
But this scene isn’t just about what God did. It’s also about how Abram responded. With that reassurance, Abram took God at His word. He trusted God. He still didn’t see evidence, but the fact that God had said, “It will come to pass,” was all Abram needed. The Bible tells us that Abram believed God. And then it tells us that this act of faith was credited to him as righteousness. Stop and think about that for a moment. When you have had doubts in the past, did you take it to God? And when you received His reassurance, did you believe or did you continue to doubt? The catch here is to put aside that doubt. We must trust God, even when we don’t see how He will accomplish what He promises. This is what Abram did. In teaching the children last night, we gave them a simple definition of righteousness: doing it God’s way. That’s what Abram did. He did it God’s way. God said it would happen and that was good enough. We must do it God’s way. And that means not trying to hedge our bets, not to try and plan for contingencies, but to truly trust God and rely on Him to make it happen.
Is there something you’re struggling with today with regards to either a promise God made or a direction God would have you go? Have you taken your doubts before God and been honest with Him, not accusatory, but admitting the frailness of your faith? If so, if He has shown you His reassurance, have you accepted that? Or are you still planning as if God might not make good on it? If you haven’t sought God and bared your soul to Him, I urge you to do so. No amount of humanly effort is going to remove that doubt or uncertainty. And if you have taken it before God and haven’t heard an answer, trust Him a bit more. Trust Him to reveal to you what you need when the timing is right. Maybe something has to happen first for you to be able to understand the depth of God’s response. I’ve been there. And I know what it’s like to be impatient for God’s answer. Most of us have been in that situation. And what we find is that when God does answer, it’s amazing. Or perhaps you’ve received your answer and still you doubt. Still you plan. Set aside that doubt. Trust that God will deliver. You’ve already handed over your eternal fate to Him, have you not? Is there anything greater? There isn’t, so just as you trust Him in the biggest thing of all, trust Him in the little ones, too.