Faith and Courage
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). It is a trait a believer has as he declares his belief in God. You cannot believe in God if you do not have faith because God moves in ways beyond our ability and understanding. Faith is the evidence that clearly distinguishes a believer from a non-believer because faith opens up a realm for a believer that is far above logic and the present reality of life. Faith brings hope to a helpless situation. It also strengthens the courage of a believer to step out from the world’s limitations and live a life that speaks of God’s greatness and power.
Abraham, the Man of Faith
Abraham is considered the man of faith (Galatians 3:9) for many reasons. First, it is because his extraordinary faith in the One true God is counted to him as righteousness (Galatians 3:6). In fact, he might be the only one in his time to believe in God and not on his own strength and abilities. This is the reason why God has chosen Abraham.
His faith in God resulted in one courageous act after another. In spite of all that he might have lost in leaving his nation, despite the reality of his old age, and no matter how difficult it is to give up your own son, Abraham, time and time again, proved his faith in God and courage to obey His will no matter what. Let us take a closer look at the events of Abraham’s life where he showed his faith and courage in action and see what we can learn from his life:
The Call of Abraham
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him… Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. Genesis 12:4
Abram (Abraham) lived well and was prosperous in Harran. They had all the possessions and acquired people as their servants. He was a merchant of the land. Abraham was old and had a good reputation among his people. He could’ve been satisfied and could’ve held on to his wealth and success. But when God called him out to leave his country, his people, and his household so that God would make him into a great nation, he did not hesitate to obey. He left along with his wife and his nephew to go to the land where God has called him. It takes extraordinary faith and courage to leave his land and his people because there isn’t any assurance aside from the word and promise of God to Abraham. Faith in action is the courage to answer God’s calling in life.
The Father of Many Nations
Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. Genesis 17:4 God demonstrated how He has chosen Abraham by giving him a promise to be the Father of Many Nations. It sounded so grandiose but it was far from Abraham’s reality since he was already a hundred years old and his wife Sarah had been barren for many years. Little did Abraham know that God’s promise of a son is just the start of a covenant to a nation God would lavishly pour out His love on.
Abraham saw this promise only for his generation, God sees it as a promise to be kept for eternity (Genesis 17:8). This promise that was fulfilled in his life was given through his righteousness that comes by his faith in God (Romans 4:13). It was with great courage that against all hope, he believed in God that he would be the Father of Many Nations. It takes faith and courage to admit the current reality of one’s situation and still strongly believe for a turn around. This is very much evident in the life of Abraham and God was very much pleased with it.
The Sacrifice of Abraham
“Take your son,” God said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” Genesis 22:2 During this time, Abraham has already seen God’s promises being fulfilled in his life. He saw how God had protected him from the kings of the land, how God was with him when he rescued Lot from the four ruling kings and how God listened to him when he bargained for souls to be saved from the upcoming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Now, when God tested his faith one more time by asking him to offer it on an altar by the mountains, he did not hesitate to do so. Surely, every step toward the mountain must have been heartbreaking for Abraham. But because of his faith in God, it enables him to trust in His ways. He reasoned that God could raise the dead and so he didn’t even blink in this mission. Faith in God gives a believer the courage to obey even the most difficult command He gives.
The Sacrifice of God
The life of Abraham shows why his faith is considered to him as righteousness. It is because his faith that results in courage has led him to obey God continuously and consistently. And just as Abraham showed his faith and courage, so does our Lord Jesus Christ. He became the sacrifice of God the Father as He courageously submitted to His will to be the propitiation of our sins. Despite His sinless life, He bore the weight of sin once and for all so that God’s people will be reconciled to Him for eternity. This selfless act propels every believer who puts their faith in Christ to courageously live out a life of obedience just like Abraham.
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