Posted by: glorifyhim1 | September 19, 2019

When Faith is Hard

When Faith is Hard

“For assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to here; and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

(Matthew 17:20)

Sometimes, faith is hard! We love God. We believe God. Yet we find ourselves in a place that we just cannot understand. We may be struggling to just hold on to that mustard seed of faith we have.

I thought about this recently when I read in Genesis 22 about God’s testing of Abraham. God told Abraham to take his son, Isaac, and to offer him as a burnt offering. Isaac was the son that God had promised to Abraham and Sarah, the one who was delivered to them in their old age, and the one with whom God had declared he would establish His covenant (see Genesis 17:19). Yet God now told Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering.

The Scriptures do not tell us that Abraham questioned God at all. He simply rose up early the next morning and set off to do as God said. I cannot help but wonder what was going through Abraham’s mind. Was he grappling with why? Did he wonder about God’s plan? I wonder if he even thought about not being obedient. However, the Scriptures give no hint that Abraham questioned or considered any other thing. He simply set out to do what God said.

When Abraham arrived at the mountain for the sacrifice, he told his helpers: “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). Notice, he said “we will come back.” Could he have said “we” in an effort to not raise questions among his helpers? Or did Abraham sincerely believe that God had a plan. He surely remembered God’s original promise: “I will establish My covenant with him (Isaac) for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him” (Genesis 17:19)?

Abraham continued to build the altar, to place the wood in order, and to finally bind Isaac and lay him upon the wood. But as Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife, the Angel of the Lord, called to him: “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (Genesis 22:12). When Abraham lifted his eyes, he saw a ram in a thicket and offered it up for an offering instead of his son. Abraham called this place, the “Lord Will Provide.”

Abraham’s faith did not falter. He had passed God’s test. While Abraham may not have understood what God told him to do, Abraham’s faith was bigger than his fears, his lack of understanding, or any questions that tempted him to disobey. Abraham believed God!

What about you and me? What about our faith? Do we still believe and trust God when we face the hard things, when we are fearful or lack understanding?

The writer of Hebrews reminds us that our faith is important to God. 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” (Hebrews 11:6).

Jesus, Himself, often confronted people for their lack of faith. On one occasion, He chided the people for worrying about food to eat and clothes to wear. He explained that God knew they needed those things. “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30).

Another time, Jesus walked on the water to His disciples who were in a boat being tossed by the waves. Peter asked Jesus to call him to come to Him on the water. At first, Peter walked on the water, but as he looked at the waves around him, he became frightened and began to sink. “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:31)

Still another time, the disciples were with Jesus in a boat on the sea. Jesus was in the stern of the boat, asleep, when a storm arose. The waves beat into the boat and it was filling with water. The disciples awoke Jesus and exclaimed: “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38) Jesus arose, rebuked the wind, and calmed the sea. Then He said to His disciples: “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).

Worry, doubt, and fear can surely test our faith. Yet, I think Abraham shows us that even in times of testing, our victory lies in God Himself. The more we know Him, the more we trust Him – even in the hard times, and the more we believe in Him and His love for us, the more the seed of faith He plants in our hearts takes root and grows.

Abraham knew God. Abraham walked with God. Abraham believed God. Abraham put His faith in God – even when it was hard. I pray that I will do the same!

 

“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”

(Hebrews 11:6).


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