That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” – Romans 4:16-18
I’m feeling this passage this morning. Not because I’m adhering to it, but because I am not. I did not wake up hopeful this morning. Petty anxieties and useless self-doubt enveloped me like a fog when I woke up in the wee hours.
Have you had days that started that way, or nights that ended that way, not in hope and peace but in anxiety and downcast thoughts?
Faith really stands or falls when it is challenged, doesn’t it? Worry is the marker of a weak faith; and not because when you have strong faith life is rosy with no reason to worry, but rather when you have strong faith and have placed that faith in the right Person the problems of life grow strangely, joyously dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Consider Abraham. He had access to a miniscule percentage of the knowledge of God that we have, yet the brother knew God. I claim to know God, yet stress about easily fixed situations such as faltering projects at work, longer-term financial and career anxiety, and general feelings of self-doubt. My problems do not shake the foundations of eternity; they don’t even register on the seismograph, but they certainly expose the cracks and fault-lines in the paper mache and sand mixture of the foundation I decided to trust in this morning.
Abraham had every reason to not just doubt but to completely dismiss any thoughts of being a father at all, let alone being the father of many nations. He was old. His wife was old and barren. But he put his faith in a God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that do not exist. It’s impossible to be nihilistic when your God can create ex nihilo.
One reason among thousands that I’m looking forward to church this morning is that I know I will be reminded, again, of the good news of Jesus and the peace that passes understanding that is in Him. I’ll get perspective on the mini-problems and max-blessings that I already live in today and will know that no matter what befall, nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
I’ll be reminded, again, of the God I trust in and who I will trust in, who gives life to the dead, who gave life to me, and who calls into existence things that do not exist.