Read: Romans 4:13-17
When I was 6 years old, God put it in my heart to go to Africa. All throughout my childhood, I talked about how much I wanted to go to Africa. Once I was a teenager, that dream grew into wanting to be a full time missionary overseas. I didn’t feel called to a specific country, but I knew in my heart that somehow, I was getting to Africa.
By my sophomore year of college, I still had never been to Africa, and it wasn’t looking like I was going to be moving there after all. It seemed like an old and distant dream, one I wasn’t sure would ever happen at all. Even though I knew that God had put Africa on my heart for a reason, my faith was struggling.
That year, a trip to Uganda was happening through my school. One of my friends mentioned the possibility of me going, but I wasn’t very interested. It was only a two week trip, and cost a lot of money. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I prayed that God would take it off my mind if He didn’t want me to go, but I knew that I needed to sign up. I had to step out and do it. Almost 15 years after I was first called, He fulfilled His promises. God was faithful to bring me the money I needed to fundraise, and He was faithful to bring me to Uganda.
Abraham wanted deeply to have a child, and in faith, he waited on God’s promises to come true. Romans 4:13-17 dives into the fact that God’s promise of Abraham’s lineage did not come through his works. It was by faith, and only by faith. As Paul writes, he makes it clear that if God’s promises were dependent on the law being upheld, the promise wouldn’t be valid, and the grace that comes through faith would not be known.
Even after God had given Isaac to Abraham, who He had promised to give him descendants through, there was still the testing of Abraham’s faith. He offered Isaac as a sacrifice, with the full assurance that God would raise Isaac from the dead. In Romans 4:17, Paul talks about how the God that Abraham trusted in gives life, both to things dead and things that do not exist.
Abraham did not live depending on what the world had to offer, but only on God. His journey to this point in his life wasn’t perfect. He gave his wife away multiple times. He slept with his servant Hagar, and his son Ishmael was born as a result. Still, the Lord used Abraham in his sin and weakness. Although much of his life was full of bad decisions, in the end he walked faithfully.
What does it mean to live by faith? Think of ways that the Lord has shown Himself faithful to you before, ask Him how he wants you to walk now. God is true to His promises, and you can rest in that. It’s not dependent on how good your actions are, it’s dependent on faith in our ever faithful God.